Dear Fellow - Seeking Appreciation and Respect in the Marketing Department (Part 2)

Two of our Fellows responded to this question—Steve Osborn offered his perspective for last month’s post, and Karen Courtney covers it this month.



Dear Fellow,


HOW can I get the professional staff to understand/appreciate/respect the Marketing Department?


- Seeking R-E-S-P-E-C-T




Dear Seeking R-E-S-P-E-C-T, 


Steve gave some great tips last month about this challenge. Here are some additional ideas of specific steps you can take to help increase the understanding the value of marketing and BD in your firm. 


- Find a supporter within the technical staff who “gets it” and work with them to help convert the others by asking for him or her to occasionally toot your horn about the results you are helping them achieve. This third party validity by a technical peer will go a long way in helping others see the value of what you do.  Some ideas might be helping in their individual sales pursuit responsibilities, assisting in their thought leadership development, partnering with them in creating articles or developing speaking engagements, introducing them as resource experts to editors you know, and helping them navigate social media tools.


- Another thing to be aware of is that busy technical professional don’t like to continually provide the same information over and over again, especially when you are on a deadline and need it now.  So be sure you are modeling best practices about keeping project data up-to-date and taking time to inquire about their work at the appropriate phases so you are informed about the projects on a proactive basis.


- Be the marketer or BD person who deals in data and facts and publish them regularly. Beyond providing basic BD data about wins/losses, marketing data on website analytics, email or direct mail response or open statistics, also procure and share data that is more forward thinking rather than retrospective. Consider providing specific market information or competitive intelligence that can help everyone in the firm. This might take the form of a monthly update about market trends that you can research or projects that have been announced in your geography.  If part of the technical staff’s role is to be up-to-date on the markets they serve, seek ways to be the consolidator and disseminator of this type of information to help them. By publishing it firm wide, you also show the whole firm your marketing and BD skills at providing the kind of data that drives decisions and brings competitive intelligence about the market to the firm.


- And lastly, don’t be shy about taking technical people to SMPS events so that they can practice their networking skills in a “friendly environment” and see that what you do takes some skill, but also witness what marketers and BD professionals bring to the table by seeing them in action.


Karen Courtney, AIA, FSMPS

Director of Business Development

Enverity Engineering








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