Home Service Businesses need to understand their customers to market effectively. They should create a strategy that targets their customers with personalized content. Through the process, they should deliver this content at the right moment.
What is the best approach to precision marketing and messaging for your home service business? Developing an STP (segmentation, targeting, and positioning) model for your business.
An STP model has three primary components:
- Segmentation, where a business identifies market sections and characteristics
- Targeting, Identifying, and matching the potential value of specific segments about certain products and services is targeting.
- Positioning refers to a product or service's placement in the market. It also involves the use of marketing strategies to reach different customer groups. We implement these strategies through targeted messages.
In summary, STP involves deeply understanding who your audience is for your home service company. Linking products/services to specific audience segments helps you organize your strategy. You then develop messaging and the right mix of marketing activities to reach and engage them.
What are the major segmentation components, also known as developing target audience profiles?
There are three major components of a well-constructed target audience profile:
- Quantitative data
- Qualitative information
These are segmentation's building blocks. The goal here is to identify market niches with specific needs in the home service industry. You can then target with customized positioning (marketing messaging) and integrate marketing tactics.
When these three information streams flow together, the result is an actionable profile that empowers robust targeting and positioning—getting the right message of your home service company to the right people in the right way more often. In other words, the result is more robust engagement, conversion, and repeat business from existing customers (Customer Lifetime Value).
What's quantitative data?
Quantitative data are measures or counts expressed as numbers.
For example, you can quantitatively measure the average age of a company's consumers or purchasers of a specific service. Collecting, aggregating, and analyzing quantitative data are essential in building a solid target audience profile. These data points are just part of a complex picture, however.
Customer quantitative data comes in many forms. We place them in two primary buckets of information:
To build a solid quantitative data profile, a company must look at various counts and values to get a clear picture of its target audience. The following data points should be part of a company's target market profile:
- Age ranges
- Marital status
- Number of children
- Income ranges
- Home value and home ownership
- Education levels
- Disabilities and mobility
- Employment status
For example, say you have a gutter replacement company. You could also collect the average age of your customer's home or how long they have lived in their home. You can target neighborhoods that fit that age range profile from this data.
In this example, your data shows that people replace their gutters shortly after they move into the home. You can target new home sales or team up with a Real Estate Agent as their preferred vendor.
Another important quantitative consideration is geographic location. Especially with your home service company - it is a best practice to your target audience profile by defining the geographic boundaries.
Consider the following geographic target audience profile inputs:
- This could include a mile radius from a central retail location. (i.e., 10-15-20 miles out as primary, secondary, and tertiary geographic markets)
- Conduct research to determine consumer locations. This will enable businesses to focus on areas with high sales potential and identify untapped markets.
- Create a map indicating the boundaries of these geographic markets.
- You can conduct more research by buying mailing lists or hiring an external company. This research will focus on studying the market using customer demographics. The purpose is to confirm the limits of the market.
What is qualitative information?
Qualitative data cannot be expressed in numbers and is used to characterize and approximate.
"Qualitative data analysis tries to answer questions about what actions people take and what motivates them to take those actions," according to Search CIO.
This is where defining your target audience involves psychographics and a more narrative approach to what makes your customers tick. How do they behave? What motivates them? What might make them more likely to buy a product or service? How do they see the world?
The answers to these questions will not be numerical outputs. This data is in a storyline that frames segments of your target market. This adds color to the quantitative data housed in your database.
"Psychographics are kind of like demographics. Psychographic information might be your buyer's habits, hobbies, spending habits, and values. Demographics explain 'who' your buyer is, while psychographics explain 'why' they buy," according to HubSpot.
Understanding the "why" is hard, but with current data, a company can create a successful marketing strategy that targets specific customers. Precise and updated target audiences lead to more engagement, while poorly constructed or limited target markets have the opposite effect.
What are personas and how do companies build them?
A persona is a semi-fictional customer archetype that details customer demographics, goals, pain points, and biases. Your set of personas will become your team's roadmap for knowing the best way and time to attract their interest.
According to a report by DemandGen, a well-known brand, Thomson Reuters, "Buyer personas contributed to a 175% increase in revenue attributed to marketing, 10% increase in leads sent to sales, and a 72% reduction in lead conversion time."
A persona is created by writing a short story about your customer's weekday and weekend activities. Review the short story. Look for patterns such as routines, feelings, values, and common friction points.
For a more in-depth look at personas, consider checking out the following blog series on the topic:
How to develop strong targeting tailored to specific target market segments
After identifying different groups of potential customers, your team must evaluate the potential of each group. Consider the context of your company's resources, products/services, and the potential financial upside for each audience segment.
To achieve robust market targeting, take the following steps to create a prioritized list of segments/niches:
- Examine the overall size of your potential market and the niches you've identified. If your company's market is already tiny, does segmentation make it smaller? In other words, is your company's market large enough for segmentation to make sense?
- If your marketing and sales teams look hard enough, you can always identify niches or subsections of your audience. The critical question is, are these differences measurable? The differences must be trackable and clearly defined for the segmentation to be impactful.
- Is it worth investing in marketing for a product if it can make money and be successful in a specific market? In other words, does a market segment project generate a strong ROI (return on investment)?
- How hard is it to engage niches within your target audience? Can you reach them quickly and without the additional expense of treasure and human capital?
- Target market segments or niches must have different problems and requirements to make segmentation effective.
For STP to be logical, your company's market must be unique, reachable, and profitable. In some cases, your marketing team might initially identify six market segments. After assessing them using the criteria above, it might be wise to reduce them to three.
Ultimately, your business will identify niches requiring you to create a positioning platform. Your positioning platform will be configured to maximize niche engagement and conversion.
What is positioning?
Intimately knowing your potential customers and existing patrons is essential. It will only be helpful if your company knows who it is and what its brand stands for.
The key is that you must deeply know your market and your brand. Positioning is only possible if you know your brand and it is cohesive. Your integrated marketing approach will not be as practical as it could be.
Home service companies of all sizes must establish a positioning platform, whether franchises, corporations, or smaller family businesses. to execute an STP approach to marketing effectively.
How does a company develop a robust positioning platform?
- Understand what makes your brand meaningful and different
- Document your brand in its current state and what you believe is your position in the market
- Perform a competitor analysis to see what other companies do in your market.
What is your top home service competitors' brand positioning? What products and services do they offer, and how do they present them to market segments? Where is your company similar to other companies in the market? What opportunities or gaps exist that your company can capture?
- To determine what makes your company unique, combine and analyze all available information. This will help identify the individual and one-of-a-kind aspects of your company.
- Create a document that outlines your company's brand values, what sets it apart, and the main messages you want to convey. Also, tailor your messages for different products/services and target audiences you want to attract and convert.
Doing a deep dive into your company brand related to the market will uncover new opportunities. The research will help guide the deployment of specific messages via specific marketing channels that will more effectively engage market niches. This approach will capture more leads, retain current clients, and generate more business from existing customers.
The goal of an STP approach is to understand the big picture. Who are your home service customers, and where does your company fit in that market? Curate your brand messaging based on this research. Elevate certain brand aspects for specific audiences and perhaps downplay some characteristics for others to increase market share and customer loyalty.
Put simply, an STP approach leads to knowing who you are and who you're speaking to. Using the right messaging and marketing channels will improve your marketing by attracting, engaging, converting, and retaining leads and customers.
Illumine8 can help you better understand how to develop and execute an STP-based approach to integrated marketing. Reach out to us today. We'd love to hear more about your story, challenges, and goals for the future.