Marketing In Times of Recovery

Marketing In Times Of Crisis has changed its name to Marketing In Times of Recovery. It's still a bi-weekly interview-led podcast series featuring inspirational built environment business leaders but more with a look to the future. We’ve had to weather crisis’ before and podcast listeners hear lively conversations, jam-packed with hints, tips and takeaways that you can apply to your business now. Hosted by Ayo Abbas, Founder / Consultant, Abbas Marketing. Subscribe now, rate, review and help us to spread the word.

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episode 17: Ep 17: Focus, Fun and New Ventures with George Bradley and Ewald Van Der Straeten from BVDS [transcript]


Welcome to the latest episode of Marketing In Times of Crisis.  I'm your host Ayo Abbas, marketing consultant who specialises and loves in all things built environment. Today is Thursday 18 February 2021 and we’re in lockdown part III. 

My guests today are George Bradley and Ewald Van Der Straeten from architecture firm BVDS. 

We had a great conversation which touched on:

  • Their new online architectural service The Two Architects which they launched during the pandemic to make architecture more accessible to more people.
  • Why you should focus on marketing that you enjoy and have fun doing that play to your strengths.
  • Their approach to social media and the importance of good photography and content. 

Rate and review us
Please don’t forget to rate and review us if you’re listening on Apple podcasts as it’s lovely to hear what you think plus it helps us to spread the word

Resources 

BVDS Architects
Abbas Marketing
The Two Architects
Another Architecture Podcast
Wowowa 


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 2021-03-12  32m
 
 
00:04  Ayo Abbas
Hello, and welcome to
00:04
the latest episode of Marketing
00:07
In Times of Crisis. And I am
00:07
your host, Ayo Abbas, a
00:10
marketing consultant who
00:10
specialises in working with
00:13
firms in the built environment.
00:13
Today is Thursday the 18th of
00:17
February 2021. And we are in
00:17
lockdown part three. My guests
00:22
today are George Bradley and
00:22
Ewald Van Der Straeten from
00:25
architecture firm pvdf, we had a
00:25
lovely conversation, which
00:29
touched on many things,
00:29
including why you should focus
00:32
on marketing that you enjoy and
00:32
evolve, evolve your wider team,
00:36
their new online architectural
00:36
service, the two architects
00:38
which they launched last year.
00:38
And we also touch on social
00:41
media and how they tackle that.
00:41
Anyway, if you're a regular
00:45
listened to the show, you know,
00:45
we really do love to hear from
00:47
you. So if you can leave us a
00:47
review or rate us that is
00:50
really, really appreciated. And
00:50
it also helps us spread the
00:53
word. Anyway, as usual, I will
00:53
now stop talking and let you
00:57
enjoy the interview with George
00:57
and Ewald, enjoy. So Hi, and
01:06
welcome to the latest episode
01:06
marketing times of crisis.
01:09
Today, my guests are George and
01:09
Ewald from BVDS. Architects. And
01:16
can you just give me a brief
01:16
intro to yourselves and your
01:18
roles at BVDS?
01:20  George Bradley
Yes, sure. Well,
01:20
thanks for having us. Yeah, so
01:23
Bradley Van Der Straeten is a
01:23
company that we set up about 10
01:26
years ago. We're an architecture
01:26
practice. And I guess if you
01:30
kind of were to ask what, you
01:30
know, what we're known for what
01:33
our work is, we were very much
01:33
known mostly for our residential
01:36
work and working on people's
01:36
homes. And if we were to
01:40
describe our work, we'd say
01:40
it's, it's fun, it's colourful,
01:44
it's livable, and this space is
01:44
designed with feeling.
01:49  Ayo Abbas
Okay. And Ewald kind
01:49
of I mean, so how do your roles
01:53
differ in the practice? Do you
01:53
do different things? Or how does
01:56
it work between the two of you.
01:57  Ewald Van Der Straeten
So we
01:57
are both directors of Bradley
02:00
Van Der Straeten Architects. And
02:00
our roles are pretty equal in
02:05
both firms. So we also have
02:05
another firm called The Two
02:08
Architects, which is a platform
02:08
or an online platform, where we
02:13
offer a more distilled service
02:13
for on a Pay As You Meet kind of
02:18
basis. And that works across the
02:18
world now actually, it is
02:22
globally, rather than locally.
02:22
So that both of both companies
02:28
same roles?
02:29  Ayo Abbas
And how do you I
02:29
guess, you launched The Two
02:32
Architects during lockdown. I
02:32
mean, what drove you to do that?
02:34
or How did that come about?
02:36  Ewald Van Der Straeten
As I'm
02:36
sure this is might sound
02:38
familiar to some other business
02:38
owners or in the architecture
02:41
world, but over so many years of
02:41
growing and gaining experience.
