How to Define Your Target Market

Define your target market

Knowing who you’re selling to is essential for successfully marketing your offer. Whether you’re starting a new construction business, revamping an existing one or just fine-tuning your marketing plan, construction market data can help you define your best customers so you can reach them more effectively.

Geographics

Finding out where your potential buyers are located is a critical first step in defining your target market. One of the easiest and most accurate ways to do this is to identify trends in building permit applications. If you sell swimming pools and spas, data on where the most pool installations are happening is invaluable. Finding out which neighborhoods have the most high-value home remodels could also lead you to buyers. Building permit activity mapping lets you see at a glance where and what kinds of projects are going on, which alleviates having to sift through pages of irrelevant data.

Demographics

Once you know potential buyers’ location, get familiar with the demographics of the area. Learn the community’s age ranges, gender ratio, average family status, occupations and income levels. Will you be selling pools and spas to young families who care primarily about safety and fun for the kids or to older adults who might be more interested in your products’ health benefits and ease of maintenance? Building permit trends can offer insight here, too. If the average value of remodeling projects in an area is low compared to the average home value, you might want to market toward a frugal audience.

Psychographics and Behavior

Understanding your potential customers’ values, interests and favorite activities helps you connect with them on a personal level and sets you apart from the generalists. Let your own company values guide you. If you’re committed to sustainability, consider targeting nature lovers who enjoy hiking. If social responsibility is important to you, focus on buyers involved in volunteering. A property developer who donates to community projects or groups is more likely to choose a contractor or building materials supplier who does the same.

For more on using construction market data to define your target market, contact Construction Monitor.

Informing Your Marketing With Buyer Personas

Customer personas help you see what your prospective buyers have in common beyond their interest in construction. Using that information to guide your marketing efforts lets you get into your prospects’ heads so you know how to reach them and deliver the messages that get them to buy.

Get to Know Their Problems

Well-developed “goals” and “challenges” sections are critical to any buyer persona. When you know your prospects’ goals and the roadblocks they face in reaching those goals, you’ll be better able to position your company as the solution.

If you target property developers, you might find local building permit data shows rising interest in commercial property construction. Taking that information, you could create a buyer persona for commercial property developers that mentions their frustration with loans that come up short of what they need. Now you know your marketing can grab their attention by mentioning that you can provide 100-percent financing in a single loan.

Meet Them on Their Own Turf

Your buyer personas should tell you about how your target client spends time. If the persona of your trend-conscious young home builders get their ideas from interior design websites and Instagram, you’ll know those are good places to market your most stylish light fixtures, floor coverings, cabinets, and other design-related products. If your older home remodeling persona prefers print magazines and Facebook, you might use those platforms to promote products with more traditional designs.

Build a Stronger Rapport

The better you know someone, the easier it is to create marketing that speaks to them on a personal level. When your prospect feels understood as a person, not just a construction project, they’re more likely to trust your marketing message. If you sell fireplaces to older home remodelers, you might touch on benefits, such as making memories with grandchildren or enjoying luxuries they worked a lifetime to attain. Highlighting safety and convenience features that benefit older users also shows your target prospects you understand their concerns.  

For more ideas on using customer personas to improve your marketing, contact Construction Monitor.

Construction Marketing: 4 Things to Learn From the Competition

Because no two construction businesses are quite the same, your competitors are bound to have insight you don’t. Data on the top companies in your area gives you a better understanding of how your successful competitors do business so you can learn from their experience.

  1. Spot new opportunities – Learning what your competitors are working on and where they’re working helps you find new buyer sources. If you sell cabinets and notice a lot of renovations going on in a neighborhood full of historical homes, you’ll know a strong market for traditional cabinetry exists in the area. On the other hand, studying your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses can lead you to potential gaps in the market you can take advantage of in the future.
  2. Find fresh marketing angles – By evaluating the marketing messages, methods, and channels your competitors use, you’ll get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. Your competitors’ marketing can also spark new ideas. If your floor covering competitors’ marketing emphasizes their durable office flooring, you might take the idea a step further by creating content that demonstrates exactly how much wear your office flooring can handle.
  3. Optimize your pricing – Checking out your competitors’ prices can tell you if you’re underpricing and leaving money on the table or if your prices are unusually high and possibly driving buyers away. If you find your prices are higher than average, but for good reason, you’ll know to highlight those reasons in your marketing.
  4. Stay on top of trends – If you’re a general contractor, the fact that two or three of your main competitors have cut back on their home addition services is valuable information. If building permit data also shows a decline in home additions, it’s safe to assume you shouldn’t rely on that market in the near future. That information can save you from inaccurate predictions that could sink your business. If you see a new product appear in a competitor’s ads, this can alert you to a trend before everyone else jumps on it.

