A construction persona is a representation of your ideal customer or major influencers. The idea of a persona is to build a profile of your customer as if he or she was a real person and bring this to life in a visual & engaging way. The construction industry has a complex supply chain, which makes the creation of personas even more important, as they allow you to create specific marketing messages tailored to your key audiences.
Who has the influence & decision making power in the purchasing of the product?
What do they see as your strengths and weaknesses?
What’s important to them as a customer?
What are their challenges?
How do they research and specify/select products?
Where do they find out information & news?
What magazines do they read?
What are the websites and events that they visit?
By gaining this type of information, you can truly understand your audience’s pain points and begin to provide them with solutions using your products & services. Additionally, you’ll know the right channels to communicate with them effectively. This will give you a clear direction to inform your marketing strategy and plan.
For instance, if you are marketing to architects, it’s important to know the journey they go on to specify products. If you are only marketing to them at a later stage, after they’ve completed their product research, then it’s likely they have already made their product choices & it will be difficult for you to change their decisions. But, communicating at the research stage will give you the best fighting chance to be specified.
If you aren’t using personas which have been built using audience research, then you are not delivering your marketing to its full potential.
Regardless of what your next project is, a new website, SEO, content production or a straightforward print ad campaign, if you don’t truly understand your audience then you won’t get you the results you want. Having your personas defined will ensure you are clear about who your audience is and help focus your positioning, marketing messages and the vital next steps, to ensure you get great results.
At the moment, you are probably thinking one of the below things;
1. I already know my customers, I don’t need to do further research
2. It takes too long and I can’t see what reward it will bring
3. Sales, marketing, leadership teams and customers need to be involved – It’s hard work to coordinate.
It’s worth thinking about whether what you know about your customers is based on assumptions, and how up to date that information is. Things change, so you should make sure the information you have is still accurate – meaning you should have collected or refreshed the information you have within the last 12 months.
If you don’t have up to date information, you might not be talking to them about things that are relevant.
To create your construction personas, you need to speak to your ideal customer base – we’ll go into detail about how to collect this information later, but first, here are the 7 areas you need to know about your target audience.
These are the basics such as age, name, location, marital status and gender.
But, also think about the characteristics and experience they have to have entered their particular role (e.g. degree, interests, certifications). This will help build a well-rounded personal and professional profile of the individual.
This includes the type of company they work for, location, size, structure, role in the supply chain.
Skills and Knowledge
You will want to understand how much they know about your company & the products. Additionally, you’ll want to know what problems they have & topics they want to learn about, so you can begin to educate and solve their problems.
This is your opportunity to understand the nitty-gritty of their job-role. You want to go into detail about their everyday working life and look at things like; Are they based in the office or out on the road? What types of projects are they working on? How many projects are they working on? How much do they influence product selection or project decisions? When and how do they have influence?
Pain Points & Challenges
This is probably the most important aspect, understanding exactly what is a challenge for them in their roles and how can you solve them.
Their Sales Objections
What’s stopping them from specifying, selecting, purchasing or ordering your products? Where and how do they select/specify product?
Who & what influences them
This is all about finding out where they get information from & who influences their decision making. This could include a whole range of things like their peers, forums, publications, colleagues & events.
Step 1: Desk research
– Assess your current knowledge & gather all the information you already have about your customer types.
Step 2: Real data
– Complete Surveys, Analytics, Interviews
– Speak to your Internal Stakeholders
– Speak to your Customers, Prospects and Rejectors
Step 3: Triangulate
– Distil all of the information you have into as few personas as possible
– Typically there are 4-6 personas per business
Step 4: Bring them to life
– Create a visual representation of who your personas are
– Use a real photo and a real name
– Print and display it for your teams (marketing, sales, design, web developers)
Step 5: Make sure you do your own research
Always do your own research, don’t rely on others because it can be different from business to business, persona to persona and so on.
For best results, you need to get into the mindset of your personas. During the process of creating your personas, you should include information from much more than just your marketing teams & customers – you should also include sales, customer service & consider agency support to truly understand your target audience.
5 mistakes you don’t need to make:
– Don’t fly solo
– Don’t build too many
– Use real names and photos
– Print them out, pin them up
– Revisit them annually
Building and using impactful Construction Marketing Personas:
Contact us if you would like to start building your construction personas.
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