02:47
So a certain service grows in a
02:47
certain way with it. And we were
02:51
noticing at the start of
02:51
lockdown that we were getting a
02:54
lot of inquiries to the door of
02:54
smaller scale projects. And we
02:58
weren't kind of set up for that
02:58
at the time. But at the same
03:01
time, we find that as a real
03:01
opportunity missed where we
03:05
couldn't necessarily keep the
03:05
format, which made us think, how
03:08
about we kind of redesigned the
03:08
way we operate and the way we
03:12
can offer our service to
03:12
something that we can still make
03:15
a difference. However, it's done
03:15
in a distilled way. And we
03:21
thought we were going to be
03:21
racing other people having a
03:23
similar idea because everything
03:23
was happening online, and still
03:26
is actually it was we thought,
03:26
okay, we have a we have a bit of
03:30
a race on our hands, we started
03:30
developing a new website, kind
03:36
of approaching a very different
03:36
to a typical architecture
03:39
practice. Just being more honest
03:39
than transparent. And ever since
03:44
once we launched it started to
03:44
pick up traction.
03:48  George Bradley
Yeah,
03:48
definitely. I think like what
03:49
Ewald was saying the surprise
03:49
that actually no one else was
03:51
doing it was Yeah. It was quite,
03:51
that was quite interesting. But
03:56
it was, it's the approach of it
03:56
is definitely answering a
04:00
problem. Like people were
04:00
speaking to us and saying, I
04:02
can't find an architect to do my
04:02
home. And you get this kind of
04:05
framework where I've only got
04:05
50,000 to spend. And it's like
04:08
50,000 is a lot of money. It's
04:08
just in a certain field or a
04:12
certain type of work. It's it's
04:12
not enough. And so it's yet
04:16
very, very distilled. service.
04:20  Ayo Abbas
So in terms of
04:20
setting up The Two Architects,
04:23
how is that influenced? Has that
04:23
changed things that you do for
04:26
the BVDS practice as well? What
04:26
have you learned from that?
04:29  George Bradley
It's definitely
04:29
made us more more focused.
04:33
We've, I mean, the way we
04:33
structure is the the whole
04:35
premise of The Two Architects is
04:35
it's apportioned time. So we
04:40
couldn't if we were with BVDS,
04:40
we couldn't cater to loads and
04:43
loads of inquiries and smaller
04:43
projects, because we're not set
04:47
up for that we're set up for
04:47
working very closely with
04:49
families working on beautiful
04:49
homes that that take months and
04:53
months of sort of preparation
04:53
and thought and work with other
04:57
consultants. And if we were
04:57
constantly sort of, I don't
05:02
wanna say distracted. It's not,
05:02
it's not a negative thing, but
05:04
we would be distracted by
05:04
multiple contact points. So, for
05:08
us, the premise of the Two
05:08
Architects was, let's just
05:10
apportion, one part of our time,
05:10
a certain amount of hours. And
05:14
that's given to this platform,
05:14
people can book once it's fully
05:18
booked. That's it. But it means
05:18
the rest of the week, we're
05:21
completely focused on on the
05:21
work we're doing with the studio
05:24
and the work we're doing with
05:24
our team that works with us on
05:27
these projects.
05:28  Ayo Abbas
So roughly what's the
05:28
time split in a week, so between
05:31
the two different companies,For
05:31
you George,
05:34  George Bradley
It's it's six
05:34
hours is how much we spend each
05:37
on The Two Architects. So it's a
05:37
very limited service, and we
05:42
were keeping it that way at the
05:42
moment, but it could easily
05:45
grow. But we've, you know, our
05:45
first sort of number one
05:48
priority sits with BVDS, we've
05:48
created over 10 years and The
05:53
Two Architects is, is giving a
05:53
portion of that experience to
05:56
people in a very, very different
05:56
way, which is that's the
05:59
extremely satisfying part of it.
05:59
We've developed ways of working
06:02
and experience over over 10
06:02
years now. And we can we can
06:06
give that in a very brief and
06:06
effective and efficient format.
06:11  Ayo Abbas
And is that something
06:11
you kind of would recommend that
06:14
other architects architects try
06:14
try out this type of model?
06:18
Okay, that's one to you, George
06:18
as well?
06:19  George Bradley
God, no, we want
06:19
to dominate.
06:21  Ayo Abbas
With 12 hours between
06:21
you.
06:26  George Bradley
Don't even know
06:26
why we're talking about it on
06:27
this podcast? Well, I don't
06:27
think it's for everyone, I
06:34
really don't. So like me and
06:34
Ewald have a background of, we
06:37
definitely kind of cut our teeth
06:37
with our business starting with,
06:40
we had like zero contacts and
06:40
just sort of worked away, which
06:43
which a lot of people have done,
06:43
but we didn't start with working
06:46
in practice, then taking some
06:46
clients with us and then setting
06:49
up Yeah, sort of. So we did all
06:49
these, if you know, the Grand
06:52
Designs events that are these
06:52
Ask an Expert sections, and we'd
06:56
go to these things. And it's
06:56
like speed dating you'd sit
06:59
there for like 20 minutes and,
06:59
and trying to help people out
07:02
with their project. And there's
07:02
this sort of element of it's
07:04
slightly transactional, but
07:04
because it is it's very
07:07
effective. It's very instant.
07:07
Something's got to happen in
07:10
that moment.
07:10  Ayo Abbas
I want do this to my
07:10
house. What happens? My
07:14
situation? My problem is, isn't
07:14
it? Yes, it's straight? Yeah.