For more on using what you learn from competitive analysis, contact Construction Monitor.

Build Your Construction Business Marketing on the Right Foundation

To be effective, your marketing needs clear direction rooted in a strong foundation. That foundation is your brand, the unique identity of your construction business. By defining your brand, you’ll gain a better understanding of your target market and what it takes to win their business.

Develop Your Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is the way your company is placed in the market and in your clients’ minds. It’s the differentiating factor that lets you stand out from the crowd. Start by defining which construction category you’re in, who you’re targeting, and what benefits you deliver and want to highlight.

Then take a look at how each of your main competitors have positioned their brands. Data on the top local construction companies can help by showing you whose brand position is really working for them. You’ll learn what to do and what to avoid.

Using that knowledge, look for what sets your company apart and develop a distinct value position that includes compelling logical and emotional benefits. If you sell building materials, are you the company that specializes in durable, low-maintenance materials for industrial facilities or the one that can always find the perfect materials to complement your area’s historical homes?

Define Your Brand Image

Your brand image is how your clients think of your company beyond knowing what products and services you offer. It’s built on the assumptions and associations they maker after interacting with your company. When you know the brand image you’re aiming for, you can focus your marketing efforts on creating associations that support that image.

Take the hip, free-spirited general contractors who specialize in home office additions for young professionals versus the prudent, tradition-oriented contractors who build home additions for growing families. Both offer essentially the same services, but their images are very different and their marketing will be, too.

Building permit data can help you spot trends and gaps in the market to craft a brand image that will appeal to a profitable customer base.

For more tips on perfecting your construction business marketing, contact Construction Monitor.

Expanding into a New Market for Potential Customers? This Can Help…

As exciting as growing your business can be, it’s natural to have some uncertainty about whether you’re headed in the right direction. Instead of relying on hunches to guide you, let construction market data direct you straight toward a profitable pool of new customers.

Focus Your Expansion

Even if you have a good feel for the new market you’re entering, there might still be complexities and nuances you haven’t discovered yet. That’s where construction data can help. Reviewing hard data on how the market behaves can give you insight into what those customers really want and what kinds of companies they prefer to do business with.

If you’re an insulation contractor wanting to expand into commercial insulation, building permit data might point you toward hotel property managers as the customers to target. That saves you from the guesswork of marketing to every potential commercial customer out there until you hit on the most profitable buyers. Data can also reveal other specialties customers in your new market might need, such as soundproofing for quieter hotel rooms.

Develop Your Marketing

By examining data on the top companies serving your new market, you can get an idea of what messages customers in that market respond to best. If you specialize in waste management for small businesses, but want to expand into serving large office buildings, you can learn a lot from construction-related companies already popular with office building property managers. Knowing where those companies place their ads can help you determine where your advertising money is best spent. By browsing the topics successful companies discuss on their websites, you can identify issues you might want to address in your own content marketing.

The data can also reveal benefits you can offer that will help you outshine your competitors. If your successful competitors all stress the low cost of their waste management service, you might set your company apart by highlighting your top-notch customer service.

To find out how construction market data can help make your expansion a success, contact Construction Monitor today.

Take the Guesswork Out of Your Marketing Strategy

When you’ve been working with your market for a while, you develop an instinct for what your customers want. While that instinct might often help, it can also lead you in the wrong direction and distract you from good marketing opportunities. Construction market data keeps you on track by giving you a clearer picture of your market.

Understand Your Target Market In Depth

To create an effective marketing strategy, you first need to know exactly who you’re targeting. Building permits are one of the best sources of data on which markets are thriving, valuable information you can use to guide your marketing.

