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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The lonely blog (for now...)

Last evening, I posted this question on the SMPS Listserve. (The Society for Marketing Professional Services has chapters in several U.S. cities and is dedicated to marketing for construction, architectural and engineering businesses.)

Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2007 2:55 AM
Subject: [smpsmembership]
Construction marketing blogs
Can you help me build a network of links/references to blogs relevant to architecture/engineering/construction marketing? If you are currently using a blog to promote your business/practice (or know of interesting and relevant blogs of interest to construction marketers), please let me know. You can respond by direct email, or if you believe the blog reference is relevant to the entire membership, perhaps to the entire Listserve. If your blog is good, I will post a one-way link to your blog (no reciprocation requested or expected).

My goal here is to assess the extent to which the "Blogosphere" has been adapted by construction industry marketers. My sense is the widespread acceptance and use of blogs within our industry is still in the future – but I could be wrong. I am still exploring the potential value and use of the blog in our industry – internally, it has been somewhat helpful in the recruitment process perhaps because it breaks down barriers between our organization and potential employees. But have we received any business from it? . . . Not yet.

Mark Buckshon
Construction News and Report
Group of Companies

The message went out to several hundred people. I received two responses, and only one pointed to a specific blog. Although Michael Karfakis, president and CEO of Vitamin in Baltimore, Maryland, has written a blog directed to a wider frame of reference than just the construction industry, his observations about the value of blogging are certainly relevant here:

Mark -
Keep blogging. You will see the payoffs in a number of measurable and immeasurable ways; recruitment being one of the measurable ways. All too often owners and marketing departments become enthralled with being able to measure direct and swift ROI. This is not how marketing works. The pay off is a slow burn; just like starting up or founding a new business. One cannot fly into flight. It takes time and mar comm. success is not always directly measurable. If you initiate marketing efforts, and adhere to best practices in doing so, you will inevitably soar high and you will outshine your competition. Once you penetrate your market segment, your target audience will make that positive buying and/or recommending decision without necessarily knowing how they found you.
Case in point: Vitamin was recently hired by Hardesty and Hanover - a 120 year old engineering firm responsible for inventing the draw bridge /vertical lift structures. They brought Vitamin in to brand their 120 Year Anniversary and also create mar. comm. sales collateral to match. How did they find us? The marketing director remembered Vitamin's tagline - Cure for the Common Brand - and Googled it. Because Vitamin's site is built according to best practices, our site came right up within Google, we got the call and landed the business.

Now, what can one say is directly responsible for this piece of business?
The marketing director for Hardesty and Hanover had no idea why or how he remembered our tagline; and you know what - it doesn’t matter. Vitamin actively does print advertising, radio, internet, blogging, etc. They all work together and support one another. The point is, we penetrated this marketing director's subconscious and made a lasting impression. It was our well executed, uniformed marketing effort that made the difference; not just one piece of the puzzle.
Blogging is an important piece of the puzzle. If you are noticing good results for recruitment, awesome. Keep up the good work. As long as you have implemented a multi-tier marketing approach, your blogging effort will further support your outreach. Eventually, the entire effort will pay off in ways you may not have yet realized.

Best regards,

michael karfakis
president /
"cure for the common brand"
f. 410.732.6541
3237 eastern avenue
baltimore, md
visit our newly launched blog:
living organism
"essential nutrients for branding and public relations"

Michael's points are well taken. We may be ahead of the curve with this blog, but I enjoy writing it and know that more people are discovering it. Notably, our repeat readership appears to be holding steady. But if you are reading this and have your own blog for the construction, architectural or engineering communities, please let me know about it.

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