07:18  George Bradley
I don't think
07:18
that's for everybody. I think a
07:21
lot of architects would baulk at
07:21
the idea.
07:23  Ayo Abbas
I can't even deny
07:23
that's very, very true. So, I
07:25
guess how do you approach the
07:25
marketing for BVDS, as a
07:29
practice overall? And did that
07:29
change in the past year? I'll
07:33
get that to you Ewald?
07:35  Ewald Van Der Straeten
The
07:35
marketing in BVDS? I think it's
07:37
they go hand-in-hand, this
07:37
question is good to pass it pass
07:41
two strategies off each other?
07:41
Yeah, we'd be BVDS is very,
07:48
very involved, it is definitely
07:48
more comprehensive approach than
07:52
the two architects, we have a
07:52
press platform that we sign up
07:57
to. So we launch new projects on
07:57
it on a regular basis, we have
08:01
lots of social media going on,
08:01
on a very regular basis, because
08:05
that's where a lot of our work
08:05
comes from. I'm sure that counts
08:07
for many other practices to
08:07
there was also or there was a
08:12
lot of networking in the past,
08:12
which is now more and more moved
08:17
online as we are doing now. A
08:17
podcast is a form of that as
08:20
well. If there is a clear
08:20
strategy defined for that, to
08:24
where we are trying to keep all
08:24
the the marketing blades
08:27
spinning, so we involve the team
08:27
in that too. So, it is very kind
08:32
of spread across the whole team.
08:32
And it's everybody's putting
08:35
their thoughts to that. And it
08:35
does require quite a lot of time
08:37
and thinking and creativity.
08:37
Whereas if you compare that to
08:42
The Two Architects then it is
08:42
very, very different messaging.
08:46
So we Bradley Van Der Straeten
08:46
Architects marketing is set out
08:51
to be inspiring and being very
08:51
aspirational. Because yes, we
08:56
create such a creative solutions
08:56
sometimes that they haven't
08:59
come up with. Whereas the Two
08:59
Architects are kind of more
09:03
taking the educative angle where
09:03
we are transferring some of that
09:07
knowledge and experience and
09:07
creativity onto a very practical
09:11
problem that people might have.
09:11
And it's not necessarily
09:14
reinventing the wheel, our voice
09:14
is more, this is what you can
09:18
apply in your project. And you
09:18
can take some home. And there's
09:22
more tips and tricks that we
09:22
share. And the involvement on
09:25
The Two Architects is very
09:25
limited, that George was saying.
09:29
We've dedicated a limited amount
09:29
of time to this per week. So, we
09:33
have to kind of go down the
09:33
route of doing a bit more
09:36
automation can't because some,
09:36
some discussions are happening
09:40
over and over. We kind of tried
09:40
to lock that into a set of q&a,
09:46
questions and things that people
09:46
can read over and over. And it's
09:50
a very limited time involvement
09:50
on The Two Architects apart from
09:54
some social media. Just because
09:54
of that element of repetition is
09:57
there because we've tried to
09:57
prempt some of the questions
10:01
that might be asked, and we kind
10:01
of answering things that people
10:04
want to see, because we have the
10:04
experience that comes with the
10:07
renovation project.
10:09  George Bradley
But it's I mean,
10:09
it's very structured. It's very
10:10
organised how we operate. You
10:10
know, we have, we have marketing
10:16
within the company, and we
10:16
dedicate time to it as we do
10:18
with with everything else. So
10:18
it's
10:20  Ayo Abbas
allocated pot of
10:20
time. Yeah,
10:22  George Bradley
Yeah, we're
10:22
quite an organised outfit, as a
10:25
company in that, that helps us.
10:25
But also, what's been really
10:29
interesting, is the combination
10:29
between the Two Architects, we
10:33
call it the TTA, if we kind of
10:33
drop that in, but The Two
10:36
Architects is it kind of is
10:36
given us another avenue of
10:40
something that we've sometimes
10:40
felt that we maybe couldn't do,
10:43
or was conflicting with what we
10:43
were doing with BVDS. Yeah, and
10:46
it definitely goes back to,
10:46
like, about two, three years
10:50
ago, we're doing a TV show and
10:50
doing something that that was
10:54
very different to what we were
10:54
used to doing and two very
10:57
different market and in a very
10:57
different way. And it was less
11:02
kind of very immediate and very
11:02
talking to a wide range of
11:06
people, like, you know, talking
11:06
to millions or however many were
11:09
watching it, was very different
11:09
to talking to a very sort of
11:12
focused group and in a very
11:12
premium kind of market that we
11:15
sit in with Bradley Van Der
11:15
Straeten.
11:17  Ayo Abbas
I guess it's like
11:17
you're you're kind of making it
11:19
all a lot more practical, right?
11:19
And a lot, you're kind of
11:23
focused on those tips and how
11:23
people can take your knowledge
11:26
and then apply it themselves.
11:26
Right. It's it's that much more
11:28
kind of grassroots thing, isn't
11:28
it?
