The recipe for success when targeting a specific market like architects involves putting yourself in their shoes and acknowledging their specific type of sales cycle—especially the fact that it comprises several different stages.
After all, if you can’t respect how they make decisions about their work, you’ve already failed.
Architects can bring your building materials to life in ways that many others can’t, so it’s crucial to understand what makes them tick. Use every opportunity you get to learn new things about this target market—then you can laser focus your messaging and reel them in with ease.
The goal is to get a holistic perspective on how they operate within the industry and how they make purchasing decisions. If you can crack the code of what draws them to a particular brand, your company may be able to gain a customer for life.
Use Research to Learn Something New About the Audience
Like any industry or market, as time passes, the way business interactions take place evolves, so there is always something new to learn. The process of building your architect buyer persona should be ongoing and revisited each quarter.
When conducting your research, start with what you know. Continue to monitor social media, read trade publications, and talk to people like contractors and builders who work with architects regularly.
Be creative and find new avenues for research that you wouldn’t normally think of. Maybe you go out of your way to befriend an architect and learn how to see the world through their eyes. Or you find industry discussion forums, where architects look to each other for advice and insights in their own industry.
The more information you can gather about architects—and their relationship to others in the industry and your product—the easier it will be when it comes to creating valuable content for them on your website and through your digital presence at large.
Make Sure Architects Keep Finding Your Brand When They Do Research
As you learn new things about your target market and perfect your messaging, your business needs to show up first in the search results for any keywords relevant to your products. Believe it or not, search engine optimization (SEO) is a major part of targeting the right audiences. You could have the perfect product that will sell itself every time, but if an architect doesn’t know you exist, they won’t buy it.
Oftentimes, it will be junior architects who do research for products and will have the most interaction with your website. By formulating the perfect architect persona, you’ll be able to get inside their heads and consider the questions they would be typing into Google. Then you can create the content that will answer those questions. Over time, you will build excellent SEO, credibility, and organic website traffic.
Outbound tactics like Google AdWords will work well here too. Buying ads will ensure that your site shows up first in search results, and with the proper landing pages, architects will come to you faster and give their information to you so they can learn more about your product.
Consider this when creating a content strategy and deciding what type of content offers you will be creating: It always has to be worth their while or they won’t want to give you their information.
For example, instead of giving information about your brand’s product, create a guidebook to show how to use your type of product in the building industry for, say, commercial purposes. Your initial contact doesn’t has to be a full-blown sales approach, but it does need to provide helpful information.
Be a Trusted Advisor by Creating Educational Content for Architects
By this point, you might be thinking you already know that creating good content is important. I repeat it so many times because I want to reinforce this concept and really impress upon you how important this step is in hyper-targeting a niche audience like architects.
At the end of the day, no one wants to be sold to or talked at. They want information because knowledge is power. That is what will help them do their jobs better and make their lives easier.
According to building materials consultant Mark Mitchell:
“Yes the architects are looking for CEU credits but they are also looking to learn how to design and build better buildings. They have problems that they want to learn how to solve, whether or not they get a CEU credit. Too many building material manufacturers don’t take the time to consider the audience at the trade shows they attend. They use the same booth with the same message at a show for architects or builders or contractors. They take a one-size fits all approach, which reduces the effectiveness and their ROI.”
This goes back to the importance of personas, which means understanding who architects are, what their problems are, and finding ways to craft a custom experience for each interaction with your brand. It doesn’t matter if it’s online, at a trade show, or a big box store like Home Depot. Wherever an architect will encounter your brand, not just your product, you need to be prepared for it.
When targeting architects, take the approach of trying to remove all obstacles and be sure each potential question is answered about your product and the industry. Find ways to build trust and credibility through education, empathy for their needs, and learning how to think with an architect’s brain.