Who Is Your Ideal Customer?
Attracting customers to your construction business is made easier by understanding how to effectively use marketing techniques which will help you attract your best customers.
Building a home is a major life decision. It's something most people will only do once -- or maybe twice in their lifetimes. Choosing the contractor who will build their home can be a daunting challenge. If you want to attract customer to your construction business you need to go beyond offering vague information in your online marketing strategies.
Everyone in your office should know who your ideal ideal customers are. This information should be easy to determine not only by the execs in the office but also to the consumer who's buying the homes you're building.
If you don't know who your ideal customers are or who you're marketing to, how will you attract customers who are the best fit for your construction business? More importantly, how will your ideal customers know you're the right contractor for them?
Are you the "go-to" builder in your area? Do you build high-end luxury homes or do you specialize in the construction of modern family homes?
Let's say there's a couple in their late 20's who are a few years out of college. They're in the market for their first home and have decided they want something new, fresh, and uniquely theirs. They want to build their own home; are you the contractor they'll call?
Use Demographics to Define Your Target Market
Entrepreneur.com defines demographics as “A statistical view of a population, generally including age, gender, income, schooling, occupation and so on.”
It’s best to start with a broad idea of the customers you wish to attract narrow this down to a very specific niche. The services you offer are what you use to determine who you’ll be targeting.
For example, a residential construction company may define their ideal customers as growing families who make over $x amount each year and live in x location.
This answers three questions about your customer:
- Who is your customer: Growing families is specifically stated in the example above
- What is your customer's problem: While this isn't specifically stated above, the problem could be either the family needs to build a larger home or they wish to move to a different city
- Where is your customer: The example above defines a specific location (x location) but you could also define the "where" by stating your customers live in cities with a specific number of people. Other ideas to define where your construction customers are located include region, state, county, suburb or country.
When you create a broad definition of your ideal customers, you build the framework which leads to specific information about the customers you want to attract to your construction business.
Define Your Ideal Customer
The more specific you are, the better your marketing strategy will be. Here's four questions to get started:
1. Age – how old would your ideal customer be?
Whey would it matter how old your customer is?
Let's consider the growing families you're trying to reach. Remember our couple in their late 20's at this beginning of this article?
They were fresh out of college and wanted to build a home that is uniquely theirs -- well, let's say they're also expecting their first child. This couple falls into the Millennial generation that ranges from 15 to about 35 years old. Do you specialize in building modern family homes? Check! That's one thing Millennials want but where is the best location for your construction services? Do you profit better from building homes in big urban areas? Oops -- nearly 50% of Millennials prefer to live in suburban communities which are near to the urban areas where they work and shop.
Knowing the age group and buying habits of your target customers is a key step in attracting customers to your construction business. Nationwide Mortgages has an excellent infographic with useful information about what Millennials want in a home.
2. Income - how much money do your customers make?
Dave Ramsey, a trusted financial expert, suggests budgeting 25% of your income for housing needs. He uses an example of a $5,000/month gross earnings. According to his example in order to afford a house valued at $281,650, they would need a 40% down payment (this is based on a 15-year mortgage. When defining your ideal clients, it's a good idea to take into consideration the average cost of the homes you build and what income level your customers should be making in order to afford your construction services.
3. Values - what is important to your customers?
Do you build green homes which are good for the environment; are green homes something your customers' value? Perhaps you specialize in "smart homes" your customers can control with their phones or computers. Matching the values of your customers to your home construction specialty ensures you're reaching customers you can serve best.
4. Hobbies - what they do when they're not working
Home offices, man caves, indoor or outdoor entertaining, large garages - these are features built into a home to serve the hobbies of your customers. If your construction company specializes in building compact homes for customers who are downsizing, you might not want to target customers who enjoy entertaining lots of guests.
When defining the demographics of your target customers, think about the best types of projects for your construction company. What construction projects are your best jobs, what makes the best profit for you, you might even want to consider you a certain type of project is something you enjoy building the most or even which customers are the easiest to work with.
Here's a few more things to consider when defining your ideal customers:
- Marital or family status
- Income level
- Personality types
- Needs, challenges, frustrations
- Purchasing decision motivators (donating, volunteering, sharing, environmental concerns, etc.)
Look at your current customers for ideas to put together this information if you get stuck. The people you already serve will provide you with many of the answers you need to define your target audience.
One more item should be considered -- customers who currently don’t fit into your target audience demographics, but you’d like to attract them to your business sometime in the future. These are your aspirational customers. You should define your aspirational customers so you have an idea of new goals to attain. Perhaps you'd like to start working with more Millennials who want large open concept smart homes.
Create Buyer Personas
Putting a name and face to your social media target audience will give you a visual of who you’re trying to reach and make them seem more real and personal to you.
Right now, your social media target audience might look something like this:
Target Market 1
Husband and Wife
Married with 1 Child
By digging a bit deeper you can build a persona like this:
Dick and Jane
Dick is an RN and Jane is a software developer
Both are college graduates
Income $150k - 200k
Married with 1 kid
Lives in a suburb just outside the city
Interests Hiking, Entertaining, Building Hot Rods
Buying motivation: They've just had their first child and currently live in an apartment. They plan to have more children in the future and prefer to have a home where their children will grow up. They enjoy entertaining and having lots of friends over for dinner; their apartment just doesn't have the room they need for a lot of guests.
Buying concerns: Dick and Jane have very different personalities, he enjoys cooking and throwing parties while Jane enjoys building the hot rod out in the garage. As a software developer, Jane is very interested in having a smart home which is easily controlled from her phone but Dick finds technology challenging. After a hard day at work, Dick wants to relax with the kids and possibly a few friends without trying to mess with lots of gadgets. Jane prefers to retreat to the garage and get some much need time to relax and recharge.
Using the information you defined for your buyer persona, you’ll be able to set achievable goals direct to your target audience and overcome the buying concerns which they have. You don't need to limit yourself to just one buyer persona - consider the demographics of Millennials. The range in age from 15-35; some are just driving cars while others might be moving to their second home. Within this one generation alone could be multiple buyer personas which would be a perfect fit for your construction company.
Attract Customers to Your Construction Business
Once you know who you want to reach, you have the ability to start creating a strategy which will reach those customers. You will need to implement strategic marketing techniques designed to meet the needs of your target customers:
- Responsive Website - this is actually a must-have in your marketing toolbox; more consumers turn to the internet for market research than to any other form of media
- SEO - search engine optimization is another must-have; but developing the right SEO strategy depends on who you want to reach
- Online Marketing - This includes social media, content marketing, email marketing, local SEO, paid ads for social media or perhaps even for re-targeting strategies
Tell us your experiences with creating buyer personas. If you've been in business for a long time, is this something you did right-away when you first created your business? Are you a new business just getting started? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.