All architects know what it is like to be price shopped with clients getting quotes on their architectural fees. Marketing for architects is very popular as the industry continues to grow and expand. The difficulty however is finding the ‘right’ agency, as there are thousands around the UK to choose from. We always advise talking with agencies that have done marketing for architects.
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The architectural industry in the UK is very much affected by the UK construction and property industry. As of 2007 it was at an all time low due to the global recession. Things have picked up and as of 2018 the architectural industry is strong and growing. RIBA are confident the sector is stable once again. There are around 58,000 architects as of 2018 according to statistics.
Many architects struggle with marketing, specifically smart marketing. In the good old days, there was not really the need, however now, marketing for architects is essential. Whether you are a leading architect like Fosters & Partners, or a freelance. Marketing for architects needs to be centre stage.
Most established architectural practices do have sites set up and in place. However many are static websites that are not regularly updated or developed. A stagnant website does have the tendency to look disused by search engines. Especially if there are updates from months ago, or ‘latest news’ from the previous year. Websites for architects do need to be attractive and dynamic, a tool that is used to help bring new business and new sales leads into the architectural practice. The actual website design itself needs to be modern and professional. Case studies of previous clients are essential with well placed pictures (ensuring good resolution). Testimonials are always good, but people prefer pictures (a picture speaks a thousand words).
Public relations is used by many of the larger and more established architects. However many have not really looked into how it can help in raising the profile of the practice. PR is one of the more subtle and powerful marketing tools, one that is underused and overlooked.
With almost any new build, media attention comes and needs to be taken advantage of. There are many opportunities for all involved in the build, not just the architect. PR for builders can also be linked into this, in fact PR for all related can be achieved just from one good media event.
PR for architects can be both online and offline. Getting the best of two forms of exposure to both the older users (that do not use the internet so much) and modern users (that will see the press releases on-line. It also helps with your SEO, which is a spin off benefit.
Many architects do have websites, however the websites are not getting many visitors as no-one really knows they are there. SEO is all about increasing the number of visitors a website receives by gaining links to a website. The more links a website has to it, the higher up on search engines it will appear (a popularity contest). SEO for architects is a very important area of marketing. If the website does not get any visitors to it, then it is pointless.
Paid advertising (PPC advertising) is a quick way for you to get onto page 1. For any search term they want to be found for key search terms (architects in London, architects in Birmingham etc.). SEO is necessary, but as there are so many architects around the UK, the competition is high. PPC is a way to short the time SEO takes in order to get online visibility. There are numerous agencies in the UK that can offer PPC for architects, just a case of selecting an experienced agency. One that has a good track record of producing results.
Many architects are turning to telemarketing as being a proactive form of generating new enquiries. In doing telemarketing for architects new leads can swiftly be generated. Meaning a busy quotes department and hopefully an increase in new projects.
From all the different forms of marketing there are, telemarketing is one that is dynamic and can produce quantifiable results quickly.
Many architects have used advertising to generate exposure and to try to increase new enquiries to come through. However advertising for architects can be hit and miss. Advertising on TV cannot really be done, as the audience would not be the target audience that you would wish to reach, neither would advertising on the radio. Magazine advertising has been done by many of your competitors, however the returns on this are difficult to justify. This is based on magazine advertising being more for brand exposure rather than lead generation.
There are tens of thousands of marketing agencies around the UK. Ranging from small ones in the sticks, up to large international marketing companies in London that work with top brands around the globe. For you the problem is too much choice.
It is advised that you do select an agency that has experience in working in the architectural sector, that has done work in the past (successfully) and generated good exposure as a result.
Meeting the agency is wise, so you can find out about their experience first hand. Many agencies make claims on their website ‘we are the number 1 agency in the UK’ – you can find out if this is so. A meeting also gives you a chance to get to know your team. Review meetings are also wise to review progress and your ROI.
All marketing agencies have their own fees. Marketing can be expensive depending on which agency is selected. As all agencies set their own fees (based on their overheads, staff numbers, profit margins).
Shopping around for anything these days is important in order to ensure that overpaying is not done and value for money is achieved.
By comparing quotes from 3-4 agencies that have experience in the building sector, the best agency should be found for the best price (not cheapest, but best).
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