Tag Archives: content marketing

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.

Content Marketing and Database Marketing for Building Product Marketers

2 Dec

Steps to Prepare Your Building Product Organization for Content and Database Marketing.

Content and database marketing are two marketing tools recommended by Forrester Research, Inc. after they did an extensive study earlier this year. I’ve highlighted some of the key points from this article below.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing refers to creating more content than that used in your typical company and product brochures that go to all customers. B2B customers prefer to receive messages that apply to their needs. Therefore, creating custom content with messaging that applies to a specific customer segment increases the opportunity to convert the sale. Building product customers are no longer open to global messaging that is not specific to their needs.

To prepare for content-centric marketing messages CMO’s need to ensure the following:

  • Content must educate as well as sell: In many cases building product marketing must educate the buyer regarding features and benefits, as this is an important step in the process. The buyer must understand the features and benefits so they can communicate this to another audience, which makes the purchasing decision.
  • Content must fit the purchasing journey: As customers navigate the purchasing process, educational content must be engaging throughout the process. Many building product items are large ticket purchases; therefore, the buying life-cycle may be longer than other products. Content must continue to engage the customer throughout the process.
  • Customers want expert opinions: In many cases buyers want information that is deeper than marketing can create. Therefore, subject matter experts should be consulted to provide technical features and benefits for the customer.

Database Marketing

Part of the automation process is database marketing, which is a continuous process of maintaining marketing data. Sales force automation (SFA) can have full-time employees that manage the process, but database marketing is an after thought in many organizations.

To prepare for database marketing CMO’s need to:

  • Identify the relevant data mix: Building product marketers have data from multiple sources, but in most cases the data is fragmented and out of date. Each data source should be segmented based on importance, then audited to identify needs.

Once internal resources have exhausted their ability to update, an external resource may be required to fill additional data gaps.

  • Fill technical and business skills gaps: Marketers, public relations experts, web-based data analysts and operational experts all have a unique skill set, CMO’s must evaluate gaps in the process to close the loop.
  • Identify platform needs: Global marketers have a much different platform need compared to a regional building product marketer. Evaluating the marketing database needs of each is important.

Sources and Additional Articles