If you’re a framing contractor, you might find building permit data shows an increase in single-family homes being built in a middle-class neighborhood where most families have young children. To reach those clients, you might target young families in your brand awareness and advertising campaigns and focus on the durable materials and cost-effective methods you use. On the other hand, if you notice more cabins being built in local forested areas, you might target older, nature-oriented residents.

Get an Accurate View of Your Competitors

You can learn a lot by analyzing how your competitors do things, but it’s hard to know whose example to follow unless you know which companies are truly successful. Data on the top construction companies in your area can help you learn from the best instead of guessing based on a company’s public image.

If you’re a roofing contractor and discover all the successful roofing contractors stress the energy-efficiency of their roofs, you’ll know your marketing strategy should address that issue. You might want to focus on in-bound marketing with articles and videos that educate your prospects on how your roofs save energy.

On the other hand, the data might show you a certain roofing contractor whose billboard ads are everywhere isn’t particularly successful. That can save you the money you might have spent if you’d assumed those billboards were bringing in business.

For more ideas on using market data to develop your marketing strategy, contact Construction Monitor.

The Importance of Targeting Your Construction Marketing

Effective marketing of your construction company’s services is the cornerstone of business growth. In some cases, successful marketing might be the difference between staying in business or closing up shop. To succeed in the construction industry, your marketing must be aimed at the right audience. Here are some ways you can use construction marketing techniques to build and sustain your business.

construction marketingNarrow Your Marketing

A shotgun approach to marketing your construction services is almost guaranteed to be a waste of time, effort and resources. It’s necessary to narrow your marketing to those who might reasonably be expected to need your services. A newspaper advertisement pointing out general services might be fine, but if you are looking for broader opportunities, you’ll have to specialize. For example, if you advertise in industry publications, you’ll not have much luck advertising in agricultural publications if all you do is retail or residential construction. If you have a specialty in building agricultural structures, however, that type of magazine is a good choice. Marketing to former customers can also narrow your marketing to a proven and interested group.

Use the Proper Techniques

Your marketing must use the proper techniques to reach the audience most likely to need your services. The type of media you use — radio, television, print, or online — will depend on the type of customer you’re looking for. Mailing lists can be effective, but they need to be targeted to potential customers who will need the type of construction services you offer. Techniques such as programmatic advertising — a method of buying advertising and marketing media based on very specific audience characteristics and criteria — can let you get your message in front of a very narrow but very receptive group of potential customers.

Construction Monitor is dedicated to the success of construction businesses, and provides the data, construction leads, and best practices information they need to survive and thrive in a competitive industry. Contact us today for more information on construction marketing and how you can shape your marketing program to best take advantage of your available resources and the market you wish to serve.

Best Practices for Contractor Websites

While word of mouth might be the biggest part of your current construction marketing plan, it shouldn’t be the only one. Your website has the potential to be a major source of construction leads, but only if you give it the power to do so.

construction marketingDesign That Draws Clients

Make a good first impression with a website design that’s up-to-date and consistent in appearance, and that loads quickly. A site with no cohesive color scheme, or one that’s cluttered or full of bland stock photos detracts from your professional image.

If your site is like most, some 35 percent of your visitors are viewing on mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile so these visitors stick around.

From the design, text and images on your site, it should be immediately apparent who you are, what you do and who your target clients are. To pull in construction leads, the design should lead visitors on a clear path to a specific action, such as filling in a contact form.

Get familiar with the major factors affecting your ranking in Google so clients can find you more easily. This includes keyword placement, update frequency, image optimization, and outbound links to authority sites.

Content That Connects

In addition to providing information about your company, your website should act as a useful resource for your target market. Offering educational content encourages your clients to view you as knowledgeable, helpful and trustworthy.

Instead of hiding behind a corporate facade, let your visitors get to know the human side of your company. Include an in-depth “About” page, pictures of the company owners and employees, and photos of the office and equipment. Letting people see the real you builds trust and helps your visitors remember you — both critical factors in construction marketing online.

To further build trust, include testimonials from former clients and links to reviews of your company on other websites, such as the Better Business Bureau.

For more tips on effective construction marketing, contact Construction Monitor today.