Excessive Development Examine 2022: AEC Corporations Go Digital


Whereas 2021 confirmed many Structure, Engineering & Building (AEC) companies studying to adapt to the chaos attributable to the Covid pandemic, many had been hesitant to rejoice, pointing to ongoing labor and provide chain constraints and the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. infrastructure laws. And whereas some AEC companies have thrived, introducing new instruments and strategies to handle an more and more digital market, others proceed to battle, looking for the right recipe for prime progress.

Amid the turbulence, one factor has turn out to be clear: Change occurs shortly and people AEC companies which might be gradual to adapt shall be left behind. The Hinge Analysis Institute’s newly launched Excessive Development Examine 2022: AEC Version paints this image.

Concerning the Examine

The evaluation covers 141 AEC companies, representing a mixed income of practically $40 billion and greater than 60,000 staff. Corporations of all sizes, international areas and key govt roles had been represented within the research, with the overwhelming majority of companies doing enterprise in america. 

This 12 months’s research confirmed that whereas advertising budgets have stabilized after a speedy ascent final 12 months, excessive progress AEC companies are introducing new digital strategies into their repertoire to assist stimulate progress. Moreover, AEC companies have gotten more and more extra all for widespread subjects similar to workflow/course of automation, buyer expertise and digital transformation.

On this article, I’ll clarify how these fast-growing companies have constructed their aggressive edge with their pursuits, challenge supply, recruiting and retention in thoughts, by 4 key areas: know-how, expertise, technique, and advertising.


Merely put, excessive progress AEC companies are using advertising and enterprise growth applied sciences greater than their no progress friends—20 % extra, to be actual—and particularly in the case of buyer relationship administration (CRM), advertising automation and synthetic intelligence (AI). Additionally they use know-how to trace their advertising and enterprise growth actions extra ceaselessly than their counterparts. 

Nearly half the excessive progress AEC companies surveyed used knowledge from their web site or different digital sources to attain leads and had been 30 % extra worthwhile than the no progress companies. Forty % use metrics and ROI to report on and analyze the affect of their advertising efforts. These are the AEC companies to observe as a result of they’ve the information and analytics with which to make extra knowledgeable enterprise selections.



Because the battle for prime expertise, fueled by the pandemic and “The Nice Resignation,” rages on throughout all skilled providers industries, AEC companies have been searching for methods to draw the extremely expert professionals they want. This 12 months’s research discovered that top progress AEC companies usually tend to seek the advice of with exterior businesses and freelancers to make sure their advertising wants are met they usually can cowl any essential expertise gaps (e.g., graphic design, copywriting.)

Curiously, regardless of outsourcing the work, the research confirmed that top progress AEC companies have the best expertise benefit in a few of these actual advertising actions, similar to Search Engine Optimization (search engine optimisation).


How do excessive progress AEC companies and no progress companies differ as they appear towards the long run? Whereas mergers and acquisitions (M&A) will seemingly nonetheless play an element in excessive progress AEC companies’ future progress methods, their focus is popping elsewhere. Whereas AI is prime of thoughts for many AEC companies, the excessive progress companies are extra all for studying about VR/AR, innovation subjects and cyber safety tendencies than their no progress counterparts. 

The Hinge Analysis Institute additionally checked out what challenges excessive progress AEC companies had been anticipating down the street which proved to vary from their no progress friends. Whereas most AEC companies have turn out to be accustomed to a distant work atmosphere, managing that distant workforce remains to be prime of thoughts for a lot of excessive progress companies. And as digital transformation takes maintain, the quickest rising AEC companies are extra involved with modifications in how their patrons are shopping for their providers within the coming years. 

Advertising and marketing

It comes as no shock that top progress AEC companies are investing extra in advertising than their no progress friends to be able to drive their progress and profitability, however the place do they see essentially the most bang for his or her buck? The HGS report supplies a full record of essentially the most impactful advertising strategies however what is especially noteworthy is that seven out of the ten are digital strategies similar to podcasts (#1), webinars (#2), video running a blog (#4) and key phrase analysis/search engine optimisation (#10).

And after we take a better look, we are able to see that top progress AEC companies are receiving a lot better affect from presenting in academic webinars and key phrase analysis/search engine optimisation, two essential, digital strategies which have been neglected by the no progress companies. The research additionally discovered that increased search engine optimisation maturity (the extra you put money into search engine optimisation in your agency) interprets to extra digital leads.

Maybe one of many best learnings from this 12 months’s research is the place excessive progress AEC companies are prioritizing their time subsequent, as a result of in any case, they have to be doing one thing proper! Social media advertising, a low-cost, low-effort digital method, was recognized as their prime precedence for 2022 by virtually thrice as many excessive progress AEC companies as no progress companies. This focus comes because the business continues to take care of the consequences from the pandemic and limits networking at in-person occasions. 

The quickest rising AEC companies are additionally prioritizing creating content material, search engine optimisation and analyzing the efficiency of their advertising efforts, amongst others that yow will discover within the full report. Perhaps the time is now to check your priorities for the approaching 12 months to these of the excessive progress AEC companies.

A closing thought

Whereas uncertainty about labor shortages, provide chain and laws linger on, the previous 12 months noticed many AEC companies discovering methods to handle the constraints. Becoming a member of the bandwagon that’s the digital transformation has by no means been extra vital.  

These AEC companies that use extra digital advertising platforms and strategies, and that additionally use them extra proficiently, are experiencing extra progress and at a quicker tempo. The better sophistication of a agency’s advertising efforts, the better their aggressive benefit shall be.

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