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Curious about how to balance the personal brand of your thought leaders with the overall brand of your firm? Josh Miles and I discuss this topic on the latest podcast episode of PSM.show. Listen here : or iTunes or your favorite podcast player.
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Is my content valuable? Where are visitors coming from? Is all of this website cost and effort paying off in the form of new clients?   Before, during, and after the website design and development process, we here at TOKY field a number of questions from our  architecture clients  about how the firm’s website is actually performing. No matter how stunning a website looks or how accurately it embodies the leadership’s vision, at the end of the day, marketing teams are concerned about return on investment (ROI) — and rightly so. Determining an architecture website’s ROI all comes down to data. And while Google Analytics is an invaluable tool, teams ...
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Do You Know What Your Brand Is Up To? Conducting a brand audit is often perceived as a huge, time-consuming undertaking – not to mention the anxiety of not knowing what you’re going to uncover during the audit and the fear of discovering that your brand has gone off the rails. And so the project often gets pushed to the back burner. The problem is that no company can afford to lose tabs on its brand. As with most marketing endeavors, the question isn’t whether you should or shouldn’t, but how to make the most out of your brand audit, while making it a part of your annual marketing upkeep. It doesn’t have to be an ordeal! Our step-by-step guide to conducting ...
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Get Serious About Getting Competitor Intel The world of competitive intelligence is vast. Companies use many types of market intelligence to help them make a wide range of smart strategic decisions – from successfully penetrating new markets to developing an effective offering mix to deciding on acquisitions and more. This type of intelligence is also more difficult to acquire and often requires highly specialized and extensive outside research. Fortunately, some types of competitive intelligence that can help guide branding and marketing activities are more accessible and fall into two main categories: Competitor intelligence that will inform your own ...
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“So what do you do?” As our content strategists tell me, this question can be a tricky one. Outside of work hours, They tend to spare the person asking by keeping their response short and simple — but Monday through Friday, that answer gets a bit more complex. We can’t all live in blissful ignorance of content audits and editorial calendars, and believe it or not, “What is content strategy?”   really is   a question that people are asking, now more than ever. Google Trends says so.  What is content strategy? The internet holds no shortage of content strategy definitions, and some are better than others. Below are a few of the industry ...
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It’s a common story we hear: marketing teams are light on resources, time, and money, and social media inevitably falls to the wayside on the list of priorities. It can be difficult to convince leadership teams that it’s worth investing in.  In fact, social media strategy is an important part of your overall A/E/C firm marketing plan — and despite what many may think, it is absolutely possible to achieve measurable returns. The first step is take a business goal and   translate it   into how social media can help you achieve that goal. With careful planning, a social media campaign (and even a few campaigns that run concurrently) can help your firm take ...
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Get Under Your Customers’ Skin Your firm's ability to deepen audience engagement and action, as well as to leverage today’s most powerful marketing strategies and tactics such as   account-based marketing   and   omnichannel , requires customer understanding that goes far beyond simple demographics and psychographics. Do you know: Your customers’ greatest fears and issues specific to their industry – what they think about at 2 a.m. Their biggest frustrations about companies that provide your type of services and solutions The subtext of what they say (their unspoken needs) The messages that resonate with them most What triggers them to take ...
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“What’s the best way to share our work with the world?” It’s one of the most important questions to ask when redesigning your firm’s website. And from our experience   building sites for some of the largest architecture firms in the world , it’s also one of the most hotly debated. If your firm’s goal is to get prospects excited about your work, these pages need to stand out. The good news is, the bar for architecture project pages is fairly low. The industry standard looks something like this: Project title Slideshow of project images 1-3 paragraphs describing the who, what, and how of the project Sure, this formula gets the job done, ...
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Make a commitment to follow these new rules to make your brand unbeatable – and leave your competitors in the dust. 1: Audit Annually Once upon a time, the corporate brochure ruled the B2B marketing world. Significant resources were put into crafting the message, copy and design, and then, after the company printed at least 10,000 copies, the brochures were stored in the office supply closet for years to come. Companies simply did not audit their brand or communications frequently. Brands were, after all, built to last. Today, branding is vastly different. The marketplace and marketing itself are changing at a rapid pace, and getting the word ...
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Does anybody actually care about your workplace culture? According to the research, culture really   does  matter — not only to prospective clients, but also to potential hires and current employees.   A while back, Jay David, Interactive Creative Director at TOKY, and Rebecca Udell, Executive Director of Marketing Strategy at  KSS Architects , took the stage at   SMPS New York’s TME conference   to talk about why and how to show your firm’s culture online. Here are the highlights. What is Culture, Anyway? Whether it’s perceived as good, bad, or somewhere in between, every organization has a culture — and it affects not only how people see you, but ...
