Bangkok 31st August 2010
Currently in Thailand for a few days of design coordination meetings on some of our projects. On my way from the airport into town this morning I noticed a huge billboard sign promoting Ligman architectural outdoor lighting products. I am aware of several multi- national lighting manufacturers with a production base in Thailand (Weef for one), but advertising on commercial billboards is quite unusual for our professional type of lighting. Manufacturers in our professional business advertise in professional lighting or architecture related magazines but not often in mainstream public spaces.
What about us lighting designers, do we advertise? I know some do at times, mostly the newer inexperienced companies, but to my knowledge the more established practices generally do not really take up commercial advertisement space. I have tried a few times in the early days of my practice only to find myself many dollars lighter with absolutely no noticeable return on my “investment”. Occasionally lighting designers take up a congratulatory advertisement with their clients at the opening of a project they worked on successfully, but most of the time we are “coerced” into it by a client who paid our fees and expects this as a token of gratitude.
Our advertisement really comes from our exposure to the professional public of our lighting design achievements or expert knowledge. The prime source for our “advertisement” are publications that take a write-up on our projects. These are generally free as most professional lighting and architectural design magazines live by reporting on projects and other related expert lighting information. From my personal experience one professional report on one of your (successfully) completed projects nearly always triggers a reaction from someone somewhere.
In this day and age your website also provides an entry point for many of your potential clients. I do not have hard figures but I can tell for sure that a substantial part of our clients reach us through finding us on the net. But the best and surest advertisement is by far word of mouth. What better than a satisfied client or happy fellow project consultant promoting your services to others!