Upcoming Events

    May 29

    Heartland Regional Conference

    Join fellow SMPS members from regional chapters at the Heartland Regional Conference in Detroit this May!

    Jun 20

    Education Series: Uncovering the Hidden Buying Process to Outmaneuver your Competitors

    In this interactive session, Shad will cover the hidden process and weaknesses that cause us to fall into these traps. He will also help you to learn how prospects buy and how to avoid falling into the typical buyers’ traps before an RFQ is sent out.

    First Quarter 2019 Print

    Featured Article

    I believe that a thirst for knowledge combined with the need to better understand the world around you can inspire amazing personal growth and help you become a Smart Marketer. For example, my seven-year-old twins have found every hiding spot we have for candy. Their thirst for knowledge (where did Daddy hide the candy) and the need to better understand the world around them (how to safely stack things to climb up to the top shelf) have led them to find every scrap of chocolate in our house before we get out of bed Saturday mornings. What would happen in our careers if we applied the boys’ motivation for Skittles to our next sales goal? Think of the possibilities!   

    At the beginning of the year, many of us set resolutions or goals with the hope to inspire change in our lives or our firms. I find that the goals that tend to stick are the ones with planning behind them. One method I find particularly useful is SMART goals.

    • Start with what you want to accomplish and be SPECIFIC. The more detailed you are the more likely it is that you will reach your goal. “Candy Breakfast!”

    • Make sure that some part of it is MEASURABLE, but don’t set the goal too high. Make it something that you can complete realistically. “Can't find our candy. I think Mommy has some from Valentine's. We have to find where Daddy hid it.”

    • Look at what you need to ACHIEVE the goal and make sure you have the skills to get it done. “Hey, put the box on that chair. I bet Daddy put the chocolate hearts in the Ritz box again. It's on the top shelf!”

    • Make sure the goal is RELEVANT to your long-term goals. If you are a construction firm you might not want to launch a line of hair ribbons. “Candy is relevant Mommy!”

    • Finally, you have to make the goal TIME-BOUND. This can be either a short-term goal: “We gotta eat all this candy before Mommy gets up.” or a long-term goal: "Whoo! Candy Breakfast every Saturday."

    There are some great templates out there if you want help getting started with SMART goals. We use SMART when setting our short-term and long-term goals for our marketing department. It has been very satisfying to watch goals that were planned and set into motion last year bear fruit. The boys' goal of having Candy Breakfast every weekend this year has not worked out. They found the candy but forgot to throw away the wrappers. 

    Now, I’m off to go find another hiding place for my Valentines candy. There is still a little chocolate left and I don’t want to share.

    Thanks for reading!

    Harmony Gratzer, CPSM | Editor of the SMPS Indiana Newsletter 
    Director of Marketing for Lochmueller Group, Inc.

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    The Power of Participation

    January 9, 2019

    SMPS Indiana kicked off its first event of the year on January 9, with a program called The Power of Participation. Following an unstated tradition of having the SMPS National President visit Indianapolis for the chapter’s first event of the year, Chris Rickman traveled from Oklahoma City, OK where he is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at ZFI Engineering Co., to share his vision of the association’s aspirations for 2019. These aspirations included a review of the new vision statement which was revealed during Build Business 2018: Business Transformed through Marketing Leadership.  

    Chris talked about the differences between marketing and business development, where marketing is a company’s brand that produces materials for the pursuit of a project. Marketing also helps drive profit goals and assists Business Development. Business development professionals hold the client relationship and help secure profitable work for the company.  

    Chris also touched base on the importance of each company having a multi-year strategic plan with objectives that include a mission that is reflective of your brand, and specific goals that demonstrate the company value and offer a consistent experience for clients.  

    For 2019, Chris encouraged each member to take advantage of opportunities that are coming up with the organization to enhance your professional roles. 

    A brief refresher of the neSMPS branding that was unveiled at Build Business last summer was also shown. 

