Architecture, engineering, planning, and environmental firms are not nearly as engaged in social-media marketing as the rest of the business world, business-management-services provider ZweigWhite’s recently released 2012 Marketing Survey found.

“Only 15 percent of the 109 participating firms say the use of social media has reduced their reliance on ‘traditional’ marketing methods, though a significant number, 43 percent, responded ‘unspecified’ or were unsure about this,” ZweigWhite says. “Shockingly, 29 percent of design firms say they don’t know whether their clients use social media at all.”

When asked if use of social-media sites resulted in any inbound inquiries or opportunities, 17 percent of the respondents said yes and 45 percent said no, while 38 percent did not specify.

“Of design firms that used social-media marketing successfully, 17 percent report such efforts have resulted in a median of five inbound inquiries or opportunities, and 11 percent report that those inquiries or opportunities resulted in a project,” ZweigWhite says.

Design firms are hesitant to invest in marketing training, the study found.

“Only 34 percent of firms provide marketing training to all employees,” ZweigWhite says. “Sixty-six percent provide training to marketing staff. Marketing training is most often focused on customer-relationship-management-systems use (37 percent), proposal preparation (35 percent), interviewing skills (30 percent), and lead development (22 percent). Social-media marketing didn’t even make the list, although it could have fallen within ‘unspecified’” (22 percent), ZweigWhite says.

To purchase the survey, click here.