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August 4, 2011

A Letter from SMPS Boston President, Matt Hawk, Sr. Marketing Coordinator at Fay, Spofford & Thorndike

Sponsorship provides a great means of broadening your competitive edge by improving your company’s image, prestige, and credibility by supporting events that your target market finds attractive. I recently had a discussion with one of SMPS Boston’s Sponsor and I was enlightened by an insight that I hadn’t considered, but hit me over the head like retreiving a dropped fork from under the table at dinner time. SMPS is a horizontal silo offering marketing education across a number of vertical silos, architects, engineers, and contractors in particular and the organizations they support in general.

Marketing is a culture [read service] within the AEC industry. It supports the product: customer service and engineering in the case of my company. We have to ask for money to support a lifestyle, our culture. That’s hard to do, but it is something our firms believe in because we have 250 members in our organization.

MissionThe important question we have to answer and provide our principals [read potential sponsor] is this: Does SMPS know which of our assets are of most interest to companies? We have the principals’ buy-in for their marketing professionals, but not consistently for their designers or them. Our goal, therefore, may be to elevate our mission to encapsulate and offer the ‘other’ in our mission statement (right) better.

So that means our sponsorships need to be transformed into partnerships to truly drive bottom-line value for all areas the AEC circles, touches, and overlaps: companies, associations, sponsors and members, or event attendees. Successful partnerships are clearly outlined with objectives for all involved. Then SMPS and our partners must work together toward meeting the objectives with an end game that changes behavior, not just recognition.

We have a broad reach and a culture of marketing to nurture and feed. Marketing isn’t a dirty little secret we’re trying to hide, it’s a pretty important service that assists to keep our designers and builders billable. Within the AEC, I think SMPS has carved out a nice piece of the pie in offering valuable marketing education especially to the membership as well as the principals and technical professionals. The principals are the ones that sign the checks, and this is where SMPS can get stronger in our offerings.

In the coming days, SMPS Boston will be looking to work with you to form a partnership through conversation. We have a number of corporate sponsorship levels, but each one of them can be worked to determine the best fit. We will establish key objectives for this partnership and work to over deliver on the value.

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