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First Things First: What Is a Brand? A brand is NOT a logo. Or a tagline. Or an identity system. A brand is an expectation of experience and a promise delivered. It’s the perception   others   have   about   your company – its people, culture, products   and   services. Your brand is also your most critical business asset and the most powerful competitive advantage. Your company builds its brand, or rather the perception of its brand, with every customer contact, planned or unplanned. Every interaction, no matter how insignificant, shapes your brand’s perception and drives your customers’ behavior. Rebranding is about taking control of ...
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We live in an age of constantly shifting market conditions, evolving audience expectations, and emerging trends and technologies that continually disrupt the way we do business. Unfortunately, most companies’ chief digital platforms – their websites – fail to keep up. How to Make Your Website Matter Today, companies need to take a different approach to website design to keep up with audiences’ needs and the ways they use the internet; current and emerging technologies that are designed to increase visibility, impact, and audience engagement; and online branding and marketing best practices. This means understanding the expectations of both today’s website ...
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Agile marketing is all the rage. But is it truly a more effective approach to marketing or mostly hype soon to be replaced by the next trend? To understand why going Agile might be one of the smartest moves your company can make, take a deep dive into the world of Agile marketing. In 2000 at Oregon’s Rogue River Lodge and again in 2001 in Snowbird, Utah, a very frustrated aerospace engineer named Jon Kern and a band of 11 other equally frustrated software development leaders gathered to discuss the challenge that was killing their industries: Application delivery lag. The problem? The time between requesting a software solution and actually having the solution ...
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Account-Based Marketing (ABM) According to the   ITSMA   Survey, ABM delivers the highest ROI of any B2B marketing strategy or tactic. Let’s imagine that a B2B company has an enewsletter it sends to its X-thousand- person list. The enewsletter has an open rate of 36% (very good) and a click-through rate of 12% (even better). The company is thrilled with the results. After all, their email marketing stats are well above industry averages, indicating lots of interest and lots of sales, right? Well, not typically. In fact, upon closer examination it would not be uncommon to find that the vast majority of recipients on the list are not customers, ...
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Marketing planning has always required significant investment in time and resources. However, not that long ago when media options were fairly limited, channel choices were pretty clear and communication paths were quite linear, the planning process was fairly uncomplicated. Today, it’s a different story. In fact, today’s multitude of choices often results in a marketing plan with its hat in so many rings that only a very superficial effort can be dedicated to each, leaving some very important big-picture “musts” neglected. Think about the email marketing program that never gains traction or the social media effort that takes hundreds of hours but doesn’t ...
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SOQ blueprint

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Hi team!  I'm new(ish) to the A/E/C industry and am working with my team on developing a SOQ process that works for us. Does anyone have a blueprint, flowchart, SOP or similar they wouldn't mind sharing? Any direction to resources is much appreciated!!!  Thank you,  Lauren Jones ljones@fehr-graham.com
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In the past, most corporate mission statements were fairly identical. They promised quality, exceptional service and competitive pricing, and there wasn’t much that made them stand apart from their competitors. Today, businesses with mission statements like this are known as commodities – and smart companies do everything they can to avoid that trap . Thanks to Simon Sinek’s signature TED Talk “Start With Why,” many have embraced the idea of differentiating on a larger purpose rather than on their products and services, and they work hard to identify what makes their brand truly meaningful – their larger positive impact beyond making money. Think ...
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Four Successful Inbound Marketing Strategies for Your A/E/C Business How to Make Inbound Marketing Work for Your Business It’s no secret that traditional marketing techniques are no longer relevant or effective. With more than 200 million users on the Federal TradeCommission’s Do Not Call registry, telemarketing has become the dinosaur of the marketing industry. Likewise, studies show that 44 percent of direct mail is thrown away without even being opened. Statistics like these ...
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Making a brand come to life is one of the most difficult aspects of the branding process because it requires much planning and coordination, as well as a commitment to creating real and lasting change. What makes it even more challenging is that the very concept of living a brand is often misunderstood. A brand is the perception others have about your company. You can control that perception by being intentional about what and how your brand communicates. To do this well, you need first to articulate the meaning of your brand – the brand platform  – and then to use that foundation to guide the creation of the brand (its verbal and visual identity, design ...
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We all know that summer is the time for home improvement projects. But what you may not realize is that the same tools you use around the house, can be used to improve your brand, too. Use them properly to build on your brand’s point of difference and you won’t even break a sweat – you’ll just break through to the next level of success. Brand Improvement Tool #1: The Level. Align your brand with your business strategy. If your brand is out of balance with your company’s goals and priorities, you won’t get the results you want. Brand Improvement Tool #2: The Hammer. Nail down your focus. Determine what’s working for your company’s brand strategy ...
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