Thursday, June 4, 2009
Does Architecture Marketing Work?
My coworker and I had a really interesting conversation recently about architecture marketing* - specifically about awards and publishing. It was spurred by a recent trip he took to see the offices of Michelle Kaufmann Designs - a well-known green prefab firm that recently folded.
The office had an honor wall - a wall filled with nothing but magazine covers dedicated to them and their work and awards given to the firm. And yet... here they were, victims of the downturn, closing the office. My coworker couldn't help but ask, do all the awards and publications matter? I argued that Kaufmann's work was really specific - prefab - and didn't necessarily mean that this lesson translates to all architecture firms. On the other hand, repeat work from existing clients, referrals, and personal or professional contacts provide 73% of new projects for US architecture firms.** So, is my coworker right and we should stop pursuing magazine articles and awards?
*Marketing is a big part of what I do and actually one of favorite things about my job.
**No, I didn't make that up. Its from the 2006 AIA Firm Survey, via the AIA Handbook.