    During a fireside chat following his presentation, Chris, and Karen Courtney, AIA, FSMPS, CPSM, and past national president, stressed the importance of having a strong network. They answered questions and shared personal experiences in their professions where the power of networking helped them succeed.

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    Community Service

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    Get to Know SMPS Indiana Corporate Sponsors

    At CORE Planning Strategies, we provide program management skills that help organizations increase their efficiencies, achieve their ideal capital improvements, and transform their communities. Consistent with our focus on transformation, CORE is proud to support SMPS Indiana and the overall SMPS vision of “business transformed through marketing leadership.”

    CORE is sponsoring SMPS Indiana for the first time, but we’ve been involved in the chapter for a long time, having supported SMPS through time, talents, and membership. We’re excited to engage with a great organization that helps design and construction firms advance their marketing and business development efforts.

    Repro Graphix is your local family owned and operated on-demand print and display graphics partner. We are grateful to have been serving our clients and community since 1985 and have been a proud supporter of SMPS Indiana for as long as we can remember!

    Beyond the production of construction documentation, Repro intimately aligns with SMPS’s mission as we have the daily pleasure of bringing marketing visions to life. Our passion is creating branded environments and tangible marketing pieces that make a lasting impact on your audience.

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    SMPS Past President Spotlight

    As marketing and business development professionals in today’s A/E/C world, we wear many hats. With more to do than we usually have time, it is extremely important to streamline processes to efficiently accomplish your tasks. Below are some valuable tips that have been shared with me, ones that I have learned over the years, and a few that I really need to implement in my daily life.  

    • Begin your day the same way (when possible). Whatever that means to you – enjoying a cup of coffee or taking a walk before you start your day. Clear your mind before you set out to conquer your day! 

    • Deal with difficult situations first! We always seem to procrastinate when we need to deal with something we really don’t want to, and that is why we really should focus on those tasks first. 

    • Use your SMPS network for help and support! 

    • Approach everything with a work smarter attitude. Be efficient and maintain a strategic focus. 

    • I’m going old school here. Carry a notebook and pen. Write ideas down that pop into your head. Make a to-do list and cross them off as you are finished with them. 

    • Leverage core competencies of other people. You won’t be great at everything; therefore, collaborate with those people who are experts in those areas you are not. Delegate when you can. 

    • Make better communication a priority – take notes, send summaries, identify next steps and share with people. Also, get away from emailing or texting all the time. Talk to people in person as it helps build better relationships. 

    • Use technology to your advantage, such as automation tools for social media. Buffer, Hootsuite, IFTTTSocedoCoscheduleCurata, Edgar and Tailwind are a few to check out. 

    • Make a “to-don’t” list. Meaning, list all the things you shouldn’t waste your time on (unnecessary meetings, phone calls, etc.) and stick to it. Place right next to your “to-do” list. 

    • Don’t become frustrated with things you can’t control, roll with the punches and refocus. 

    • Learn as much as you can: ask questions, take classes, go to conferences, read more. This also creates networking opportunities! This will take some time but will help you work smarter later on. 

    • As John Wooden says, “Be quick but don’t hurry.” 

    • Respond to emails and calls in a timely manner. Even if you need to tell them you will have to get back to them, people appreciate the courtesy. 

    • Have a plan – an annual strategic marketing/BD plan and execution plans for significant activities/events throughout the year 

    • We all need a break from work. Take one day each week when you don’t work. It will not only be good for you personally but also good for your business. 

    I’m sure there are a lot of great ideas out there! What do you do to work smarter, not harder? Please share your tips with the rest of our SMPS members. 

    Heather Cox, CPSM | SMPS Indiana Past President 
    Director of Marketing and Client Relations, CE Solutions 

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    How We Get it Done


    So it's down to the wire. Again. You need a picture for a proposal or a social media post and you don't have a graphic designer or Photoshop. What does a Smart Marketer do? 

    Snappa is an online graphics editor that lets you edit photos and create graphics on the fly all without leaving your browser.

