How Contractors Should Target Their Market.

Target Markets for Contractors

We often hear that we need to know our target market. I have even wrote about buyer personas.

But what does target market and buyer persona really mean? How can you use them to make your marketing more effective and yield a higher return on your marketing dollar.

Target Market or Market Segment

When I ask contractors, who is their target market, many tend to say “everyone”. In reality, they mean no one. In their quest to get as many customers as possible, they try and serve a wide market.

On the face of it, it seems logical. Because, who really knows who is a buyer and who is not.

However, this is a huge mistake.

Contractors feel when they narrow down their focus, the may miss potential customers. They feel if the get their name out there, someone will contact them. Some call this branding, but I will tell you branding will break you. If you are going for brand awareness for your business, you better have a big budget.

Example: Let’s say you are a roofing contractor in Gloucester County, New Jersey. My research shows 114,000 homes. Now, not every home gets it’s roof replaced every year. To keep it easy for this example, we will say that a home replaces its roof every 20 years. So 1 divided by 20 equals 5%. 1/20=.05. That equals 5,700 homes that will get their roof replaced in a given year.

Why waste your marketing dollars on reaching the other 95%, if they fall into the category of not ready, not now or I don’t need a roof.

This can go for anything. Hot water heater replacement every 12 years on average. HVAC systems every 15 years, painting every 8 years, windows and doors every 20-25 years.

Now that we have the total marketing area segmented down to a more likely to buy or need amount.

We then move to buyer personas.

Buyer Persona or Customer Avatars

In our target market example above, we see that for our roofing contractor, there are 5,700 homes that need a roof replaced.

Not all of these homeowners are our ideal customer. Some are price shoppers, some will have their cousin do it and others won’t be a good fit for our roofing contractor.

Let’s say this roofing contractor likes to work with professionals over the age of 40 and who has been in their home for over 10 years (They aren’t house broke, and have equity/funds).

Customer Avatar, Buyer Persona
Buyer Persona. It helps to have an image of them when writing your message.

Through our database we see that this represents about 22% of the homeowners in the Gloucester County area. Now that 5,700 roof replacement number becomes 1,254. You can see we drastically reduced our overall market segment and target buyer persona down to about 1% of the market.

Where do we find these buyers?

Myself, I am a data driven marketer, so I pull up a database map of homes that were built between 1990-1999 to fit the homes most likely to need a roof replaced.

In the map below, the darker the shaded area the higher the concentration of homes built between these years (1990-1999). We can see Mantua area is the darkest (60% of these homes were built 1990-99). So it is safe to say the most roof replacement demand would be in this area.

That would be ground zero for our marketing bullseye.

Market Research for Contractors.  Roof Replacements.  Targeted ads.
Mantua is the first area, to target based on the amount of demand.

Facebook Ads

We can also look at other databases to see where and how we can target this segment and buyer persona. I like to do a simple Facebook search for my buyer persona to see what kind of numbers there are. In this example there are 56,000 people in Gloucester County that I can show ads to.

Now not all of these people live in a home that was built between 1990-1999. So running an ad to them I would be have quite a few misses. Going by percentages, only 20-22% of thee 56,000 would fit our segment and persona. But, that is ok and here is why.

Facebook Ad targeting Gloucester County, New Jersey

Facebook ads are cheap.

Right now, there is no other way to reach someone for a penny and have them see my message. From experience, $600 I could reach around half that market group.

Expected results/leads: Around 20-30 with the right ad. Possibly more with a good lead magnet and follow through with the lead.

Ok, lets move on to another tactic in the ad campaign.

Direct Mail

Yes, direct mail.

It is not dead and in recent years has made a come back as a marketing tool. I am not talking a mass mailing, no, not at all. This is not a place for Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)

But, a focused mailing. Remember our targeted segment and persona.

How do I know who to mail to and what is there address?

Again, I go to a database.

Highly Targeted List of Prospects

As you can see this list above meets our segment and buyer persona to a Tee.

Now, wouldn’t you say our chances of getting our ads, our marketing message in front of the right people for our offer have greatly increased?

I thought so.

Plus, we now know and have the names, addresses, phone numbers and more detailed information on 958 prospects.

If this was my target campaign for a client, we would do a jab, jab, right hook direct mail. Which is postcard, postcard and lumpy mail. (Cost to reach them once a month for 3 months $1,400 total)

Note: My lump mail for a roofing contractor is a 2 inch by 2 inch piece of shingle. It gets the letter opened and lets the prospect feel the roofing material. For a second, it gets them thinking and involved.

Expected results/leads: Around 40-50 with the right ad. Possibly more with a good call to action and landing page.

Google Ads and Google My Business

Now that we know the who, what and where, Google Ads and running an effective Google My Business campaign is so much easier. With a little research on keywords we can target those with search intent. The ones in our segment and persona that are actively searching for roof replacements in this articles example.

Your Google My Business posts and offers during this campaign should match the segment and persona. The images you post to your GMB (Google My Business) should match the hatch so to speak.

When I run Google Ads for my clients, I always start at the lowest cost/bidding I can until we find the right click to conversion match up.

With the research conducted in the first parts of this campaign, it is quite easy.

Since these ads are not a general ad to a MASS of people, the click to conversion rate is high and the average cost you can expect to pay for an exclusive lead is $40-70.

Everything about the campaign message, image, media, website landing page, etc. is geared toward the segment and buyer persona.

Again, it is HIGHLY targeted.

Targeted Market Conclusion

In this article I have give you some examples of three different media to use on your targeted segment and buyer persona. I want to leave you with this way of looking at it.

A 100 watt bulb, like the kind we use in our home, can light up a room. But a 100 watt laser can cut through steel. Same energy, dramatically different results. The difference is how the energy is focused. The exact same thing is true of your marketing.

If you like the blog, like and follow. Leave me a comment.

You can also get some good marketing tips and see what the hell I am doing by following me on any social media channel.

If you would like some help with your marketing, shoot me an email

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