Title: Exploring marketing strategies in architectural services: the case of the architecture firms in Portugal

Authors: Helena Nobre; Joana Faria

Addresses: DEGEI, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal ' Economics and Management School, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal

Abstract: This paper explores the importance of marketing as a factor of competitive advantage for architectural service firms. Through an interpretative approach, three different stakeholders are interviewed: customers, potential customers, and architects. Besides the economic retraction that affects the Portuguese construction sector since the last decade, other reasons for a poor activity from architectural service firms in Portugal are identified. One of the main reasons seems to be related to the lack of awareness from consumers on what architectural services consist of and on the importance of architecture in their lives. Findings also indicate the absence, in most firms investigated, of an integrated marketing strategy that comprises decisions at the level of differentiation, customer orientation, relationship management, and marketing programs. The paper outlines strategic routes and practices for architectural service firms.

Keywords: marketing architectural services; specialisation; customisation; customer-orientation; relationship management; architectural service firms; marketing programs; Portugal.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBEX.2017.084438

International Journal of Business Excellence, 2017 Vol.12 No.3, pp.275 - 293

Received: 03 Oct 2015
Accepted: 04 Dec 2015

Published online: 22 May 2017 *

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