In a previous article on defining whom your customer is (available here), we talked about how important it is to outline their characteristics so that you know their values and you can find them. Once this is done, the next step in developing the foundations of your marketing program is to match up their values, needs, and the problems they face with messages of what your company can deliver and how. You need to develop your value proposition.
We know that if you are working with homeowners their purchase barriers will include high perceived risk. This comes from TV shows like Holmes on Homes depicting nightmare scenarios of the results of bad contractor work. They play on the homeowner’s fear of losing value in their family’s most important asset. So from our customer profile, we know you will need to reassure them and provide proof that they can trust you. If you do more institutional work, you will consider the barriers for facilities managers, procurement agents and the committees involved in reviewing your bids. You might address your safety record, project management practices or other things that will convince your customer. For both these scenarios and all others you address your client’s values, needs, and pains through your marketing messages.
Your main marketing message is your company’s value proposition and it tells your customer what you do and what the main value you offer is. This should increase the perceived benefits of working with you and reduce the perceived risks of working with you.
A very popular template for getting the basics out on paper comes from Geoffrey Moore of Silicon Valley and it goes like this:
For ____________ (target customer)
Who ____________ (statement of the need or opportunity)
Our (product/service name) is ____________ (product category)
That (statement of benefit) ____________ .
If we fill it out it might look something like this:
For forward-thinking 40-something couples with kids in the trendy suburbs of Fairway and Canton
Who care deeply about the environmental footprint of their home
Our company is the leader in green home design and construction
That results in homes with dramatically reduced carbon emissions and energy bills.
You wouldn’t publish this, but now you understand your customer and your value solidly enough to write something more eloquent.
A final exercise that is very helpful is writing out your benefits statements. A benefit is usually another side of a feature.
Ex: If a feature is that your product controls the temperature without using energy then the benefit is a lower energy bill.
Ex: If a feature is that your product has a low carbon footprint, then the benefit is a better tomorrow for your family.
People don’t care as much about the features of your product or service as they do for the benefit to themselves. Always speak their language.
Greendale Passive Construction is the leader in innovative green building solutions that result in a low carbon footprint, low heating and cooling bills and a better tomorrow for your family.
Next time we’ll start looking at the things you need to consider for building an amazing construction website.
Andrea Butterworth is the owner of Dyggz Marketing; a company focused specifically on websites and marketing for construction (AEC) and trades. With over a decade in corporate leadership roles in web publishing and marketing, Andrea started her own company helping businesses big and small develop and implement successful online strategies. After working with varied companies in the construction industry she decided to support this segment explicitly and constantly work to deepen her understanding of the most effective ways to market them.