13 Nov Marketing to Building Product Decision Makers
So you want to get your building product chosen by a potential customer? You’ll be trying to influence an architect, designer, engineer, specification writer, owner, or facilities staff. Manufacturers and service providers have been marketing to these decision makers in the same way for decades – I’ll suggest here that there’s a better way – and it has to do with pain points and benefits.
Well-done product messaging and easy-to-use construction documents are important tools for getting a customer to choose your product, but I’ll focus here on product messaging.
As a marketer and former practicing architect, I suggest a different approach with your messaging. Common sense says that if a manufacturer makes it easy for a customer to understand how a product meets their needs, there is a much better chance a customer will choose your product. But in the case of building products where complexity is the norm – manufacturers often make it harder for customers to figure this out because product messaging is too technical and too complex; often throwing too much information and detail at customers too quickly.
How can manufacturers make it easier for customers to choose their product? Start with a solid understanding of your customer and the customers’ pain points. What pain points does the customer want to resolve by purchasing the product? As a manufacturer, have a good understanding of your product’s benefits and be able to simply and quickly connect how they’ll benefit the customer. Sounds simple, but it can be hard to leave out technical details or even product features in the messaging customers see first. Talking about the true benefits of the product leads to how you’re solving the customers’ pain points, not the other way around.
Manufacturers also need to understand that there’s a journey that leads to a decision. It takes place when a customer is learning about your product and starts with simple messaging that communicates key product benefits – then the customer can quickly determine if they want to invest more time and learn more. Keeping them on this journey is critical to selling to them. A pitch that is too complicated and technical will fail. As someone who has specified building products, I can tell you it’s frustrating and can drive customers to look at other products instead.
When the first discussion or marketing/sales materials a customer sees help them to quickly understand that the product solves their key pain points, customers will move on to learning more. This is when manufacturers can make more detailed product information available to answer detailed questions and open discussion with their sales team.
Addressing customer pain points with benefit-focused messaging makes it easier for customers to understand why your product is better, and will convert more customers into consideration and purchase. After all, that’s the goal – right?