Buyer personas are generalized, fictional characters that represent a specific segment of your ideal customer base. You’ll create a different buyer persona for each of your commercial construction buyers that may have different company titles, goals, concerns, questions, and challenges. Typically, you’ll have 2-5 personas to start with.
Be as specific as possible; this practice will allow you to create very targeted marketing that’s relevant to your buyer. Relevance is what each buyer is looking for when making a purchase recommendation or decision, and you’ll utilize your buyer personas to create messaging that’s specialized to each one.
Respondents to the 2016 B2B Buyers Survey from DemandGen said the single most influential aspect of any vendor’s website is “relevant content that speaks directly to [their] company.” In fact, 69% said it was “very important,” while 27% said it was “somewhat important.” As a commercial construction company’s marketing leader, you need to be able to meet these demands and use them to improve your marketing results.
So, how do you create accurate, detailed buyer personas for commercial construction buyers?
I recommend you use one of the useful templates that HubSpot has created for this very purpose. Create strong buyer personas using market research, consumer insights (through surveys, interviews, etc.), and your own website data. Here’s how to get started:
- Interview customers to discover what they like about your product or service.
- Look through your contacts database and site history to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content.
- Research your buyers using related forums (Facebook groups, Reddit, specialty association sites, etc.).
- Meet regularly with your salespeople to get their immediate feedback from prospects on what they’re looking for, what they’re seeing, and what generalizations they’re noticing from different types of buyers.
Once you’ve conducted your research, arrange the information in a usable way. The buyer personas should be used by anyone creating marketing messaging, designs, and purchase decisions. They should also be used by sales teams for prospecting and for qualifying leads. Keep in mind that your personas aren’t set in stone; they are a starting point and will evolve, just as your business evolves.
Create a buyer persona using these fields:
- Background (career path, job title, family, job history)
- Demographics (male or female typically, age range, income, and location)
- Identifiers (demeanor, behavior patterns, communication preferences, frequent sites visited)
- Goals (primary and secondary goals related to your company/why they’re searching for a business like yours)
- Challenges (primary and secondary challenges)
- What Can We Do (What can your commercial construction company do to help your persona reach their goals? ...to help your persona overcome their challenges?)
- Quotes (Quotes from actual buyers about goals, challenges, etc.)
- Common Objections (Why wouldn’t they buy your product/service? Why would they select a different company over yours, or none at all?)
- Marketing Messaging (How should you describe your solution to your persona - addressing their problem, not what you want them to buy?)
- Elevator Pitch (Sell your persona on your solution in two sentences or fewer.)
Here’s an abbreviated example of the WHO and WHAT sections for a common commercial construction buyer persona, a general contractor:
The general contractor is typically a hard-working male aged 35-50 who has worked his way up through the ranks to this role. He is attentive to detail, good at communicating, and keeps subcontractors on track. He frequents LinkedIn and is a member of 2 to 3 of his industry's associations to keep his knowledge fresh. This persona is challenged with finding the trades, products and systems that match the plans and specifications of the commercial building project. Their goal is to vet multiple subcontractors who will complete the project well, on time, and on budget.
Once you’ve created your own detailed set of ideal buyer personas, it’s time to implement them into your marketing strategy. Here are some ways I recommend doing so.
How To Immediately Use Personas
- When you create forms on your site, use form fields to allow your visitors to self-select their own persona using descriptions. For example, you may ask, ‘What role do you most identify with?’ and then have options such as ‘Architect, researching specs for a new design’ or ‘General Contractor, selecting final vendors for a commercial building project.’ This shows that you’re anticipating your audience without assuming you already know who they are, and allows you to market more effectively throughout your site.
- Create smart content fields within your site that change based on the persona who sees them.
- Create targeted content that addresses your personas’ concerns. Blog posts are the most efficient way to do this. When your research turns up a challenge faced by a buyer, answer it in the form of searchable content that not only shows up in a search engine, but is also useful for sales teams to send to prospects.
- Analyze the data you’re seeing once you start using personas to guide your content, purchasing, and design.
Check out HubSpot’s free persona generator to create your own commercial construction personas today.
Download our latest ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Highly Targeted B2B Marketing, to learn all the ways you can implement the use of buyer personas on your own site and in your marketing to make an immediate impact.