11:30  George Bradley
Yeah, I'm being
11:30
unafraid of, I think, what me
11:33
and Ewald like is we are quite
11:33
unafraid of marketing. We don't
11:37
we don't view it as a necessary
11:37
evil, we actually enjoy the
11:40
communication part. And when we
11:40
did the TV show was and I'm not
11:44
that's not just a shameless
11:44
plug, it links with it did
11:46
change our minds, it was a
11:46
turning point for us have,
11:49
actually, it's, it's really
11:49
enjoyable talking to a wider
11:52
market and actually not being
11:52
too precious and kind of
11:55
thinking, Well, we've learned
11:55
lots of things. And these are
11:58
things that could be applied to
11:58
somebody that just wants to
12:01
switch their washing machine to
12:01
their upstairs, they don't want
12:04
to appoint an architect to do
12:04
designs to the house or to
12:08
manage a construction site. They
12:08
just want to tap into those
12:11
ideas. And a gradual over a few
12:11
years evolution of that as then
12:15
become the Two Architects of
12:15
actually, there's a way that we
12:17
could just say, look, we'll have
12:17
a meeting with you. We'll have
12:19
it for one hour, we'll sketch on
12:19
screen live with you. And we'll,
12:22
we'll talk some ideas. And
12:22
you'll come away from that with
12:24
with something tangible without
12:24
having committed to an agency
12:28
and to a big project.
12:32  Ayo Abbas
I like it, it's kind
12:32
of making architects accessible,
12:35
right?
12:36  George Bradley
Yeah, we had I
12:36
mean, we had a client recently
12:37
that said it democratises it
12:37
which we thought that was very
12:41
flattering, and very grand. We
12:41
wouldn't have said that about
12:44
ourselves. But because somebody
12:44
else said it's fine. We can tell
12:46
you that.
12:49  Ayo Abbas
Lovely though, it's
12:49
nice, and as well that you can
12:52
help more people to kind of, you
12:52
know, have the benefits,
12:55
especially as we're all in our
12:55
homes so much more at the
12:57
moment, aren't we? So?
12:59  Ewald Van Der Straeten
Yes, I
12:59
think it's really satisfying,
13:02
because we're being put on the
13:02
spot, every meeting we have by
13:05
the hour, we want to give that
13:05
value back within that
13:09
timeframe. We have to be, we
13:09
are always on our A game, but
13:13
it's even more intense as an arc
13:13
to go through in that one hour.
13:18
As the meeting goes. That's very
13:18
satisfying.
13:23  Ayo Abbas
Okay, so in terms of,
13:23
are they kind of tips that you
13:27
would give to kind of I guess,
13:27
any other practices looking to
13:30
do more in terms of their
13:30
marketing in the coming year? Or
13:33
things that really work for you
13:33
when you're starting out? For
13:35
example? I'll give that one to
13:35
you. It would?
13:39  Ewald Van Der Straeten
Um, Yes,
13:39
I can. I certainly can give a
13:42
few tips like what we've been
13:42
corporate or how do you how do I
13:46
say it is. We've been guilty of
13:46
doing too much in the past is
13:50
what I'm trying to get to, There
13:50
is a lot of things you can do
13:53
for marketing purposes. There's
13:53
a lot of social media and you
13:57
can easily get lost in it. I'm
13:57
not saying we were lost in it in
14:00
the past, but I do feel or we do
14:00
feel that we spread ourselves a
14:04
bit too thin losing focus. And
14:04
now with George being the Head
14:09
of Marketing, we have a few
14:09
roles in the company George is
14:12
doing marketing somebody else is
14:12
doing operations, somebody else
14:14
is doing finance. Being at the
14:14
helm of that now is it's the
14:19
focus is coming back and really
14:19
being bored with what we do and
14:22
don't do has given us that real
14:22
push forwards I think. So that
14:29
would be a tip, select what what
14:29
you do. So you can do it. Well,
14:35
obviously, obviously doing a lot
14:35
can be useful. You can learn a
14:38
lot along the way and you can
14:38
understand, okay, this is
14:40
working, this is not working but
14:40
to a limit. Whereas focus can
14:45
help and that sounds maybe
14:45
obvious, but at the same time,
14:49
we got to go through that all
14:49
that learning curves ourselves
14:52
to, I would say
14:55  Ayo Abbas
and George, do you
14:55
have any tips on what people
14:58
could be doing as well?
15:00  George Bradley
Have fun with
15:00
it, I think is, is a good one.
15:04
Yeah. Like Ewald was say we've
15:04
had fun with it. And we still do
15:09
have fun with it. But we we've
15:09
been through phases where we
15:11
kind of tried out everything and
15:11
kind of unashamedly just let's
15:14
give it a go. And, and that's
15:14
been very rewarding, but also
15:18
quite demanding of time and
15:18
effort. And so we're now in a
15:23
sort of next phase of focusing a
15:23
bit more, but it was good to go
15:26
through the testing as well,
15:26
there's, you know, there's all
15:29
these sort of, it's easy for us
15:29
to sort of jump straight ahead
15:32
to now but
15:33  Ayo Abbas
So, from a fun
15:33
perspective, did you have any
15:35
kind of selection criteria? Was
15:35
there anything where you thought
15:37
this is? Now we're going to
15:37
refine what we're doing what
15:40
works and what doesn't work?
