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  • Instagram Killed the Glamour Shots Star: Differentiating with Imagery

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Darrin Scott Hunter, an architectural photographer, identity designer, and corporate trainer will lead this session explaining his unique perspectives on making and using A/E/C-specific imagery, from photography through information graphics along a "spectrum of representation" to differentiate marketing approaches toward internal business unit audiences and external competitors.

    On May 30, 2013, the Chicago Sun-Times did the unthinkable. It fired its entire photography staff and mandated iPhone photography training for its field reporters. And the time may be coming when the A/E/C industry could consider it, too. Does that sound crazy? This is a provocative example of what an industry on the verge of extinction (newspapers) is driven to do to survive in an image-saturated and social media driven information culture: make and use nearly free images.

    Darrin Scott Hunter, an architectural photographer, identity designer, and corporate trainer will lead this session explaining his unique perspectives on making and using A/E/C-specific imagery, from photography through information graphics along a "spectrum of representation" to differentiate marketing approaches toward internal business unit audiences and external competitors.

    Hunter will provide a case study illustrating the roles of social media platforms, traditional "glamour shot" architectural photography, and the rise of video content. Small group workshop exercises will provide a clear system of alternative image sourcing strategies, and methods for evaluating best practices toward "brand channeling" and cost control. (1.25 CEUs/1.25 AIA LUs)

    Learning Objectives:

    • Write a photo shoot creative brief that outlines needs, simplifies logistics, and guides photographers toward on-brand imagery.
    • Focus the content of marketing imagery on firm differentiators using the right media channels to support selling actual services.
    • Strategize an image sourcing process that controls cost, increases coverage, helps to manage usage rights, and diversifies stylistic range.
  • Between Zero and Priceless: How the Industry Is Tracking and Measuring ROI

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    When it comes to marketing and proposal efforts, you can't win every hand. But how do you know what you have in your hand? Measuring ROI remains a conundrum in our industry, but some of our peers are making strides by looking at metrics beyond the “bottom line," or proposal “hit rates" and Facebook “likes." This session is based on an SMPS survey conducted July 17-July 31, 2013, where A/E/C marketers shared ways they're making headway to unravel the mystery of ROI. Learn how peers approach the ROI measurement problem in three different marketing areas: 1) Proposals, or specific client pursuits; 2) Marketing awareness and publicity including press releases, advertisements, emailers, newsletters, and more; 3) Marketing events including conferences, office openings, ribbon cuttings and more.

    When it comes to marketing and proposal efforts, you can't win every hand. But how do you know what you have in your hand? Measuring ROI remains a conundrum in our industry, but some of our peers are making strides by looking at metrics beyond the “bottom line," or proposal “hit rates" and Facebook “likes." This session is based on an SMPS survey conducted July 17-July 31, 2013, where A/E/C marketers shared ways they're making headway to unravel the mystery of ROI. Learn how peers approach the ROI measurement problem in three different marketing areas: 1) Proposals, or specific client pursuits; 2) Marketing awareness and publicity including press releases, advertisements, emailers, newsletters, and more; 3) Marketing events including conferences, office openings, ribbon cuttings and more. This interactive workshop that will enable participants to: think about what ROI metrics would be critical based upon their own firm's marketing strategies; learn how to quantify qualitative marketing outcomes; identify processes and tools needed to track and analyze those metrics; and, have more confidence to institute marketing ROI programs in their own firm. (1.25 SMPS CEUs/1.25 AIA LUs)

    Learning Objectives:

    • Understand the importance and challenges of measuring ROI
    • Learn industry best practices as identified through the results of the July 2013 SMPS survey on measuring marketing ROI.
    • Identify what metrics are critical for their own firm's marketing strategies and determine what tools and processes they need to implement a ROI tracking program at their firm.


  • How the Recession Commoditized the A/E Firm + What To Do About It

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    During the recession, a large owner of gas stations and convenience stores issued an RFP for assistance renovating a good portion of its locations as part of a major rebrand -- an RFP that normally would have received 15-20 responses yielded over 11k. While economic conditions have improved drastically over the last few years, the signs of commoditization are still all around us. Yet, we're not talking about them. This program will do just that. We will share key indicators that commoditization is still a very real problem for many architecture and engineering firms, perspectives on the topic from marketers around the country, and suggestions for how marketers can help their firms “de-commoditize."

