As a professional who works on the technical side of things, the networking aspect of marketing definitely does not come naturally to me. Granted, this certainly isn’t the case for everyone working in a technical aspect – plenty of engineers, specification writers, and drafts-people are wonderful at networking, rubbin’ elbows, schmoozing, and otherwise being professionally social in the name of bettering business relationships. While I do try to put my best foot forward, it is just not the avenue I excel at, which is fine. Really. Because why would someone want to stand there talking to me about the weather (which I don’t keep up on), or global politics (again, don’t keep up with it), when they could sit back and listen to me talk about a topic I do know something about – building forensics.
Brown bags (or lunch-n-learns, as your office may call them) is one of the better ways I have found to market not only my company, but myself. I can stand up and talk for an hour about something I find interesting and am proficient in.
Person A: “Who was that vivacious woman talking about the importance of the building envelope dynamics?”
Person B: “Oh that was Allison from CPS, Ltd.! Wasn’t she fantastic?!”
While brown bags tend to be an easy marketing experience for a technical professional such as myself (you usually only have to explain what you do once, and you only really have to talk about what you know), another avenue I have found to be inviting is turning my creative flare, along with my almost-but-not-quite hip-and-with-it 30-something status, towards marketing material development. I know it doesn’t sound all that fun, and I’m sure for some it just sounds like the pits, but helping to update and transform our company’s marketing materials, and really overall printed appearance, while not for everyone, has been quite rewarding. Even for people who aren’t creative, input as to the actual use of, and more importantly reception of, a company’s marketing materials is critical.
What is the point in having brochures that no one is going to look at because they are dated and boring? As someone who is on the younger end of things in my office, I look at our print materials and think; “If I was handed this pamphlet that was created 10 years ago, would I look at it? Would I care what was inside? Am I already assuming it’s irrelevant because it just LOOKS old?” There is a big difference in the way the younger generation looks at printed materials – we want bold, to the point, information. Clear. Concise. No nonsense.”Just the facts, ma’am.” (That’s right – I threw a Dragnet reference in there to highlight what a younger generation wants. Maybe I think Joe Friday should be a generational hero. Feel free to disagree.) But, this is something important to consider as a younger technical professional – yes, we are attempting to market with an older (and WISER, did I mention wiser?) demographic that appreciates a different aesthetic, but we are also marketing to our technical peers, who represent a client base that will carry on into our older and wiser years. Who better to help develop and transition a company’s marketing efforts and materials than those who are setting up tomorrow’s project teams?
It’s that whole roots and wings thing I guess.
RRC, LEED Green Associate
Construction Process Solutions, Ltd.