Where Do You Fit In?

At a recent regional conference for the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), a higher education representative suggested that it might be a good idea for designers to interview end users for a proposed life sciences building in order to better understand their needs. By using Building Information Modeling (BIM), it was suggested that it is possible to give them a virtual walk-through before actually building the building. Their suggestion made me wonder; as marketers, just how thorough are we at understanding our target audiences and their myriad needs?

A site selection consultant friend once observed how some communities are masters at attracting target industries while others are mere wishful thinkers. The more prepared economic developers fully understand the needs of their prospective clients; have researched their industries, their target audiences, trade associations, trade shows, and have matched them with the assets of their community. Their marketing efforts are very detailed, speaking specifically to the needs of the audience. This is clearly required in order to make a case for locating there.

The unprepared economic developer, in my friend’s opinion, is often no more than a wishful thinker, hoping to get lucky enough to land the next big pharmaceutical manufacturing facility or auto plant. The problem is that he or she may have overlooked the research and marketing required to appropriately tell their story.

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