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Audience Segments & Persona Development in the Building Industry


It’s no secret that builders and architects speak different languages. They, along with other audiences in the building industry, have different values. Tools like email, advertising and other content marketing tactics give us the ability to efficiently tailor messages and value propositions to individual audiences. The hard part? Figuring out the best way to segment and develop personas to communicate with each audience.

Will all builders respond to the same messaging? Do commercial and residential architects have vastly different opinions?

Understanding how to target and talk to the decision makers in your industry is key. The more you learn about your audience, the more you can influence ROI on your marketing.

Understanding your audience segments

The power to understand audience segments starts with the data you have available. Common sources of information include your website, sales data competitors and sales reps.

Website audits – Search behavior and site usage tell us what content customers value. What questions are they trying to answer? What problems are they trying to solve? Looking at how each audience finds you can tell you a lot about how to position your brand.

Content on a website is often designed for specific audiences. If you have an architectural resource, take a look at pages viewed before and after that page to get and idea of what else resonates with architects.

Sales data – If you are already on a CRM, you probably have a wealth of information about your customers. Data points like company size, job title, region or construction type can be great ways to slice segments along very meaningful lines. For example, you may find time-to-close is much longer for commercial audiences. Your content marketing can accommodate the audience with more touchpoints.

Competitive intelligence – The building products industry is rife with competition. You may not currently segment audiences and tailor messaging, but your competitors likely are. Reviewing their websites, blogs and social media is a great way to see what resonates with an audience.

Sales rep interviews – Once you’ve done your homework, you can go to sales reps with a list of informed questions. By now, you should have several assumptions about the best way to segment customers and build your personas. These interviews can either confirm suspicions or help you redefine and reposition certain segments.

Building Segments

Once you have a clear picture of your universe, it’s time to build your segments. You should have the information you need to make decisions about primary and secondary factors used to create your segments.

Remember your personas can be as broad or narrow as they need to be. This can depend on:

  • The content you have to support a persona – It’s always good to know more about your customers, but your marketing has to support your data. If you don’t have the content, start small, and build your personas as you build your content.
  • The marketing technology supporting your marketing – The narrower your audiences, the more analytics are necessary. The use of marketing automation, a CRM and clear communication between the two are important as you build out your plan.
  • The range of information available – Sometimes there’s only so much so say. Especially when it comes to highly regulated products, there’s often little variance across the industry. Sometimes it’s more effective to keep it simple.

Learn more about True’s approach to content marketing and persona development.