Focus on PR/media relations and an effective web presence -- these are the marketing priorities of successful architects such as Kasian Architecture.
Kasian is growing rapidly -- with new offices in Shanghai, Mumbai and Dubai -- it is finding business in part because clients are comfortable with the quality of the practice's work and its Canadian identity. (The practice also has offices in Calgary, Edmonton, and, in our Ontario neck of the woods, Toronto and Waterloo.)
"In February, I went down to New York City for a conference on Return on Investment, and how to look at it from services firm perspective," Isberg said. While in New York, she visited the director of public relations for a major U.S. architect. "They didn't find any value in a huge mix (or marketing techniques)," she said. "They don't advertise, they don't do any direct mail pieces -- they stick to public relations and their website."
"My firm does that as well," she said. "We don’t put huge investment in advertising, we focus on niches and we’ve appointed someone to do public relations full time, to get out our key message; to have our firm name come up from that."
I think Erin has it right. For external marketing, focusing on the web and PR/communications will produce much higher returns than any conventional advertising and outbound marketing for AEC firms, and this makes sense whether you are in Canada, the U.S. or anywhere in the world.