There were a number of speakers at yesterday’s Estates Gazette Property Marketing and PR Summit who supported the argument that those who continued to invest in marketing during a recession were most likely to make the most progress when the upturn arrives. The key points I took from each of the presentations that I heard were:

Paul Craven, SEGRO
• Modify your marketing strategy to stay visible in the recession by adopting a “little and often” approach (smaller ad spaces, more frequent and better targeted) and to drive traffic to the web site
• Investigate inbound marketing techniques
• Stay close to existing customers

Richard Crook, Drivers Jonas
• Use the recession to identify new and emerging areas of client need
• Reduce print use and embrace the digital revolution for both cost and environmental benefits
• Cut back on entertaining and make better use of your own facilities for events

Liz Russell, Nabarro
• Make better use of the greater time availability of professional staff – get more people out there networking
• Be bolder and more creative

Marc McConnell, Atisreal
• Ensure message clarity – you need a coherent strategy before investing in any promotion
• With less noise in the market it is easier/cheaper to get a larger share of voice
• Ensure employee engagement on (re)branding programmes

James Friedenthal, Workspace
• Ensure you do thorough source analysis to see where the business comes from
• Develop metrics to know exactly what each activity generates
• Optimising your web site is low cost but highly effective (linking to Paul’s point above about inbound marketing)

Ralph Doyle, Adventis
• Remember to consider the differences between corporate and product marketing/advertising
• Concentrate on position, perception and proposition (differentiation)
• Tell agencies what you want to achieve – not what you want them to do

Mike Slade, Helical Bar
• Greatest concern is falling rents, not falling yields
• Firms need to be “potent” – ready, able and willing to do things

Roger Madelin, Argent Group
• For existing developments it is business as usual with regards to marketing and PR
• Take care with PR – it can cause problems with planning

Andrew Marsden, President of The Marketing Society
• In the property industry, the good marketing is outstanding and the bad marketing is really shocking
• All marketing/campaigns must show clear results – the return on the money invested

Liz Peace, British Property Federation
• Sustainability and our societal contribution provides a real opportunity to raise and improve the image of the property industry