Yesterday I gave a presentation to the Society for Marketing Professional Services, DC Chapter on the topic of marketing in an unstable economy. SMPS is made up of marketing and business development professionals from diverse backgrounds, including architecture, engineering, planning, interior design, construction and specialty consulting firms. Much of the information I discussed was based on a research study that Hinge conducted earlier this year.

Speaking to a group of professionals is always interesting and enjoyable. You never quite know where the conversation will take you. A very small portion of my presentation touched on marketing tactics that are yet unproven from an ROI perspective—but which are picking up momentum in professional circles. One of these tactics is social marketing. To my surprise, this topic generated a lot of excitement, debate and concern. Attendees spoke passionately about lack of message control, author credibility and who within an organization should participate in social media outreach. The professionals in attendance were genuinely interested in the role this communication medium will play within the marketing and branding of professional services firms. Interestingly, none of the attendees were early adopters of social media—so professionals appear to be taking a cautious approach right now.

I'm convinced social media will bring about a paradigm shift for organizations as they connect with their audiences. I am curious to learn about professional services firms in the A/E/C industry that are investing and utilizing social media tactics. Thoughts?