    During the recession, a large owner of gas stations and convenience stores issued an RFP for assistance renovating a good portion of its locations as part of a major rebrand -- an RFP that normally would have received 15-20 responses yielded over 11k. While economic conditions have improved drastically over the last few years, the signs of commoditization are still all around us. Yet, we're not talking about them. This program will do just that. We will share key indicators that commoditization is still a very real problem for many architecture and engineering firms, perspectives on the topic from marketers around the country, and suggestions for how marketers can help their firms “de-commoditize." (1.25 SMPS CEUs/1.25 AIA LUs)

    Learning Objectives:

    • Identify the key forces driving the commoditization of the practice to raise awareness of the issue with firm leaders.
    • Access real world indicators that commoditization is still a very real problem.
    • Identify paths to “de-commoditize" the firm and build a highly differentiated firm.

  • Many Roles, Many Hats. Perspectives from "Do it All" Marketers and Business Developers

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Do you wear many hats in your firm as a marketer? In many firms, marketers are tasked with proposal and collateral development, but might also engage in: business development, graphic design, public relations, trade shows, advertising, and coaching. It is important to remain organized and sane while investing in your professional development. How do you successfully do it all? How are you evaluated for such a diverse role? Being the one and only marketing and business development person in your firm may come in different forms or have different titles. If you are the only source for business development and marketing in your firm, you must have a unique combination of skills: vision, creativity, design capabilities, strong writing and proposal development skills as well as sales and relationship building skills – all of which work together to help sell your firm's services. This session addresses a number of strategies and perspectives used by marketers who are the single source for marketing and business development in their firms.

    Do you wear many hats in your firm as a marketer? In many firms, marketers are tasked with proposal and collateral development, but might also engage in: business development, graphic design, public relations, trade shows, advertising, and coaching. It is important to remain organized and sane while investing in your professional development. How do you successfully do it all? How are you evaluated for such a diverse role? Being the one and only marketing and business development person in your firm may come in different forms or have different titles. If you are the only source for business development and marketing in your firm, you must have a unique combination of skills: vision, creativity, design capabilities, strong writing and proposal development skills as well as sales and relationship building skills – all of which work together to help sell your firm's services. This session addresses a number of strategies and perspectives used by marketers who are the single source for marketing and business development in their firms. (1.25 CEUs)

    Learning Objectives:

    • Gain perspective from professionals who perform both marketing and business development functions for their firms.
    • Learn tips on how to better organize their time in managing the activities needed for both responsibilities.
    • Gain perspective on how to sell this unique dual skill with their firm's upper management as well as negotiate and help determine performance goals for their position where possible.
  • Marketing Your Firm on a Limited Budget

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 02/16/2016

    As a marketer within an A/E/C firm, you understand how budgets are constantly scrutinized. Being sure to keep overhead low helps improve your firm's bottom line, but makes proactive marketing quite a challenge. High-dollar marketing investments are frowned upon and often aren't even realistic. Our February webinar will focus on how to put together a sustainable, highly effective marketing presence without breaking the bank. When is advertising worthwhile? How can you increase web traffic without paying for each click? What can you do to show sustainable growth in firm awareness? We'll tackle these subjects and more in this upcoming, interactive session.

    As a marketer within an A/E/C firm, you understand how budgets are constantly scrutinized. Being sure to keep overhead low helps improve your firm's bottom line, but makes proactive marketing quite a challenge. High-dollar marketing investments are frowned upon and often aren't even realistic.

    Our February webinar will focus on how to put together a sustainable, highly effective marketing presence without breaking the bank.

    When is advertising worthwhile? How can you increase web traffic without paying for each click? What can you do to show sustainable growth in firm awareness? We'll tackle these subjects and more in this upcoming, interactive session.

    Learning Objectives

    During this webinar, attendees will learn how to:

    1. Identify the best marketing efforts to utilize without committing to huge expenditures
    2. Prioritize marketing efforts and budget allocation based on your goals
    3. Implement tracking measures to monitor marketing success
    4. Understand which social media tools are most worth your time

    CEU Credits

    SMPS Webinars are approved for 1.5 continuing education units for the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) program and 1.5 learning units from the American Institute of Architects. Recordings of SMPS Webinars are approved for 1.5 CPSM CEUs.

    Per-Site Registration Fee*

    SMPS Member Site Registration: $179
    Nonmember Site Registration: $239

    *Remember: Webinars are open to your whole staff. Your team can participate from one location in your office for one fee. Register today and benefit from affordable, convenient, actionable learning and earn valuable CPSM CEUs and AIA LUs!

    Chris Denby

    CEO, Markitecture

    Chris Denby heads up Markitecture, where he helps large and small companies to define clear, effective marketing strategies and deliver powerful executions. Prior to founding Markitecture, he worked with well-known clients such as General Electric, TRC Solutions, Washington Gas, NAHB, and many others to create successful B2B, B2G and B2C communications. Denby holds a bachelor's degree in architecture and an MBA from Virginia Tech and is an SMPS member.

