In this blog post, we'll talk about thinking outside the page and how to leverage digital assets to engage your clients. We live in exciting times! Gone are the days of the past when we were confined to an 8.5 x 11 cell, with 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced and printed front to back. Marketers are finding ways to grab readers' attention and draw them outside the page. Sure, we can put hyperlinks into our PDFs, but the good news is there are a lot more options available to us today.
QR Codes Are Back!
We all are familiar with the Coinbase Superbowl ad, viewers played an engaging game by following a QR code to win! Although QR codes aren’t new, it’s amazing how they re-emerged during the COVID pandemic. It's become a kind of compulsion – we have to see where that code leads. Even though it may be just another website, we are all intrigued. Thank you Coinbase for giving people a reason to scan that QR code! What if in our proposals we had a code beside a client quote that leads to a video that has that same client giving their full testimonial about our client or service? What if a different QR code led to a video about a specific project showing a panoramic view of the entire site? Our proposals no longer have to be confined to the page. We can use something as simple as a QR code to entice our proposal selection committee members to enjoy experiencing our documents.
Microsites are “an auxiliary website with independent links and address that is accessed mainly from a larger site” (Oxford) or a mini-website and they create a new world for AEC marketers. When using a microsite, marketers are no longer confined to just text and images. We can now use video and interactive maps. ProjectMark's Microsite feature gives users the ability to create what is essentially a custom proposal or statement of qualifications online. How many of us wish we knew what our client’s paid attention to as he or she flipped through our proposals? Now they can. Not only that, but prospective clients can also have a fully customized experience. They can see similar projects in size and scope to their upcoming project. As a bonus, each time a prospective client clicks or zooms within a ProjectMark Microsite, the marketer gets analytics on which pages and aspects of the microsite were clicked on and how long the prospective client stayed on a particular page. These analytics help marketers quickly understand what pages and information are resonating with their prospective audiences and what adjustments need to be made for improvement.
When Building Information Modeling (BIM) came into existence, the AEC industry was captivated by how it could create better collaboration between teams and enhanced modeling with the new technology. Now, many forward-thinking firms are using augmented reality to create a new experience for prospective clients. Owners no longer want to look at representations of their buildings, they want to experience them prior to construction (think Pokemon except you are now standing on the actual project site viewing the building through your phone instead of a cute fuzzy creature). Augmented reality gives AEC professionals the opportunity to make the project become alive for its clients. AEC Business.com has a great list of augmented reality emerging technologies and this could be the next step we see in our presentations to clients.
Think outside the page! Find ways to incorporate microsites, videos, and even QR codes into your printed documents to engage your proposal selection committee members in new ways. Do you have some ideas on how to think outside the page? Feel free to share them with us below.