A Failure to Plan is a Plan for Failure (or Why You Need a Marketing Plan)


These words glared at me from a poster on the wall of an engineering firm’s conference room where I led the weekly marketing meetings every Monday morning. This was almost 20 years ago.

Truer words have never been spoken (or in this case, printed on a corporate office poster).

Don’t Have a Marketing Plan? It’s Time!

Having a plan – or in this case,  a marketing plan – for your architecture, engineering, construction (A/E/C) or other professional services firm is essential. A marketing plan is a document that outlines your company’s marketing and advertising efforts for the upcoming year. It is also “living document” as things change over the course of time (personnel changes occur, markets changes, etc.).  As such, the marketing plan should be referred to at least every quarter in order to track progress.

Your marketing plan should include at a minimum:

  • Your company’s most recent financial reports (profit/loss, operating budgets, etc.). for as long as you have been in business.
  • An organizational chart
  • Involvement / feedback from staff.
    • Include not only management, but personnel in the field as well as non-managerial staff. Excellent ideas come from everyone and everywhere.
  • Understanding of the Marketplace/Target Audience
    • Who are your competitors?
    • Who are your customers?
    • Are you limited by geography as to where you can provide your services?
    • What are the current trends in your practice area or areas?
  • A List of Threats and Opportunities
    • Are there trends in the marketplace that are attracting or possibly repelling potential clients?
    • Do you have current products you offer that are poised to succeed in the current market?
    • Are the demographics in the marketplace working in your favor or against you?
  • Marketing Objectives and Goals
    • What marketing objectives do you want to achieve?
    • How do you intend to fulfill your marketing goals? A new website? Attending trade shows? Redesigning marketing materials?
    • When will these objectives occur (scheduling is important)?
  • Budget
    • What is your budget for executing the marketing plan’s objectives and goals?
    • What are your priorities (for example, a new website, first? Marketing materials, second?)?

Now, let’s get planning!

Sources: Entrepreneur.com, “The Ingredients of a Marketing Plan” and “The Small Business Encyclopedia and Knock-Out Marketing” http://tinyurl.com/zfymxpm