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As your green building business experiences growth, you may find a point when you’ve reached local market capacity, whether in Minneapolis or elsewhere. The next logical step might be to prepare for expansion into other metropolitan areas.

You may have even started the process of defining and identifying potential markets, exploring customer bases, researching the competition, and exposing barriers to entry.

But traditional market research can be cost-prohibitive, especially for niche green verticals where industry-specific data may be challenging to root out.

One option for green builders considering expansion into new markets is to leverage inbound marketing using your existing website as a supplement to traditional research methods.

Savvy consumers gravitate to the web for answers to their green building questions. As an expert in the field, your content can be repurposed to measure interest levels, create buyer personas, and identify effective distribution channels, all of which can be applied to your market analysis goals. We have provided some ideas to help you expand your market reach using your website.

Measure Interest in the New Markets

If you already have a backlog of content from your primary blog, you can start by repurposing material with data and information specific to the new markets. The focus is to measure interest and engagement by attracting and converting leads rather than closing sales and delighting customers. Gather as much information as you can through value propositions on your site.

Other Resources: Reach New Markets with an Outsourced Marketing Partner

Create Buyer Personas

Using the information you glean from visitors and leads, tweak existing buyer personas to match the characteristics of the new prospects. As you develop clearer buyer personas for the new markets, test varying content ideas to see if different messages resonate better. Use this data to help determine if your services are a right fit for the new markets.

Other Resources: Check out our guide to buyer personas.

Identify New Distribution Channels

Dangling the content carrot is also a way to identify effective distribution channels in new markets. Don’t assume that buyers within the green building space find information from universal channels. Track how your content is being shared among visitors in the new markets for opportunities to amplify your reach and to learn more about the local scene.

I'm not suggesting that these inbound techniques can be used as a standalone process to replace all aspects of traditional market analysis; rather, these are tactics to enhance other research efforts and, at the same time, develop leads should you decide to enter the new market.

One way to gather information from prospects is to conduct a short survey using a survey-creation tool such as SurveyMonkey or Zoomerang for distribution via email or social media channels.

For a strategic marketing consultation for your green building business, please take our survey and contact us.

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