Congratulations, you’ve just hired a new marketing professional! Although this may be his or her first job in the A/E/C industry, here are 8 steps you can take to make your new professional’s transition from novice to proficient marketer a little easier through a 8-step onboarding process.
Introductory Email. You’d be surprised how many firms forget this small step. When you first hire a marketing professional, make sure you send out an email to the entire firm that talks about your new employee’s background, what they’ll be working on as they get onboarded, and the fact that they’ll probably be reaching out to many of your team members with questions.
Website Review. Although your marketing professional probably did a pretty thorough review of your website before joining your firm, have them do another review of your firm’s website as well as your competitors. Schedule a meeting to discuss everything that they’ve learned. Make sure your new employee understands the services your firm provides, the sectors your firm targets, and how your firm compares to other companies that sell your same services.
Review of RFQs, RFPs, and Marketing Materials. Showing your new marketer where all of these materials live and then giving him or her time to digest some of this material, will be a great help to your new employee. It also doesn’t hurt for you to give some of this same information to some of your new technical hires as well.
Employee Interviews. Since you mentioned it in the introductory email (Step 1), let your new marketer start interviewing key staff in your organization so they can learn more about how your company does what it does. Your new marketer should be given some guidelines as far as how many people to contact and interview each week. Interviews should only be 10-15 minutes and cover: what each employee does for the firm; their favorite projects they’ve worked on; what professional organizations they’re apart of; and their market sector focus.
The Pitch. After a thorough review of the website, marketing materials, and interviews with a few key staff members, your new marketer should be able to craft a personalized pitch of what your firm actually does. The pitch should answer the following questions: What is your role in the company? Who does your company help? How does your company help with these clients? What sets them apart? What are the biggest and best projects you’ve done? How can someone help you? Your new marketer should be able to give you a pitch that sounds a little like: “Hi my name is Sally Smith and I’m the marketing coordinator for XYZ Contracting. XYZ Contracting is extremely knowledgeable in building modern office buildings throughout in Austin, Texas. Some of our most well-known projects include the 123 Office Building and the A1A Office Building. I’m looking for contacts involved with designing office buildings, so that I can tell them about the fantastic services we provide. Do you know anyone that I can talk to?”
Connect with SMPS. Once a new marketer has their pitch developed, a next step is to help them build their network. SMPS or other professional organizations can be a great way for a new marketer to continue learning and growing.
Meet Existing Clients. If you have a few existing clients that you’re comfortable with introducing to your new marketer, this can be a great way for him or her to begin learning key issues to look for when finding new clients, and how to ensure your existing clients stay happy.
Recap and Start Formulating a Marketing Plan. After your new marketer has begun to form relationships within SMPS or a similar professional organization, interviewed your firm’s staff and clients, he or she now has a basic understanding of your company, your clients, and the industry. It now might be a good time to set some goals towards creating a marketing plan so that you and your new marketer can continue to help your firm grow.
Hiring and retaining staff is one of the most pressing challenges for senior staff in A/E/C firms. By making sure that you have a simple plan for onboarding your marketing staff, you’ll create a better experience for your new marketer, your firm will have a better understanding of how to engage the new employee in their new role, and your firm will experience less new employee turnover.