Marketing plan template tips for selling the project management expertise of companies or teams involved in projects.
Project management expertise or conveying a good reputation in completing projects on time and within budget enables construction project management companies, consulting and/or design firms, systems integrators, research firms, movie companies or defense contractors to efficiently market their service suites online and offline. Harmonious relations with clients, suppliers and workers are also keys to marketing efficiency. Good reputations and harmonious relationships create value that translates to higher profit margins and bigger sales.
Here are 10 pointers that cover building a good reputation and industrial harmony which are essential in any marketing plan online and offline.
- Cooperate and Collaborate with Suppliers or Sub-Contractors.
Partnering with non-competing suppliers or sub-contractors has many advantages. Aside from operations leverage which result in benefits such as good payment terms that stretch cash for better burn rate management, project companies that cooperate and collaborate also achieve marketing and reputation leverage.
Marketing leverage occurs when the marketing resources of partners are combined to achieve business referrals, free advertisements in each other’s printed marketing materials online and offline or shared costs in marketing events.
Reputation leverage happens via association. A projects company that has several well-established partners will not be seen as a fly-by-night enterprise. Moreover, many well-chosen partners create a bandwagon effect that demonstrates trustworthiness.
- Get Written or Video Testimonials.
When implementing projects, companies as a matter of policy should require their project managers to always get positive written or video feedback from clients or client personnel. With the right mind frame and timing, this feedback can be obtained from willing and happy clients. The marketing budget should always allot a sufficient amount for documented testimonials expenses.
Positive written or video testimonials ensure future sales since new clients are most likely to be convinced when other clients say good things about the company.
- Say It with Pictures and Images.
Pictures and images say a thousand words. These can convey several messages that no amount of advertising copy can deliver. For instance, in software companies marketing databases, Informix brochures seldom had pictures of humans in them while Oracle, DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server are replete with smiling and well-dressed professionals.
Project management expertise is mainly about managing teams of people. Material symbols of the project company’s technical expertise should always be accompanied with people. People in hardhats represent physical engineering. People standing against a backdrop of computers represent information technology, and so on.
- Make the Company Website SEO-Friendly.
Ask for mutual hyperlinks in the websites of partners and suppliers. Establish a corporate presence in two or three social networking sites then link to the main company website to improve page rankings in search engines. Hire writers with search engine optimization skills to make the company website SEO-friendly and increase traffic. Good narrow-casted SEO is more effective and cost-efficient than paid broadcasted online advertisements.
- Adapt to the Client’s Culture.
When deploying globally, project companies should ensure that their project managers and staff can adapt to the client’s local culture most especially in face-to-face meetings. Localization management should not only cover how local temporary project staff can adapt to the global standards of the company and the culture of its project managers. Cultural insensitivity is a major sign of project management incompetence.
- Get Certifications.
ISO, SEI CMMI, ITIL, Six Sigma and other quality management system certifications improve potential client’s perceptions on the professionalism and expertise of the projects company. Likewise, other professional certifications for key project staff enable project companies to charge good margins. Company-sponsored certifications for project staff tied with continuity contracts of employment pay-off most especially when project proposals require an inventory of staff and their qualifications.
- Fill-in the Gaps in Expertise.
Negotiate retainer contracts with consultants to build a pool of experts with various specializations. Part of the negotiations should include listing their names or companies as partners in project proposals, marketing brochures or the company website.
When employees with scarce technical expertise find higher-paying jobs in other companies, project companies should negotiate weekends or after-hours consulting contracts with them. A retainer contract with a signing bonus can tie these valuable employees to work at a future date on their free time for future projects even when they are already employed in another company.
- Position in a Niche Market.
Specialization almost always connotes expertise which enables project companies to charge premium rates or keep operating costs down.
- Invest in Well-Packaged and Well-Written Project Proposals and Reports.
Project proposals and reports reflect on the company. Graphic artists that can create appealing but prudent covers and layouts, writers that can clearly organize the thoughts of technical experts and a sub-contractor that can bind reports into professional-looking, hardbound books should be part of any projects company.
- Manage for Good Publicity, Stay Away from Bad Publicity.
Social psychologists have discovered in experiments that commitments made public are likely to be kept. Consequently, project companies that maintain good relations with reliable news organizations online and offline are apt to attract good publicity. Press releases or newsworthy events such as contract signing of a project that will affect a community positively when published ensure that the project owner will stick with the project from start to finish. Moreover, every project completion adds up to a good reputation.