Finding and engaging with your audience

Finding and engaging with your audience

CPD is a great tool for engaging with your audience while introducing your company and its products. But first you need to find that audience. Chris Ashworth of Competitive Advantage explains the process.

As I said in my previous blog, Integrating your CPD into your Content Plan, the topics covered in your CPD seminar can provide some great content for blogs and white papers, which in turn will generate enquiries. While this is very effective at generating ‘Hot Leads’ it is a passive process. You can also be proactive, reaching out to your target audience and encouraging them to view your technical seminar.

The first step is selecting the market sectors which represent the best opportunity. This should be based on forecasted sector growth which will show where most opportunities will be. For example, at the time of writing, housing is the sector with greatest forecasted growth. This then splits into various sub-sectors, each with different needs. Your products will be more appropriate to some than others. These are the ones you need to target. In addition, there may be sectors your business strategy has identified as a place you need to be.

Having selected your target sectors use Barbour ABI to identify the architects or engineers who are currently working on projects at the design stage. Who and how many you approach will depend on the form of CPD you are offering:

• Personal delivery which is resource intensive, so only approach those representing the main sales opportunities. Probably the medium to larger practices.
• Online delivery where having created the seminar and posted it online individuals can log on, requiring very little resource for delivery. Allowing you to approach the small practices as well.
You can then build a target list of practices to target.

Right now, the construction industry is really busy, so it’s very likely that unsolicited emails or cold calls will be ignored. To get the attention of the practices and individuals you need to be introducing a CPD which addresses the challenges they are facing now.

By selecting specifiers who are currently designing projects where your product will be required you have started to meet those criteria. Your message then needs to grab their attention, by that I mean an incoming call will:

• Demonstrate knowledge of the project they are working on
• Reference the design challenges
• Explain the topics covered by the CPD and how it will help solve their problems
• Present the credentials of your company (knowledge, experience, product range)
• Refer to any similar projects your products have been used on
• And any projects you have supplied which your target practice designed

As in any sales situation, which this is, preparation is key. If you are offering a solution to a current problem and demonstrating knowledge and understanding of their business then you are much more likely to achieve success.

Further Information
Chris Ashworth is founder of Competitive Advantage Consultancy which specialises in helping building product manufacturers to be more effective at getting their products selected. Services include bespoke market research, learning and development programmes, a range of sales and marketing tools and consultancy to help implement change.

Competitive Advantage work with clients to help them develop effective CPD programmes. Sign up to the Competitive Advantage newsletter for an overview of construction market activity as well as construction sales and marketing advice.

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