Yesterday you met John, the 56 year old Architect. He is the traditionalist who loves to read material and his preferred choice of communication channels is print. John is your ideal Architect who hopes you don’t spend more money on mobile apps, online advertising to promote a new product, SEO to get the right product in front of him, microsites for him to visit, blogging with product content and social media to inform of an upcoming event. It just doesn’t appeal to him and nor does it add any value to him. In other words ‘don’t try to get him online’ if you are looking to strengthen your relationship and inform him of company info or product related information.
Let’s meet our second character.
The Transitionalist: Geoff
Geoff is 43. He works in a pretty small practice and therefore is constantly busy running this practice, doing some marketing and business development as well as working on some small to medium sized projects in the education sector. Geoff seems to have a pretty strong portfolio within the education sector. He only wants to know the people who will add value to him.
Geoff reads quite a bit of information online regarding products, standards and legislation and occasionally reads printed versions of Architects Journal and Building Design, but is not a regular reader nor a subscriber (gets the information elsewhere for free). In fact, he relies on someone else to shove a copy of the magazine in his face before he reluctantly gives it a scan or flick through. He subscribes to a few blogs written by other Architects he has met at networking events. He’s heard of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for business (he has a personal Facebook page) but not yet ready to jump into the world of social media for work purposes. Geoff just needs a couple of Architects to show him how they use Twitter or LinkedIn and how it’s worked for them and helped them to find out about new products or events. Oh by the way, Geoff has ‘liked’ a few product manufacturer Facebook pages just because he attended some recent CPD events and he wanted to see the photos from the event.
Geoff has some space in his practice where he likes to keep a few technical product manuals, basically material he knows that will not change on a frequent basis so it’s worthwhile going back over some good old technical material. A few years back Geoff realised that he was wasting office space by keeping too much product literature so decided to install a server and now keeps manufacturer information in PDF format on this server. One thing Geoff hates is constantly being called on a regular basis by pushy salesmen from product manufacturers trying to get project details and then try to sell him their products. He’d much rather build a relationship before being sold to. He’s also someone that will find you when you are required via the internet or word of mouth/recommendations.
Geoff prefers emailing others over actually calling them by phone. He needs information in black and white, not verbally. He knows his staff and connections are only a few clicks away and will occasionally forward product related emails to someone more relevant. He won’t delete it though but nor will he actually click on it. He knows that one day, it’ll be there in his inbox for when he needs it. (As I said “he’ll find you when he needs you”). Geoff is currently halfway through listening to the Pet Shop Boys ‘Nightlife’ album.
You know this: From surveying your database of Architects you have realised that 80% of them are like Geoff, the transitionalist who flips between offline and online. Architects like Geoff specify your product EVERY single time when the project is right and they work damn hard at trying to keep your product on the spec.
Think about this: Geoff may be a budget consuming type of audience since he uses some online channels and offline channels too. Geoff used to ask for lots of brochures but you’ve noticed that recently he’s been downloading more brochures and requesting a few printed version of your technical manuals. He’s the type of audience who trusts your brand and expects to see you in search listings as well as hearing other people talk about you and your products when he goes to events. Geoff is also the one who may ‘like’ your Facebook page using his personal account just to see what information you will deliver to him. If he doesn’t like it, then he’ll simply switch you off. Architects like Geoff will find you when they need you so stop telemarketing to him.
Tomorrow we’ll meet Joanne, 32 years old and she is the Transformationalist character. She loves her iPhone, iPad, social media, searching online and trusts those who are connected to her either offline or online. She trusts the information her network shares online.