Many companies not capitalizing on digital advertising or know-how, AIA report finds | Information
A new report from the American Institute of Architects found that corporate marketing is still underutilized by American architecture firms. The result is part of the newly published report on technology, culture and the future of the architecture firm, which examines the influence of technology adoption on workflows and profitability in US practices.
The 69-page report, which is free to download, finds that cultural and technological barriers are currently preventing companies from embracing business development and marketing as a means of ensuring growth. “89% of respondents agree that relationships are more important than marketing to attracting new business, and only 43% agree that digital / social marketing is important to them,” the report said. “However, companies that use social media manage to generate leads through these channels.”
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When asked what factors are likely to drive their growth over the next three years, 86% of architects said existing clients were very important, while 85% gave client recommendations. Only 24% thought digital marketing was very important.
“Architects expect future business growth to come from the same sources as past growth,” the report said. “Only a minority consider proactive sales / business development efforts or digital marketing important. This is a great opportunity for companies. ”
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In particular, the report points to the finding that only 25% of companies with fewer than five employees are on Facebook, with less than 20% on Instagram. The report also finds that only 20% of businesses use customer relationship management (CRM) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, which use data analytics to drive customer interactions and business processes. It was found that companies using such solutions perform significantly better in project management and are also more confident about future growth.
In its analysis, the report also found that corporate adoption of digital technologies correlated with company size. Small companies with fewer than ten employees usually manage IT internally and rely on ad hoc support from third parties. The report recommends that companies of this size give priority to adopting cloud solutions to improve collaboration skills and take advantage of social media.
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For medium-sized companies between 10 and 49 employees, around 50% of whom also rely on ad hoc technical support, the report recommends establishing a stable contractual relationship with a management service provider (MSP) in order to streamline business processes. In contrast, 68% of companies with 50 to 99 employees have their own IT department, although third-party providers are also used. The report recommends such firms to prioritize the adoption of project management solutions and cloud migration.
In the largest companies with more than 100 employees, 94% have dedicated IT departments and rarely outsource this role. The report recommends such firms to prioritize the use of new technology and better marketing solutions.
“Business leaders can no longer assume that technology in practice applies to CAD, BIM, AR, VR, XR, drones, and project management / ERP systems,” the report warns. “There’s more to the story that many companies need to consider in order to grow and thrive.”