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    6 Replies Latest reply on Sep 15, 2008 2:05 PM by Iwrite

    Educating a Target Group

    gzuni51 Newbie
      I am starting a new business in a new city and after several weeks of research have found that my service (Infrared Thermography) draws a blank both in the Professional and Residential market. I have anticipated this in my issues of startup but need to have a plan to educate my potential client base. Because this is a service and has many uses in the building industry,manufacturing,energy conservation as well as many other applications I need to devise a cost effective way of offering my services. I have a few ideas of my own but would welcome input from others. Anyone who has had a similar challenge is welcome to chime in.
        • Re: Educating a Target Group
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Educating a Target Group, Welcome Gary

          Interesting question. Let me ask you a question or two.
          *How did you get into this business **of Infrared photography used to determine moisture intrusion,insulation
          issues,building envelope problems in residential and commercial
          structures??.*
          And WHY??

          You need a Marketing Plan, identifying the service, Identifying the demand and your market
          and explaining how your product / service will be advertised and marketed.
          (If you use the word marketing enough, I guess that is why it is called a Marketing Plan)

          Finally if you can get the local newspaper to write a story about you and your product
          It would help.

          Good luck, LUCKIEST
            • Re: Educating a Target Group
              gzuni51 Newbie
              I started the business because I see the need to help customers find an alternative to invasive techniques used by contractors to determine causation of existing problems. Most of the time severe invasive (deconstruction) techniques are used to find problems that may or may not exist. This will only add to the cost of any repairs and will not always give a full or complete picture of problems. While thermography has been around for almost 30 years the public and even people who work in the construction industry don't know how it can be used to quickly diagnose building issues.
              I could go on and on about its applications and benefits but suffice it to say ,those who have used it will use it again. It is much more cost effective than any other technique and much quicker. My website can give you more information.
              I need to show the professional and private sector the benefits of this service. I have thought of radio ads and that will be one avenue. I will market to home inspectors and reparation service companies as well as real estate agents and builders. What I am looking for is a way to educate and show off the technology to increase awareness and demand.I guess after all that the bottom line is " what in your opinion based on experience" would be the best approach?
                • Re: Educating a Target Group
                  Iwrite Pioneer
                  I would use your website to provide the indepth education but I would lean on direct mail to present the over arching theme or concept, supported with some radio and maybe print in some home improvement magazines or local papers.

                  All of your efforts should drive people to the website where you are going to really tell the story. You can also look at email marketing to help. Start telling the story offline and get into real details online.

                  Just my opinion.
              • Re: Educating a Target Group
                DomainDiva Ranger
                Drawing a blank from what professionals? Are you doing business with architects and engineers?
                • Re: Educating a Target Group
                  Lighthouse24 Ranger
                  Is your market outside the USA? Given how long the technology has been around and the fact that it has been used in movies, featured in a variety of news stories, etc. it's hard to imagine that it would "draw a blank" with an intended commercial market in America. What's your approach with the residential market? Is the service affordable enough for a buyer or seller to request or include it as part of a pre-sale home inspection? If so, I can definitely see the need for education there.

                  Whatever the case, you might begin by showing them the technology in a context they've likely already seen (for example, a search for survivors in disaster rubble taken from the news, or a search for a kipnap victim in the woods taken from a crime drama) -- then show an example of your application of the technology as it relates to the building problems they're experiencing.

                  In presenting this to existing building managers or homeowners, two of the obstacles you have to overcome are: (1) they're not interested in the service if they don't believe they have any serious problems (just like nobody in perfect health gets an MRI for grins), and (2) if they already think they have problems, they're still not going to pay to diagnose them if they already know they can't afford to correct the problems -- which is often the case with hidden building issues (if it isn't immediately hazardous, it probably won't have a high priority in most cases). So you have to figure out how to increase the urgency (there are elements within the medical industry that do that by playing on people's fears -- which I'm not advocating, by the way, just mentioning to maybe stimulate other ideas).

                  I hope some of that helps. Best wishes.

                  • Re: Educating a Target Group
                    Lighthouse24 Ranger
                    P.S. The link in your profile has a typo (comma instead of a dot), and therefore doesn't work.
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