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Buyer Personas in the Building Products Industry

19 Oct

Buyer personas give your marketing direction and ensure your message is accurate

Whether or not you know it, you’re likely using buyer personas everyday – it’s just a matter of how accurate they are. Buyer personas are representations of customers that are used to better understand why they purchase what they do. As building product marketers, we all say things like “Contractors will like this product because it’s easier/cheaper/faster”, but what is it that really influences them to buy? Establishing the specifics allows you to craft a message that resonates with these buyers and beats out the competition.

So how do you establish an accurate buyer persona?

  • First off, you can just make it up. As building industry marketers it’s important to go deeper than a list of bullet points that describes our key buyers. We need to really spend time with these people and complete an in-depth analysis of their buying trends. According to Adele Revella, the founder and president of the Buyer Persona Institute, the Five Rings of Insight are the “most overlooked and essential aspect, simplifying decisions for persuasive messaging, content, launches, campaigns and sales enablement.”

Here are the “Five Rings of Insight” that will allow you to define your buyer persona:

  1. Determine the Priority Initiatives: Define the three-to-five problems or initiatives where this buyer persona is dedicating time, budget and political capital
  2. List Out Success Factors: Figure out the tangible or intangible rewards that your buyer persona wants to achieve as a result of buying your solution
  3. Recognize Perceived Barriers: List the reasons your buyer persona believes your solution won’t be the best way to achieve the Success Factors
  4. Chart Out the Buying Process: Include the resources and steps that your buyer persona relies upon to assess available options and make a final decision
  5. Figure Out the Decision Criteria: List the aspects of the product, service, solution or company that this buyer persona evaluates during the purchasing process

Accurately defining your Buyer Persona’s takes time, energy and effort, but once established can pay dividends in assuring your messaging is correct and sets you apart from your competitors.

We’ve used buyer personas for years. We actually have cardboard cut-outs of our “guys” – dealers, contractors, big box sales reps, deck builders, etc. When we have a meeting these guys often join us as a reminder of who we’re talking to. If they’re not in the room with you – it’s time you invite them!

For more information about buyer personas and the Buyer Persona Institute, click here.

7 Ways Building Product CMOs Increase Financial Fluency

9 Nov

Learn how increasing your marketing department’s financial capacity can make a big difference in your business.

Especially in the building products industry, it’s more important than ever to closely monitor the dollars going into your marketing efforts. It’s no longer about the next big idea and pushing out pretty creative, today’s CMO has to focus on how their programs will affect the bottom line – and be able to prove its success with data. CMO.comtook a deeper look into how CMOs can boost their financial comprehension. Here’s our take and how it relates to the building products industry:

1. Master the ROI Calculation

  • Among the many financial concepts building products marketers should adopt, Return On Investment (ROI) calculation is key.
  • It’s important to focus on business results like customer loyalty, price premiums, growth in market share, as well as ad spend, reach and engagement.

2. Hire Outside the Box

  • Look beyond your typical agency marketers’ resumes to engineers, accountants and mathematicians.
  • Marketing can be taught and these skills are invaluable to a marketing department looking to build up their financial acumen.

3. Get Serious about Data Analytics

  • Marketers need to be especially careful when analyzing data and be sure its consistent and structured.
  • The ability to take a hard look at data analysis allows CMOs to identify the best opportunities, set priorities, execute plans and gain sales.

4. Adopt Corporate Metrics

  • To make a real financial impact on the company, the CMO must understand the ins and outs of the finances of the company, especially in the building products industry when the smallest details make a big difference.
  • Get comfortable with the profit and loss, balance sheets – anything that can make you a smarter businessperson.
  • Another way to educate yourself and your team? Have senior finance leaders host lunch-and-learn sessions to review the basics.

5. Steal from Finance

  • Borrow accounting concepts to develop new marketing analytics and track marketing and sales activities.

6. Get to Know the CFO

  • A Forrester Research/Heidrick & Struggles survey found that 69% of CMOS said their relationship with the CFO was the most important in the organization. However, natural tensions exist between these two departments (especially during tough times in the building products industry), as money spent on marketing is a line on the expense report that takes away from the company’s earnings. If the CMO and CFO understand each other, they can work together to track the metrics of success.

7. Focus on Process

  • Process leads to measurable results, a must when you sit at the executive leadership table. Just like sales reps must do when selling building products, having the marketing team focus on process over marketing tools ensures you produce results for your organization.

Sources and Additional Articles