Knowing Where to Find Your Prospective Customers and How to Target Them


Who is your ideal customer? What are their demographics? What do they read? What are their “hot buttons” when it comes to construction? What’s their history with other construction projects? Have I boggled your mind?

If you’re simply throwing outblanket marketing messages that aren’t precisely targeted to your prospectivecustomers, you’re wasting time and money. It’s estimated that we’re hit with4,000 to 10,000 advertisements each day. And we remember less than five ofthose. The day and age of mass marketing is gone. Today, it’s all about targetmarketing. Targeting your target audience.

I’m sure you know your target audience in broader terms. Perhaps it’s someone you’ve constructed projects for before, or it’s a referral from a prior client. You may know the age range and industry, but do you know their real, in-depth persona?

Buyer personas are a relativelynew tool in the marketing industry but have proven to be vital to a successfulsales campaign. Roughly, buyer personas are detailed descriptions of yourtarget customers covering everything from demographic information toactivities/hobbies to what they read and where they shop.

It’s often helpful to sit downwith your staff to begin the process of writing buyer personas as they’ve allinteracted with different, and different types, of customers somewhere alongyour sales and construction process. You’ll want to be sure to have whiteboardswith someone taking notes as you embark on this process.

Start by giving your persona afictitious name. Let’s say it’s “Bob.” How old is Bob? What is his industry androle with his company? How long has he worked there? What’s his level ofeducation with the construction services you provide? Does he belong to anycivic or professional organizations?

Do you see what we’re doinghere? We’re trying to understand Bob’s interests and hot buttons as they relateto your role as a construction executive.

But now it’s time to get intothe psychographics of Bob. Much of this will be anecdotal but it will give youa hypothetical overview of what messages will resonate with Bob. Where does helive (suburbs, urban, etc.)? Does he have a family? What are hisinterests/hobbies? Perhaps he’s a golfer. Or a fisherman. Is he active onsocial media?

Ideally you’ll have three to four buyer personas that you can reference when creating marketing strategies and messages. Let’s just say that you’ve drilled down into Bob’s psyche and you know he’s 55 years old, he has been an operations manager for a manufacturing firm for 30 years, he loves fishing, does not have a Facebook profile and is not particularly fond of email. Perhaps another buyer persona you created for Joan, tells you that she’s an architect by trade, an amateur photographer, active on Instagram and a mother.

Do you see how your messages tothese personas might be different? Your pitch to Bob is pretty straightforwardand has to be done in person. Your approach to Joan will be a bit different. It’sprobably going to be a more graphic pitch, perhaps with photos of yourprojects, perhaps you connect with her via your corporate Instagram account,and your appeal can be based a bit more on emotion.

These are overly simplistic examples of the role buyer personas can play in your marketing. But if you’re just sending out an e-mail newsletter or relying on your generic website, you’re missing the mark. Nine out of 10 people seeing your message aren’t interested; your pitch isn’t connecting with them on a personal or professional level.

If you’re not confidentconducting this process with your team, most marketing firms and ad agenciesuse buyer personas as a starting point when developing a campaign and areskilled in leading your organization through the process.

AJ Beson is the owner of Beson4, an advertising and digital marketing firm that specializes in the building industry. If you’d like to talk more about innovative ways to connect with your customers and prospects, drop him a line at

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