Property marketing: Trends and challenging convention (Summary of EG Property Marketing summit speech)Posted on: July 1, 2014
At the Estates Gazette (EG) inaugural Property Marketing Summit conference on Thursday 26th June 2014 (#marketingsummit) I gave a presentation entitled “Challenging convention: prioritising investment – from traditional to sophisticated marketing in the new property world”.
This is a summary of the key points from my presentation – please email me (email@example.com) if you would like a copy of the distribution version of the Powerpoint slides. There are other blogs relating to other presentations at the conference (see below).
I was asked to:
a) Examine evolving market conditions and customer behaviours
b) Determine how marketing techniques and channels are developing and their appropriateness for property
c) Consider how to add value to empowered customers
d) Encourage creativity
After looking briefly at the forecast trends from futurologists both in the wider economy and on the technological horizon I reflected that perhaps marketing in the property sector was a little behind as supply and demand still puts property sellers in a strong position.
Beyond the generic B2B and B2C classifications, the real estate market has many different segments – investors, developers, occupiers and tenants/residents/consumers and these are also diverse when you start drilling down.
It is not an homogenous market which means that marketing needs to be considered in each of the different sub-segments – a basic principle that is rarely observed. This is further complicated by the technographic and social media segmentation which must be over-layed and we have all witnessed the low adoption rates within the sector.
Visualisation tools enable us to focus on micro-segments and to build buyer personas that allows new digital techniques to be used more effectively.
Another issue is that often the campaigns for each segment are designed and executed individually – with the initial investor and developer campaigns rarely having considered the impact on the downstream occupier and consumer campaigns.
Investors and developers
Marketing still doesn’t not have a place at the table when it comes to some of the most critical elements of the marketing mix – namely, place (land, location and area development), product (nature of the built offices, warehouses or homes) or price. There is little evidence of the use of behavioural economics in determining price and creating choice architectures.
Innovation is Marketing in the property sector is largely focused on promotion or communications. And in the investor and developer markets there is a focus on investor relations and high level personal selling, conducted by agents, in a B2B context within a relatively small market.
Owned media – Web sites are critical but there is little to really differentiate investor and developer sites. There are still many which are not even mobile responsive. Free tools such as Hubspot’s Marketing Grader can pinpoint and help resolve issues around mobile, lead generation, SEO, social media and blogging fundamentals.
Animated infographic – I mentioned Segro’s annual report infographics, videos and social media campaign (primarily through LinkedIn and Twitter) as one that I thought had managed to address both personal and digital channels effectively. https://www.linkedin.com/company/148198?trk=vsrp_companies_res_name&trkInfo=VSRPsearchId%3A3988331404120380100%2CVSRPtargetId%3A148198%2CVSRPcmpt%3Aprimary
Animated and on-line presentations – To support face-to-face presentations, some real estate companies are using software such as Prezi and Presentia to put the clients in the driving seat and sharing on-line portfolios of disparate properties and curating quality content using platforms such as http://www.scoop.it/
If you can’t win the news race, provide the back story – With so many sources provided instantaneous news, there’s an opportunity to provide and regularly update trusted back stories whether on the economics of the property market or on key developments (the example I provided here concerned the legal implications of using commercial drones). There is a move towards measuring influence (with tools such as Klout and PeerIndex) rather than followers, likes and activity.
Generation differences – While Generation X (born 1960s-1970s) predominantly use email, Generation Y/Millennials (born 1980s-2000s) use social media, text and instant messaging. Communication differences will continue to require adaptation in campaigns. The use of social media in B2B sales and relationship management contexts is a topic I have explored extensively in the past – see http://kimtasso1.wpengine.com/one-more-time-why-is-social-media-helpful-to-lawyers-accountants-and-surveyors/
Thought leadership – Whereas the property sector had always been good at producing high quality research, there is a shift to thought leadership campaigns that take a broader view of economic and commercial issues which effectively put real estate on the Board room agenda. The change is reflected in the output of firms like GVA http://www.gva.co.uk/thought-leadership/ and in the recent MIPIM #bullorbear campaign from CBRE investment which combined advertising in the financial and business press, posters in airports, interactive displays at exhibition stands, micro-websites and social media campaigns http://kimtasso1.wpengine.com/property-marketing-case-study-cbre-mipim-bears-bulls-video-social-media/.
Large commercial organisations such as those in the financial and insurance sectors had invested in databases and the use of “big data” to allow predictive analytics. This allows you to model past behaviours of similar groups of clients and thus predict their likely actions in the future – making it easier to target time relevant messages.