15:42  George Bradley
No, I think with
15:42
the fun to think I mean, more
15:44
like, just, we should be
15:44
enjoying our marketing, because
15:48
we should be, we should be doing
15:48
what we do, which we do. So
15:52
therefore, we enjoy talking
15:52
about it, and we enjoy telling
15:54
people about it. But also, we've
15:54
now got the confidence to go,
15:57
it's okay for us to pick
15:57
platforms that we think work
16:00
better for us and platforms that
16:00
don't. So, for example, me and
16:04
Ewald could talk for England,
16:04
and we could just keep on
16:06
talking so about architecture
16:06
and the benefit for homes and,
16:10
and what you could be doing and
16:10
what you shouldn't be doing. And
16:12
so therefore, a platform where
16:12
we can do that is quite good for
16:15
us. So this podcast, for
16:15
example, is excellent. Whereas
16:18
we're not necessarily
16:18
particularly eloquent or
16:21
excellent at writing copy. So,
16:21
if we don't have a budget to pay
16:26
somebody to do that, for us, do
16:26
we want to be spending our time
16:28
doing something that we maybe
16:28
don't feel that strong at and,
16:32
and takes us that bit more
16:32
effort? Or should we just focus
16:35
on on something else? So it's,
16:35
it's that kind of approach, and
16:38
we're definitely kind of
16:38
feeling, I think the number one
16:41
thing is having good content. So
16:41
if we put our effort into good
16:45
content, ie having nice designs,
16:45
having really good photography,
16:48
all that kind of stuff that we
16:48
love and that we're proud of. I
16:51
don't think anyone's going to go
16:51
wrong with just with focusing on
16:53
on that. But I don't think
16:53
people should push themselves to
16:56
do marketing that they feel they
16:56
have to do like Twitter, for
16:59
example. I can't stand Twitter,
16:59
I tried it out a couple of
17:02
times, people advised, like you
17:02
should really be on Twitter, and
17:05
you probably be quite good at
17:05
Twitter. And I just found that
17:08
this awful kind of quagmire of
17:08
get just getting lost in
17:12
something I just did have no
17:12
control or understanding of and
17:17
naturally veered away from it. I
17:17
think you probably would say the
17:20
same as well, when you emailed?
17:22  Ayo Abbas
Um, I don't dislike
17:22
Twitter, but like he's saying, I
17:26
don't really enjoy it.
17:28  Ewald Van Der Straeten
I don't
17:28
really enjoy it as much either,
17:39
so I'm not gonna dedicate a
17:39
whole lot of time to it. It is
17:43
very much yeah. Do we pursue
17:43
what we love doing? And that's
17:49
only a few channels. It can't be
17:49
everything.
17:52  Ayo Abbas
So which channels are
17:52
your favoured ones? So, you
17:54
definitely I know you do a
17:54
podcast when I see
17:58  George Bradley
Netflix, Disney
17:58
Plus.
18:02  Ayo Abbas
Yeah, it's locked
18:02
down time.
18:05  George Bradley
Well, Instagram
18:05
is the number one avenuw for us.
18:10
And naturally, you can it's very
18:10
visual. And you know, what we do
18:14
is is very visual. But really
18:14
interesting. Like if we go like
18:17
going back a few years before we
18:17
were on things like Facebook,
18:20
and on Instagram, we had a
18:20
client that was in advertising
18:24
advertising, and I remember her
18:24
saying at one point to me, and
18:27
he was saying, you guys should
18:27
totally be on Facebook, like
18:29
what you do is so visual people
18:29
will want to see what are you
18:31
doing? And and that seemed like
18:31
a new idea that I was like, Oh,
18:34
wow. Yeah, that's, that's a good
18:34
idea. Now it's so kind of
18:37
obvious because everybody's
18:37
doing. But yeah, there's no
18:40
question that Instagram is the
18:40
kind of key one for us in terms
18:45
of the everyday platform. Yeah.
18:47  Ayo Abbas
But yeah, but you're
18:47
absolutely right. Focus on on
18:50
the channels that you love,
18:50
otherwise it's just a chore or
18:52
isn't it and you won't want to
18:52
do it. Exactly, I think is the
18:55
huge thing.
18:58  Ewald Van Der Straeten
There's
18:58
so much out there that you can
18:59
lose focus as well, again,
19:01  Ayo Abbas
Yeah, this new one is
19:01
clubhouse is the new one that's
19:03
out at the moment.
19:05  George Bradley
Somebody was
19:05
recommending that the other day.
19:06
And I was like, is this a work
19:06
thing? Or is this something
19:09
else?
19:09  Ayo Abbas
Well, it's an audio
19:09
platform and audio networking
19:13
platform, but it only it's on
19:13
Apple at the moment? It's invite
19:17
only and yeah, everyone's like,
19:17
eyes it this way, but you have
19:20
live rooms. It's a bit like
19:20
podcasting. And you have
19:22
different people with themes,
19:22
but I'm an Android user, I can't
19:25
get on it.
19:29  Ewald Van Der Straeten
Discrimination
19:29
from the from the get go.