    Don't have a picture? No problem! They have photos, graphics, and fonts all 100% royalty-free and licensed for commercial use. But I'm not a designer, you say. They have that covered with their hundreds of pre-made templates for the graphics challenged among us. No worries! They even have a free starter plan so you can try it out! 


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    New Member Spotlight

    Brittany Burke is one of the new members of SMPS Indiana and has already become an active participant by volunteering on the Communications Committee. She was happy to answer a few questions and let all of us get to know her a little better.

    What motivates you?

    Anything that pushes me out of my comfort zone. Challenges are just that—challenging, but I find myself wanting to work harder to accomplish the task at hand.

    What is the best piece of professional advice you've ever received?

    Always have a positive attitude. There may be days where things don’t go the way you plan, but I do believe how you react is incredibly important in terms of attitude.

    What brought you into the AEC industry?

    I am actually brand new to the industry! I worked for two university’s prior to this role, so it’s been really fun to learn about the impactful work this industry does!

    What is something about you that no one would expect?

    I grew up on a farm. My family has corn and soybeans and I remember riding in the fields on combines with my grandpa. He taught me the value of hard work and what it meant to appreciate the small things in life.

    Here's the BIG question: are you Team Pie or Team Cake?

    Team cake all the way. I never loved pie, but a piece of wedding cake is something I always look forward to enjoying at weddings!

    Brittany serves as a Marketing Manager for ESCO Communications and has been with the company for nearly a year and a half. In her role, she helps manage strategic marketing initiatives, overall brand management, and employee engagement initiatives. Brittany graduated from Purdue University in 2012 with a degree in Communications. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband, Nick and enjoys running, spending time with friends, and keeping up with her five nephews.

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    Industry Article

    What your Clients Want you to Know

    Shortlist presentations are so stressful! Many firms put in so much time and work just to see another firm take home the prized project. The client has seen your proposal and hopefully already talked to you at length about the opportunity and their ideas before the RFP came out. So why shortlist for an interview? What else could they possibly need to know?

    Rich Friedman, of Friedman & Partners, compiled his numerous debrief interviews to give us a glimpse into what the clients are thinking, what they want to hear, and how to work smarter during your next shortlist presentation.

    What Your Clients Want You To Know About Your Next Shortlist Presentation

    Marketer, February 2017

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    President's Corner

    Recently SMPS Indiana hosted an event with a panel that included SMPS National President Chris Rickman and our own SMPS Fellow and Past President Karen Courtney. They discussed the power of participation. I wanted to spend a few moments to share my thoughts and experience to that topic as well.

    I joined SMPS in 2011.  The reason I joined SMPS was to learn about the A/E/C community.  I had changed jobs in 2010 coming into a market that was slightly different than my past experiences.  I heard about SMPS from a colleague and he suggested that I attend one of the programs. I don’t recall the program topic, but what I do recall is the warmth and friendliness of everyone I met.  

    Shortly after that first program, I decided to join, I also have learned over the years that simply joining an organization doesn’t give you the most benefit, you have to become involved.  I joined my first committee which was the education committee.  From there I chaired the Education Committee.  I also served as chair for the sponsorship committee for a couple of years and now serve as President.

    SMPS has helped me make meaningful contacts, I have learned a great deal regarding the A/E/C community and how to navigate this industry.  In addition, I have made great friends both here locally and nationally.  Friends that not only on a personal level but friends that are there to be mentors professionally as well.

    I would encourage you to become active in SMPS, not just be a member, but be an engaged member! We have many opportunities to serve on committees as well as leadership roles on the board.  The following link will get you to the list of our current board members.  https://smpsindiana.org/board.php Reach out to one of them to become part of a committee!   Being an engaged member will get you on the path of being “Smart Marketer, Smarter Leader”.

    Finally, in March please be looking for our call for nominations for the 2019 / 2020 fiscal year.  Please consider submitting an application to be a part of the board for next year.  Thank you for being part of SMPS Indiana, it is all of you that make this organization great!

    Mike Harmon | President SMPS Indiana

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    Upcoming Events

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