  • From Student to Prospect: How Educational Content Qualifies, Nurtures, and Motivates Leads

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    The words content and content marketing have been tossed around a lot lately, becoming marketing buzzwords almost overnight. But while much has been said about how to create content and on which channels to send it out, few instances have looked at the whole content-nurturing process. Attendees will learn the keys to a carrying out an educational content marketing plan. Through the plan, you'll learn how to increase qualified leads and nurture those leads throughout a guided course of engagement with the firm's specialties and services, using educational opportunities to soft-sell outcomes -- all while positioning the firm as a thought leader.

    The words content and content marketing have been tossed around a lot lately, becoming marketing buzzwords almost overnight. But while much has been said about how to create content and on which channels to send it out, few instances have looked at the whole content-nurturing process. Attendees will learn the keys to a carrying out an educational content marketing plan. Through the plan, you'll learn how to increase qualified leads and nurture those leads throughout a guided course of engagement with the firm's specialties and services, using educational opportunities to soft-sell outcomes -- all while positioning the firm as a thought leader. (1.25 SMPS CEUs/1.25 AIA LUs)

    Learning Objectives:

    • Discover types of content to produce, how to target it most effectively, and how to develop a content calendar.
    • Learn practical methods for producing robust educational content without breaking the budget and ways to gain enthusiastic participation from technical professionals.
    • Find ways to use educational opportunities to convey your firm's services and expertise to target audiences, fostering progressively closer engagements with qualified prospects. Understanding of A/E/C peers successfully educating target audiences with educational (soft-sell) content.
  • Module 3: Easy Ways to Use Graphics in Proposals and Presentations

    Contains 3 Component(s)

    Visuals resonate with people, and using graphics as well-thought-out ways to convey or enhance your message is key to keeping your audience engaged. You don't have to be a graphic designer to use graphics effectively in proposals—all you need is a little creativity.

    (January 27, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET)

    Instructor: Karen Kurta, CPSM, Senior Marketing Project Lead, Balfour Beatty Construction

    Let's face it, nobody looks at a proposal and says, “Yay, it's all words!” Yet most of the time we use pages and pages of text or wordy bullets and wonder why our message gets lost. Visuals resonate with people, and using graphics as well-thought-out ways to convey or enhance your message is key to keeping your audience engaged. You don't have to be a graphic designer to use graphics effectively in proposals—all you need is a little creativity. From tag lines and photos, to charts and infographics, this session will examine the graphic tools available to create better materials. Using real-world examples, we'll explore creative alternatives to traditional text and bullet points and cover tips and tricks for those with no graphic-design help.

    During the session, participants will:

    • Understand why visual communication is so effective
    • Learn about the most effective types of graphics and how to use them to support your message
    • Compare different methods of conveying information in proposals and presentations
    • Learn how to easily build simple graphics and see examples of them used in actual proposals and presentations
    • Learn about resources and tips/tricks for inexpensive stock fonts and graphics

    Karen Kurta, CPSM

    Senior Marketing Associate Cushman & Wakefield

    A three-time marketing excellence award winner, Karen excels in graphic design, photography, and proposal writing, specializing in assembling complex pieces into concise and cohesive marketing materials. She is known for efficiency, creativity, and the drive to continuously improve her skills.

    Her career spans various industries including construction and commercial real estate. For eight years, she managed complex proposals and developed presentations, graphics, collateral, advertising, and project photography for two global construction firms. She is currently a Senior Graphic Designer for Cushman & Wakefield—a global commercial real estate firm—where she provides graphic design, photography, and marketing support for over 40 brokers in two markets.

    Karen is a CPSM and a member of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) and the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). She is also the owner of a Central Florida-based photography business specializing in real estate, portraits, and fine art.  

  • Module 2: The Simplest Ways to Make the Best of Proposal Writing

    Contains 3 Component(s)

    Many people find proposal writing difficult, tiresome, frustrating, or even annoying. But is doesn't have to be. Instead of focusing on the little details (like capitalization and comma placement), this session will zero in on the big wins. You'll learn tricks, formulas, and tactics that will make creating a winning proposal far easier and less time consuming

    (January 20, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET)

    Instructor: Matthew Handal, Manager - Business Development, Trauner Consulting Services, Inc.

    Do you wake up in the morning with a smile because today is the day you get to write a proposal? If you answered no, that's because you are normal. Many people find proposal writing difficult, tiresome, frustrating, or even annoying. But is doesn't have to be. Instead of focusing on the little details (like capitalization and comma placement), this session will zero in on the big wins. You'll learn tricks, formulas, and tactics that will make creating a winning proposal far easier and less time consuming. By the end, you'll know how to easily craft compelling copy that your clients' eyes will be glued to.