19:30  Ayo Abbas
It's just cuz I don't
19:30
want to pay Apple prices. But
19:34
there's always new channels and
19:34
new things coming out. It's kind
19:37
of like you say, focusing on the
19:37
ones that actually really matter
19:41
to you. Can you tell me a bit
19:41
about your podcast and how that
19:45
kind of helps your business and
19:45
your marketing? Does it?
19:48
Does it? Who knows? Yeah. I
19:48
mean, the podcast is like very
19:54
much a lockdown project probably
19:54
started around the same time as
19:56
yours. So, I don't know when you
19:56
started.
19:58
Yeah, I started July, July.
20:00  George Bradley
Yeah, so yes,
20:00
uh, you were copying me then
20:03
because I started in May,
20:04  Ayo Abbas
Excuse me I did
20:04
research from February.
20:08  George Bradley
Yeah, we started
20:08
around May but it was very much
20:12
we were meeting you were talked
20:12
a lot about doing one together.
20:15
And I think there's a lot of
20:15
realities that come into play we
20:17
both got for both now have two
20:17
kids each. And, and lockdown was
20:22
clearly placing it's kind of
20:22
demands as well of all the other
20:25
stuff that was going on. But so,
20:25
ultimately, it became a thing
20:29
that I set up of, just on a very
20:29
sort of personal level, it was,
20:36
the world got very small and,
20:36
and a lot more isolated all of a
20:39
sudden, and this is a really,
20:39
really nice avenue to just have
20:43
something else and be talking to
20:43
other people all over the world.
20:46
So, other people have totally
20:46
different experiences. But the
20:49
one common thread is it's
20:49
architecture and it's homes. But
20:55
you know, getting to speak to,
20:55
you know, speaking to somebody
20:58
that's based in Lebanon, and I
20:58
had an interview scheduled with
21:02
them. And it was literally the
21:02
day after the explosion that
21:06
happened. And you suddenly have
21:06
this weird sort of connection or
21:09
community connection going
21:09
around the world of and this guy
21:12
was then still extremely keen to
21:12
go ahead with with an interview
21:15
and talk about architecture,
21:15
because it was, hopefully for
21:17
him it was a kind of outlet as
21:17
well of being able to talk about
21:19
something else. But so again,
21:19
it's just doing something that's
21:22
just for fun, there was no
21:22
pre-ambition of listeners or any
21:25
or, or income or anything like
21:25
that. It's purely just for fun.
21:29
But that fun does. It's just
21:29
engaging isn't it was something
21:32
it does lead to connections and
21:32
exposure and just having
21:38
something for me talking about
21:38
something that I really love,
21:40
like, there's no effort there.
21:40
It's just conversations about
21:44
stuff that I want to talk about.
21:46  Ayo Abbas
Yeah, and that's the
21:46
thing. And I love about
21:48
podcasting is the fact that I
21:48
can write to people and just go
21:51
"Hi, will you come on", and it's
21:51
all genuine. I'm not forced to
21:55
do it in any way, shape, or
21:55
form. It's kind of like,
21:57
actually, I like what these guys
21:57
are doing. Right? Like, it's
22:00
just different things that and,
22:00
and also, I kind of think,
22:03
especially when it comes to
22:03
marketing, people aren't
22:04
necessarily having the right
22:04
conversations about marketing.
22:07
And I think it's quite important
22:07
to kind of showcase the types of
22:10
things people should be
22:10
considering and what they should
22:11
be doing. So that's kind of one
22:11
of the reasons I set up and
22:14
started to do it. Yeah. So in
22:14
terms of marketing for the next
22:19
few months, or the next a
22:19
quarter, I guess we're in
22:21
February now. So what things
22:21
have you got kind of lined up
22:24
what's in your pipeline? Is it
22:24
more of the same or any
22:26
particular kind of big
22:26
milestones or completions coming
22:29
out, I'll give that one to you
22:29
Ewald.
22:31  Ewald Van Der Straeten
The next
22:31
few months, we definitely want
22:34
to do more of the same so that
22:34
we can't kind of let that go
22:37
quiet, we want to keep building
22:37
on what's already in motion,
22:40
it's a lot easier to get things
22:40
in motion than to start up
22:43
something fresh, for starters,
22:43
in terms of effort and time to
22:47
ever quiet. But then we also
22:47
want to think a bit more longer
22:50
term where we want to do
22:50
different kinds of projects and
22:54
diversify our portfolio. And
22:54
that does require a bit more
22:59
long term thinking to start
22:59
building different kinds of
23:02
contacts, and meeting different
23:02
kinds of people that might get
23:05
us closer to work. That's not
23:05
necessarily homes or residential
23:11
architecture. Not that we want
23:11
to turn our backs from
23:14
architecture, but it's just,
23:14
it's always good for depth of
23:16
portfolio is, again, a different
23:16
kind of fun we can have, and a
23:21
different kind of enjoyment that
23:21
we want to explore. But that
23:25
does require a bit more time. So
23:25
it's going to be a trial and
23:29
error process, just like we've
23:29
kind of learned and done to get
23:33
to this point with the
23:33
residential market. We feel that
23:37
we've come to a point where we
23:37
are mastering some aspects, not
23:41
everything. We're not masters of
23:41
our marketing, necessarily, but
23:45
much feel with diversification
23:45
it does, it is a bit out of our
23:49
depth again, and that's a good
23:49
thing. Kind of trying something
23:53
new and trying out things
23:53
without having the actual focus
23:57
just yet because we don't know
23:57
what that focus needs to be. But
24:00
we know that we need to do it
24:00
regularly.
