It Takes Money to Make Money: Why Investing in Marketing Your A/E/C Firm is Smart Business

When the economy gets tight, many professional services firms, including architecture, engineering and construction companies, unfortunately must make the tough decision to lay people off. In many instances, the first to be let go are often the marketing and business development staff.

Marketing and business development are the backbone of your business. Why lay off those who are working to bring in business?

This has always confounded me.

You get what you pay for. Invest in your marketing objectives, and you won’t regret it. There are no shortcuts.
 Consider the following scenario:

The marketing person who was laid off had many years of experience in the industry and successfully won jobs for the company.

The company eventually re-advertised the job under a different title and hired a junior level employee with little to no experience in the industry. This person left within six months.

Did the company save money by laying off the more experienced employee and hiring someone with less experience who left less than a year with the firm? Was this a wise investment?

Here’s another possibility with scarier consequences:

Instead of hiring an experienced marketing consultant to manage its social media, a company decides to “hire” a intern for free.

The company thinks it’s getting a bargain, until it realizes it didn’t consider the potential liability of having someone not invested in their business be responsible for what gets posted on its social media presences. Unaware that the intern hasn’t been paying close-enough attention, the company’s Facebook page was hacked, and smutty images and negative comments about the company have filled the page. Furthermore, the company gets slapped with a lawsuit from one of its competitors claiming that someone from the firm was posting negative reviews, etc.

Was this hassle and potential lawsuit worth the “free” work?

As the illustration above states, I wouldn’t go to a master hairstylist and tell him or her I can get my hair done cheaper. I pay for his or her experience. Would you go to a specialist and tell him or her, “No thanks. I’ll go to a ‘doc in the box’ for my surgery?”

It takes money to make money, or as another cliche goes, “You get what you pay for.”