HELP WANTED! The case of the missing marketer.
The scenario. Your AEC industry firm is looking to hire an experienced marketing person to fill a gap on your team or for small to mid-size firms, looking to hire one person to serve as the marketing department. You have gone without this person for at least a month (probably more like four to six). I call this, the case of the missing marketer.
Side Effects of the Missing Marketer
- Overextending your current team. People are being shifted around to cover the workload – taking them away from their primary responsibilities (which is often billable work).
- Hiring the wrong person. You know the importance of filling this role and other firms are also hiring this same position. You make a rash decision and hire one of your first applicants, but turns out that person wasn’t a good fit. Back to square one.
- Declining pursuit of new proposals. If it takes your firm three team members to pursue ten projects, you now find yourself chasing only six projects with two team members. Can your firm afford saying no to new projects?
- Planning of special events go on hold. Perhaps this individual’s role is to plan an annual event. The event date is not shifting but the work that needs completed in preparation is piling up. And a majority of that work is time sensitive.
Remedies for the Missing Marketer
- Clarity of roles and experience. This time of change presents an opportunity for staff to brainstorm their needs and wants. Host a half day retreat, discuss what is working and what is not relative to this position. By the end of the day, you will have a clear and concise description for the missing marketer. Simply dusting off the old job description will not yield the results you are looking for.
- Recruit from within. This situation creates a wonderful opportunity to ask your team – who would be interested in doing this type of work? You may be surprised who has had an interest and never bothered to ask. Junior team members will have a steeper learning curve but may appreciate the exposure to this side of the business.
- Outsource with temporary staff or consultants. Virtual assistants can take much of the administrative burden off your team – however, hiring and training are still required. Qualified consultants with experience in your industry are also available to jump in and help where needed with minimal training. They can complete work such as email correspondence, social media management, proposal revisions, proposal coordination, client outreach, and event planning.
- Promote the position on social media. This works well when your firm is presenting company culture and behind the scenes content consistently through social media. This can be especially useful if you encourage your entire office to share the position to their personal social media accounts. Not just once, but a handful of times will have greater impact.
- Network. Taking time to be active members of your professional organization(s) and SMPS (Society for Marketing Professional Services) will be helpful when looking for a new hire. Please note – there is a difference in being a member and being an active member.
- Look beyond your local market. Technology makes face-to-face interviews a breeze with subscriptions such as Zoom for video conferencing. No longer do you need to discard applicants from out of state.
If your architectural, engineering or construction firm is suffering from a case of the missing marketer – please give us a call. AEC Consultant Group wants to understand your needs and determine how we can best help you achieve success.
Written by: Kim Naughtin
AEC Consultant Group, Principal
We build powerful brands and meaningful relationships.