24:02  Ayo Abbas
But you know, so
24:02
yeah, that's fantastic. So
24:05
you're definitely looking for
24:05
longer term, and well, that's
24:07
gonna be right. So just moving
24:07
on to what's happening at the
24:12
moment. So are there any kind of
24:12
standout marketing campaigns or
24:15
any practices or anything in
24:15
general that you've really
24:17
enjoyed? I guess in the past few
24:17
months that you've thought, oh,
24:20
that that's an amazing campaign.
24:20
I'm going to give that one to
24:23
George as Head of Marketing.
24:27  George Bradley
There's one
24:27
company that stands out when I
24:29
was thinking about it, it's was
24:29
the first company that I
24:32
interviewed on the podcast
24:32
called Wawa architects and, and
24:37
they're an Australian firm. And
24:37
I mean, just the name just in
24:41
itself as it i think is just
24:41
great marketing. You just hear
24:44
that name you think, Okay, well,
24:44
wow, they must do really cool
24:47
buildings about their work lives
24:47
up to the lives up to the name
24:52
as well. But what I love about
24:52
them and we kind of follow quite
24:56
a lot of Australian practices
24:56
and what they're doing Because
25:00
there's, there's so much amazing
25:00
work particularly in the
25:03
residential field coming out of
25:03
Australia. But also there's a an
25:06
amazing attitude as well of
25:06
exactly what we're talking about
25:10
of having fun with marketing.
25:10
And we're we're just a really
25:13
good example of that if they
25:13
have this tagline of life's too
25:17
short for boring spaces, which I
25:17
think is just great. It's a
25:21
great line, it's just straight
25:21
away, you're attracting, like
25:23
extremely fun clients that are
25:23
just willing to have a go. But
25:27
also, they did this thing during
25:27
lockdown. That was, I can't
25:32
remember what it's called, like
25:32
something along the lines of Oh,
25:34
oh, baby, if you were mine, or
25:34
something like that. It's this,
25:37
this is this line. And
25:37
basically, they would during
25:39
lockdown in Melbourne, they were
25:39
telling people to just write in,
25:43
if they've got a house that they
25:43
want to feature on this, this
25:46
thing that they were doing, just
25:46
sending the details of the
25:47
house. And then one of the
25:47
principals of the office would
25:50
just go outside stand on the
25:50
street to the house and always
25:52
do a little short video. And it
25:52
was just starting with the line.
25:56
Oh, blardy blar if you were
25:56
mine, and then talk about the
25:59
things that they would do, and
25:59
it literally like a five minute
26:02
you know, we'd love this
26:02
fenestration. Yeah, and it's
26:05
like, you just get featured on
26:05
the thing of like, I just
26:09
thought was really, really nice
26:09
lockdown thing.
26:12  Ayo Abbas
That's a brilliant
26:12
idea. Absolutely brilliant. And
26:15
he well, did you have any
26:15
inspirational kind of marketing
26:17
campaigns over locked down or
26:17
anything that he fought? Yep, I
26:19
love that.
26:20  Ewald Van Der Straeten
What I
26:20
did notice in the especially the
26:23
first lockdown is the creative
26:23
ideas that many practices or
26:27
many companies came up with
26:27
today with lockdown, to be
26:31
different to step outside their
26:31
own comfort zone, I found that
26:34
really inspiring of maybe I
26:34
wouldn't mind giving some of
26:38
that a goal. And which then that
26:38
some of that thinking led to The
26:41
Two Architects, for example. And
26:41
some of that led to some of the
26:45
things that we're doing with the
26:45
Bradley Van Straeten Architects,
26:47
I'm thinking more like, being
26:47
more transparent with what we
26:51
do. Trying out some new
26:51
technologies, and just showing
26:56
to whatever was happening
26:56
online, specifically social
26:59
media, how things would work and
26:59
how things could work. And then
27:04
you see, sometimes even clients
27:04
popping up on certain videos, I
27:07
think that's all very, very new
27:07
stuff, versus where we were
27:11
architecture was before COVID,
27:11
or before the pandemic.
27:14  Ayo Abbas
And I think it's
27:14
forced people to go online and
27:17
actually start using it
27:17
properly. Because I think we're
27:19
behind in some ways, the way
27:19
that we embrace digital, and
27:23
things like that. I think,
27:23
actually, it's like, actually,
27:25
there's a whole world out there
27:25
that we can tap into. I wonder
27:28
actually, when we do come out
27:28
how much of this will stay?
27:32
Yeah, and your opinions on that.
27:34  Ewald Van Der Straeten
I think
27:34
it will go back a bit towards
27:37
the pre-pandemic times as well.
27:37
But I think some something will
27:41
some things will see and some
27:41
things will go and I think it
27:43
will be just more go 50/50 or
27:43
more balanced. Yeah. Want to do
27:47
work from home a bit more during
27:47
the week, and doing a bit more
27:51
zoom meetings. But I can't see
27:51
myself doing all the time zoom
27:55
meetings like we are today. And
27:55
then deliver all of our service
27:58
on that, as we are currently
27:58
forced to do so. No, yeah, I
28:02
think it does seem to take time,
28:02
for example, is very practical.
