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 out blanket marketing messages that aren’t precisely targeted to your prospective customers, you’re wasting time and money. It’s estimated that we’re hit with 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements each day. And we remember less than five of those. The day and age of mass marketing is gone. Today, it’s all about target marketing. 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 relatively new tool in the marketing industry but have proven to be vital to a successful sales campaign. Roughly, buyer personas are detailed descriptions of your target customers covering everything from demographic information to activities/hobbies to what they read and where they shop.
It’s often helpful to sit down with your staff to begin the process of writing buyer personas as they’ve all interacted with different, and different types, of customers somewhere along your sales and construction process. You’ll want to be sure to have whiteboards with someone taking notes as you embark on this process.
Start by giving your persona a fictitious name. Let’s say it’s “Bob.” How old is Bob? What is his industry and role with his company? How long has he worked there? What’s his level of education with the construction services you provide? Does he belong to any civic or professional organizations?
Do you see what we’re doing here? We’re trying to understand Bob’s interests and hot buttons as they relate to your role as a construction executive.
But now it’s time to get into the psychographics of Bob. Much of this will be anecdotal but it will give you a hypothetical overview of what messages will resonate with Bob. Where does he live (suburbs, urban, etc.)? Does he have a family? What are his interests/hobbies? Perhaps he’s a golfer. Or a fisherman. Is he active on social 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 to these personas might be different? Your pitch to Bob is pretty straightforward and has to be done in person. Your approach to Joan will be a bit different. It’s probably going to be a more graphic pitch, perhaps with photos of your projects, 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 confident conducting this process with your team, most marketing firms and ad agencies use buyer personas as a starting point when developing a campaign and are skilled 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.