Client focus The Regent Street “Office Direct” service for small commercial occupiers was an example of allowing businesses to enter criteria relevant to them (rather than to the property industry) for property searches. http://www.rsofficedirect.com/
Niche approach I highlighted this campaign http://joneslanglasalleblog.com/sandiego/a-space-to-suit-law-firms/#.U7EzMmfQfcs as it focused on providing valuable benchmark information and the business benefits to the members of a small, specific niche (i.e. City law firms).
Digital content and community There was little evidence of the use of SlideShare and ebooks although there was an increasing use of video within the property sector – See http://kimtasso1.wpengine.com/property-marketing-case-study-video-knight-frank-berwin-leighton-paisner-estates-gazette/. Whilst there are strong online communities (e.g. LinkedIn farmers 5,000, property management professionals 51,000 and commercial property investment, development and management 90,000) the level of engagement is weak suggesting that more could be done. Real community programmes – linking commercial tenants, workers, local residents and charities – for example at King’s Cross offer strong potential http://www.allinlondon.co.uk/blogs/showblog.php?post=3039
The “Big Six” of social media were explored with the property industry interest in image sites such as Pinterest and Instagram. The latest developments in Google+ – especially for local businesses – were mentioned. When consumers want us, they must be able to find us. Hubspot’s data on the effectiveness of different channels at driving web traffic surprisingly showed organic search in the lead with email before social media and PPC.
Work to improve the customer experience through quality blogs, local gift cards, mobile apps and real events were considered at http://www.regentstreetonline.com/ and http://www.westfieldeditme.com/ . The East Village marketing lounge was also highlighted http://www.eastvillagelondon.co.uk/ as a good blend of digital and traditional methods.
We looked at Augmented Reality (AR) use for area guides and for providing floor plans and additional information from advertisements, brochures and hoardings using apps such as Virtual View http://www.virtualviewapp.com/ and I managed a Blippar https://blippar.com/en/ demonstration to show integration with video and sound. Examples of projection mapping were considered.
The recent availability in the UK of Google Glasses and their possible use in serving international buyers was another point. The demographics of gamers was considered an indicator of the potential for gamification.
Summary at the panel session
At the final panel session, I provided some thoughts on the future for property marketers:
Learning to run faster – With digital marketing changing so fast, how do we stay abreast of all the developments and find the time to assess which new channels and techniques might be appropriate for our clients and consumers?
More lunatics have taken over the asylum – Not only do we have to attract and engage with consumers and earn their trust, how do we find time to also encourage all of our internal Brand Ambassadors to engage as well as providing a “centre of excellence” to guide their involvement?
Leaps of faith – Whilst we understand the need to build a strong business case with clarity around Return on Investment (ROI) or even Return on Engagement (ROE), how do we achieve this when the channels or techniques are simply too new for us to know or if we hope to be truly innovative and creative?
It’s personal not personalisation – Whilst the focus is on what big data might help us achieve in consumer markets, the big bucks remain in the commercial property sector where personal selling and relationships dominate. What are we doing to increase sales automation and efficiency and to support social CRM?
Collaboration, community and crowdsourcing – Marketing used to control things centrally. We were expected to have all the answers. These days we need cross-functional teams and external collaboration and to work with our clients and referrers through community and crowdsourcing programmes. How do we achieve this?
Paraphrasing Led Zeppelin – The Story remains the same – Regardless of creativity and channel, the focus must be on the stories we are telling – of commercial and consumer success. How do we ensure that good quality content – whether written or visual – is sourced and used for all of our communications?
You don’t sell Maseratis on Amazon – Digital and social methods are not a panacea. We should reflect on our segmentation and, with regards to ultra-high net worth clients, focus on more confidential and personal methods of approach.
- Reflections on Managing Change and Leadership (with book list)
- Perfect Pitches for Property People
- Lawyers, agents and media on international communications in real estate
- Twenty years and counting - The past and future of professional services marketing
- Reinventing marketing – beyond the 4Ps
- Economic update from David Smith (Sunday Times) at the BCO President’s Lunch
- 6 trends for marketers to watch – Compliance, video, creativity, social business, crowdsourcing and big data
- Property marketing case study – John Rushton at Small Back Room: Community, content and customer experience
- Property marketing case study – Will Wright at White Space: Branding and video seeding
- Property marketing case study – Antony Slumbers: a sense of place, experiential marketing and augmented reality
- We’re all change managers in professional services
- Property marketing case study: Adam Tinworth on the challenges of on-line communities and content management
- Property marketing case study – Kurt Özfıçıcı at Fresh01 on virtual tours, drones, Google glasses and projection mapping
- Property marketing case study – Video at Knight Frank, Berwin Leighton Paisner and Estates Gazette
- Property marketing case study – CBRE at MIPIM with bears and bulls video and social media
- Property Marketing: Digital or non-digital? (Land Securities)
- Property marketing – To social media or not to social media? (Knight Frank)
- Property Marketing Case Study – The power of brands in B2B and B2C (Cluttons, Workspace and CBRE)
- Steve Blank’s “lean start up” wins The Laurie Young Global Prize for Thought Leadership 2014
- What are the essential skills for modern marketers?