28:06
There are things that will stay
28:06
for sure. In video conferencing
28:10
being one big one, I think for
28:10
sure. And then being able to
28:13
work from home. And when
28:13
everything comes with it.
28:16  Ayo Abbas
Absolutely.
28:17  George Bradley
There's
28:17
definitely a positive impact,
28:19
though, of that the zoom thing
28:19
of when we're having meetings
28:23
with clients, like in terms of
28:23
coming out of this, like not
28:25
being 100% on zoom, let's hope
28:25
not, because being in person and
28:29
all the things you pick up. But
28:29
what we're getting from meetings
28:32
at the moment, many would have,
28:32
you know, we've invested in
28:34
these tablets where we can draw
28:34
on screen and things and and
28:37
they're working amazing for The
28:37
Two Architects but just
28:39
generally going forward, it's
28:39
definitely see it becoming a bit
28:42
more of a combination, if you're
28:42
going to meet somebody in person
28:45
being in their house, having a
28:45
coffee talking with them. But
28:48
then little follow up bits
28:48
rather than this great pressure
28:50
being it has to be the next time
28:50
we come to the house. And it's
28:53
this and it's that just the
28:53
little snippets in between of
28:55
actually just sharing a screen
28:55
with them and drawing live there
28:59
and then it's extremely
28:59
engaging. It's in many ways
29:01
better than the in-person for
29:01
many things. That's what we have
29:05
definitely learned this last
29:05
year.
29:07  Ayo Abbas
I think for me, I
29:07
think it is going to be that
29:09
hybrid, I think, marketing and
29:09
how businesses work. And I think
29:12
you're right, are we getting the
29:12
best of both worlds? I think,
29:15
you know, events and stuff, I
29:15
kind of think actually some of
29:17
these interactive stuff or, you
29:17
know, live streaming and stuff
29:21
that stuff we haven't done but
29:21
we should have done, you know,
29:24
for something well, we either
29:24
would have been because it
29:25
actually contents usable from
29:25
you know, forever. And I think
29:30
that's the that's the kind of
29:30
stuff that we've kind of missed
29:32
out on or not and always just
29:32
kind of an impasse and the only
29:35
way
29:36  George Bradley
I can teach you
29:36
the other day and just saying
29:38
about parents evening now going
29:38
being in these video sessions,
29:42
and the teacher she's like, this
29:42
is how we should always be doing
29:45
it. It's so much better.
29:49  Ayo Abbas
You like that. Okay,
29:49
so on to my final, final
29:55
question. So if there's one tip
29:55
you can give to a fellow
30:00
architectural practice or other
30:00
firm in the built environment,
30:03
about marketing and what they
30:03
could or should be doing now,
30:06
what would that be? Who wants to
30:06
go first?
30:09  Ewald Van Der Straeten
I can go
30:09
first.
30:10  Ayo Abbas
Go on Ewald. Um, I
30:10
think dare take a bit of risk,
30:15
especially in times of crisis,
30:15
which is also the title of this
30:19
podcast episode. I think,
30:19
because you've got less to lose,
30:25
you're being forced to think
30:25
outside your own box. This is
30:28
also the time to do to be able
30:28
to take risk and go for
30:32
something that you didn't dare
30:32
to do before. Because times are
30:35
so different at the moment,
30:35
people aren't going to frown
30:39
upon something new these days.
30:39
And I think that can be hugely
30:43
beneficial on a personal level,
30:43
but also on a business level, I
30:46
think from from both sides.
30:51
That does count as a tip, take
30:51
risks. Let's get to definitely.
30:54
And on to you, George.
30:56  George Bradley
I mean, I'd echo
30:56
that. That's the number one, but
31:00
also just a really practical
31:00
one, to invest in good
31:03
photography. I mean, if you're
31:03
not investing good photography
31:05
now then you should be. I mean,
31:05
it's because if everything's
31:11
online, you've got to that's the
31:11
way you're going to see stuff.
31:13
You know, the idea is people see
31:13
your buildings, but if they
31:15
can't,
31:16  Ayo Abbas
can't see them as
31:16
good as they actually are in
31:17
person. It's Yeah, that's
31:17
definitely Yeah. Okay, thank you
31:20
both so much for coming on the
31:20
show. It's really appreciated.
31:23
Thanks.
31:24  George Bradley
Thanks for
31:24
having us. been fun. Thank you.
31:32  Ayo Abbas
Thanks for listening
31:32
to the latest episode of
31:34
Marketing In Times of Crisis. If
31:34
you liked what you heard, please
31:37
do leave us a review, as it
31:37
helps us to spread the word and
31:40
for more people to get to hear
31:40
about us. If you want to know
31:43
more about things mentioned in
31:43
the episode, do look at the show
31:45
notes which will give you more
31:45
information about where to find
31:48
us and also about our show
31:48
website. In the meantime, I hope
31:52
you enjoyed it and have a great
31:52
day. Bye