A walk through the mall activates my senses and puts a new idea in my head. The words begin to travel back and forth inside my mind: products, clients, marketing, future…

One of them decides to stay and starts to echo: marketing, marketing.

“Marketing is a total system of activities that includes a set of processes by which, the needs or desires of consumers or clients are identified, to then satisfy them the best possible way…” Source: http://bit.ly/njqVYK

Achieve satisfaction through the detection of the needs or desires… Isn´t it what we architects are supposed to do?

I find it really interesting being able, to some extent, to predict the future through the analysis of our desires, interests and lifestyles. That is why for me, marketing is much more than a set of processes. It is a tool that allows us to make predictions, it is like having our own crystal ball.

What really is beyond my understanding is how something that works so well for the launch of new products, has not been adapted and applied in the field of architecture with the same intensity. Yes, we meet with clients and listen to their needs and make a proposal based on them, but are those needs that clients tell us about really their needs? Or are the needs of some client who managed to publish his/her project in a magazine or book?

People in general give great importance to aesthetics, to image, to what our eyes tell us is beautiful, and sometimes that glare, prevents us from being objective and honest with ourselves. At times, we put aside the things that are vital for us, our true needs, to make way for what´s beautiful, pleasing to the eye.

The concept of placemaking is, perhaps, the closest thing we have as a connection between marketing and our profession but it is aimed at making city, urban planning; but what happens to the small and medium scale? What about architecture?

Try searching on Google marketing and architecture, and you will only get a group of web pages giving us recommendations on how to get clients to work with us. But what if we already have a client? Why not think about the possibility of incorporating marketing into architecture at a later stage?

It is then, at that moment where it becomes imperative to define needs, where I would place marketing in our profession. An outside help from someone or something able to really capture what the client requires; a tool that allows the client to embrace their deepest desires.

An objective study conducted with proven techniques could save us many future problems. And for this, it is necessary to work hand in hand with expert professionals who help us develop a new system of study that can be applied to architecture.

I’m not trying to pretend that a cold survey is the solution to our problems; I have always thought that the connection with the client must be present at all times; which is why I am referring to adapt or develop a new system, one that gives us the ability to be objective without putting too much distance between the client and us.

I think the future would seem a lot less scary if we really knew how we behave, why we do it and what is the way to continue doing so without worrying about the problems that this behavior can cause us later on.

It is possible that this new system could help us design projects tailored to real needs, preventing real problems, allowing us, perhaps, to take a small step towards the design of the future…