    During the session, participants will learn how to:

    • Use the KLT Sales Hook to write a compelling firm profile
    • Get the right message across in your cover letter
    • Write a technical approach that actually contains an approach
    • Craft narratives for your project experience and résumés

    Matthew Handal

    Manager/Business Development, Trauner Consulting Services, Inc

    Matt Handal was a marketer submitting boilerplate proposals and materials that were indistinguishable from his competitors. He had no idea how to convince new clients to buy his firm's services. And worst of all, nobody would listen to him. One day, he stumbled upon some academic research on how people really make decisions. Since then, he has helped his firm win new assignments, convinced government clients to give his firm sole source contracts, written one of the most popular books about proposal writing, and flown across the country to teach clients how to apply Mind Marketing to their business.

  • How to Win a Pitch

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 01/19/2016

    The biggest challenge in a sales presentation isn't convincing the client you're qualified. It's separating yourself from your highly qualified competitors by creating a better connection with the audience. Join SMPS for a highly engaging webinar that focuses on the fundamentals you must execute better than your competition if you want to consistently improve your chances of winning.

    You left no stone unturned in your quest to ensure the client would select you.

    You took the time to presell and build a solid relationship with a prospective client. Your proposal was well-received, you were deemed highly qualified, and you were invited to interview. As the date drew near, you prepared a dazzling slide deck, covering the history of your firm, bios of your key team members, a plethora of relevant previous experience, and a detailed technical approach for successfully completing the project on time and within budget.

    Yet in the end, they chose another firm. Sound familiar?

    The biggest challenge in a sales presentation isn't convincing the client you're qualified. It's separating yourself from your highly qualified competitors by creating a better connection with the audience. Join SMPS for a highly engaging webinar that focuses on the fundamentals you must execute better than your competition if you want to consistently improve your chances of winning.

    Learning Objectives

    During this webinar, attendees will learn:

    1. Identify and craft simple, listener-centered messages
    2. Develop a personal delivery style that allows you to better connect with your audience
    3. Prepare for and answer questions in a way that inspires confidence

    CEU Credits

    SMPS Webinars are approved for 1.5 continuing education units for the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) program and 1.5 learning units from the American Institute of Architects. Recordings of SMPS Webinars are approved for 1.5 CPSM CEUs.

    Per-Site Registration Fee*

    SMPS Member Site Registration: $179
    Nonmember Site Registration: $239

    *Remember: Webinars are open to your whole staff. Your team can participate from one location in your office for one fee. Register today and benefit from affordable, convenient, actionable learning and earn valuable CPSM CEUs and AIA LUs!

    Matthew J. Frankel, CPSM

    Chief Relationship Builder, Speechworks

    As a seasoned communications coach and trainer, Frankel's passion lies in helping professionals who deal with complex, technical subject matters to communicate their messages in a simple, persuasive way that inspires confidence from their listeners. His training experience includes serving as an advanced pilot ground instructor, graduate teaching assistant, corporate sales trainer, executive coach, and faculty member at Georgia Tech. Prior to Speechworks, Frankel spent nearly a decade leading the marketing and sales training efforts for a top-100 A/E firm. He currently serves on the education committee for SMPS Atlanta, and is a past co-chair for the SMPS Southeast Regional Conference.

  • Module 1: How to Develop a Capture Plan

    Contains 3 Component(s)

    Like the coach who's determined to win Sunday's game, your proposal efforts need a game plan and a strategy for winning. This practical program will give you a guided five-step process that will make your proposal laser-focused on your client's needs and priorities.

    (January 13, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET)

    Instructor: David Stone, President, blüStone Marketing

    Like the coach who's determined to win Sunday's game, your proposal efforts need a game plan and a strategy for winning. This practical program will give you a guided five-step process that will make your proposal laser-focused on your client's needs and priorities. It will highlight the traits of the firm they're looking to hire and let you stand out from the huge pile of competitors' 'me-too' proposals. Do you want to drive up your hit rate and win more projects? This program is where to begin.

    During the session, participants will learn how to:

    • Understand the three-prong approach to an aggressive win strategy
    • Discover the four methods your firm can use to differentiate itself from competitors when competing for a project
    • Use the five brainstorming questions to build a capture plan
    • Weave the results of the brainstorming process into the elements of your proposal

    David Stone

    President, blüStone Marketing

    David Stone has advised hundreds of design and construction firms around the globe ranging in size from one person to $2 billion in annual revenue. He's a sought-after speaker at conferences around the world and the author of 15 books including, Wired, which is used in the CPSM program. With a career that began in architecture in the mid-70s, Stone has held every position from draftsman to principal. He has witnessed and experienced the massive changes this industry has faced and continues to explore new ways to promote and sell design and construction services. He splits his time between Savannah, GA, and Vancouver, BC.