- Book review: “Leadership transformed – how ordinary managers become extraordinary leaders” by Dr Peter Fuda
- Real estate costs in law firms - The Lawyer UK 200 report
- Growing a surveyors’ practice – Five golden rules? (February 2017)
- Not so much “Pimp My Ride” but “Niche My Market” (Law firm niche marketing)
- Are you ready to change? Remember the change process
- Leading a surveyors’ practice – Eight insights into leadership in property
- To merge or not to merge? Merging property partnerships
- D&AD’s “The Art of Art Direction Masterclass” with Alexandra Taylor
- Marketing in a digital world – Conscious Solutions seminar review
- Creativity 1: Seven steps to become more creative
- Thought leadership lecture for Laurie Young – The future of the professions
- Creativity 3 – Update on brainstorming techniques
- Book Review: The New Successful Large Account Management by Robert B Miller and Stephen E Heiman with Tad Tuleja (KAM – Key Account Management)
- Estates Gazette Property Marketing Summit 2017 – Goals, Digital, Innovation, Content, Video and Experience
- Professional selling tips
- Creativity 4 – Enhancing creativity using Leonardo da Vinci’s seven methods
- Professional Service Firms: Reflections on 2014 – Actions for 2015
- Crisis management - When your web site is hacked…
- “Mavericks, measurement and impatience” Campaign management in the professions – highlights from the West Midlands Professional Marketing Forum
- Property marketing case study – Key points from the EG property marketing conference 2018
- Creativity 5 – Books on creativity
- Anderton Gables building consultancy appoints Kim Tasso as Non-Executive Director
- Managing client service in surveying and property partnerships
- Creativity 2: Creativity and personality profiling
- Book review: Understanding Digital Marketing – Marketing strategies for engaging the digital generation by Damian Ryan Third Edition (Kogan Page)
- Book Review – The Thought Leadership Manual by Tim Prizeman
- Creativity 6 – Doodling is good
- Legal marketing case study: Improving referrals through reward systems at Keystone Law
- Integrated marketing – Joined up sector, KAM and CEM programmes
- Property marketing case study – Client and key client relationship management at JLL
- Book Review: Understanding Digital Marketing – Marketing strategies for engaging the digital generation (Damian Ryan and Calvin Jones)
- Product and service development – Legal Sector (Epoq webinar)
- Law firm app review – ProAnnexUs directory and transaction platform for clients of legal services
- Update on digital marketing and social media in the professions (May 2015)
- Vuture – Marketing and relationship management automation in professional services firms
- Property marketing case study – Integrated campaign on farmland value from Savills rural team
- Improving referrer management in the professions – research into referrer relationships
- Six insights into managing a surveyors’ practice (2016)
- What makes a good marketing campaign?
- Business development for professional service firms – Summary of MBL seminar
- Nine takeaways from the second annual Estates Gazette property marketing summit
- Recruitment and succession of surveyors – Human resources management for property partnerships
- Back to basics – The importance of segmentation and personas
- Importance of Client Experience Management (CEM) - PM Forum conference report 2016
- Creative competencies
- Website Update
- Video in the marketing mix – Legal video awards and trends for 2015
- Sign up for the 2nd Estates Gazette Property Marketing Summit
- Dear fee-earner, Love from Leeds: Why you should allow your marketing and business development team to help you to develop campaigns
- Client feedback – Legal and accounting client feedback from Aframe, Argus Media and Santander (October 2015)
- Property marketing case studies – Relationship management at DTZ, GVA, JLL, Knight Frank and Savills
- Change management in a surveyors’ practice – Bridging the gap between the old and the new
- The Lawyer UK 200 Workspace report – Law firm use of real estate
- Law firm web site benchmark from Draw
- Book Review – The Analytical Marketer – How to transform your marketing organization by Adele Sweetwood
- Google and social media advertising
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – Comparing systems for lawyers and marketers
- Speaking and Lecturing
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