Online marketing in the surveyor’s office – a field report

28th Dezember 2022 by P. Merker

Year-end reviews have traditions.

I personally like traditions very much, starting with old English cars and ending not least with our more than 60-year company history.

Incidentally, annual reviews are also in vogue – as a glance at my current newsfeed on Linkedin proves.

A trend with tradition. That sounds just as exciting to me as “online marketing in an surveyor’s office” and that’s exactly what we want to talk about here today, because we have gained some experience with it in 2022.

Perhaps one or the other of our valued newsletter readers is facing similar challenges and would like to learn from our “learnings” (as you can see, we are also learning the appropriate language at the moment…).

Online marketing in the surveyor’s office: Trend meets tradition

As you know, we are a classic B2B service provider. We know all our clients personally, our most important “channel” is recommendation and the “link” to online marketing therefore does not seem very compelling.

Of course, we have had a well-maintained website for some time now, because even something as old-established as a surveyor’s office (“old-school” as some people say….) should no longer exude the charm of 1998.

The first frustration – perhaps you know it – was not long in coming:

The brand-new website is finally ready and now you sit in front of it day after day hoping and waiting for the endless traffic that must finally come… And at some point you realise that Google can simply ignore even the best website of an expert’s office.

After several frustrating, uneventful weeks on the Internet, countless podcast episodes by OMR Education (highly recommended by us!) and the corresponding OMR reports, and after reading several blogs, it was clear that we needed an SEO strategy.

SEO strategy: Or how to find the expert on the Internet

So we started to think about keywords, search intentions, target groups and content.

In the first step, we learned that the terms we like to use to describe our business itself are unfortunately only

  • very rarely and/or
  • with completely different intentions

are searched for on the internet. An example:

How many times a month do you think “valuation of machines” is googled?

Ten times! That was – I admit it – a bit of a shock. We knew that we were working in a niche, but not sooo niche after all…

A second example: When we talk about “company relocations”, we are talking about calculating compensation sums when, for example, the public sector needs land for infrastructure projects.

However, most people who type this term into the Google search slot want to know what the labour law consequences of a relocation are. Interesting, but not our business.

However, it is very worthwhile, with a lot of patience, diligence and imagination, to research what terms could be used to describe your service, especially by people who don’t even know yet that the service exists (and that it could help them).

In any case, we have been able to win completely new clients for ourselves in this way, for example in the area of fair market value appraisals for machinery.

And very often we have heard the sentence: “I wish I had known you existed earlier!”

Email marketing: Or how to remember the Merker?

The second thing we did was to introduce email marketing. This means we offer a regular newsletter – exactly the one you are reading right now.

Speaking of which: you can subscribe to our newsletter here!

The idea behind it is this: How do we manage to stay regularly present with our customers, multipliers and potential customers? Above all, how do we manage to ensure that prospective customers, multipliers and website visitors remember us precisely when they need us and not just at the moment when they came across us once?

For us, email marketing was the answer to these questions. Month after month, we try to offer interesting topics from our assessment practice and thus land in the inboxes of our clients and ideal customers.

In any case, we would not want to miss this direct and immediate exchange – despite the not inconsiderable effort – and certainly not all the positive feedback we receive.

CRM – Or how the surveyor manages his customer relations?

The third “gamechanger” was the introduction of a CRM system (we decided on Central-Station, which works like an iPhone: plug it in and go).

As I said before, we know all our clients personally – to manage our client relationships, a mail programme, business card box and telephone are virtually all we need.


Because the truth is that with many a client we (or worse, the client himself!) have been shocked to discover that the last insurance appraisal was ten years ago (we would have sworn five …) and the regular annual adjustments of the sum insured, which we usually take on, were sometimes far from regular.

And we were about as far from a structured acquisition process as Megan Markle is from the English throne.

With the introduction of our CRM, we have actually managed to get a wonderfully structured and continuous regularity and efficiency into our client contacts, for example, simply by being able to link each client with the date of their last appraisal. Quite banal really…

Conclusion and outlook

Ultimately, and this is the crucial point, we were able to achieve 30% more turnover in the past year, which can be attributed solely to our online activities. Isn’t that great?

Let me summarise again:

  1. With SEO, we were able to win new customer groups for us, some of whom didn’t even know we existed before and needed us.
  2. With email marketing we are remembered by customers, potential customers, interested parties and multipliers.
  3. With CRM, we succeed in contacting old and new customers at the right time with the right points of contact.

Our conclusion: online marketing is worthwhile and fun!

What didn’t work? Well, nobody really wanted to read the long technical articles on Linkedin.

What’s next?

So we admit: Trying it out was already a lot of fun, succeeding with it was even more enjoyable. We will add the following next year and are curious to see what works:

  • Ads on Linkedin (feel free to keep an eye out and give us feedback).
  • Press work on online media that play our themes (do you have a recommendation for us? Our longlist is in the making).

We are still holding back with dancing on Tiktok …

With this in mind: Have a good start to the new year and stay ambitious!

Your Philip Merker

Philip Merker Expert for the appraisal of machinery and technical equipment

Philip Merker, MBA

Certified expert for the evaluation of machinery and technical equipment (DIN EN ISO / IEC 17024)

Mönckebergstr. 5, 20095 Hamburg

Telephon +49 40 602 13 33
Email ­