Marketing is an area that’s surrounded by a largely unnecessary amount of smoke and mirrors, particularly at the campaign planning stage. However, it doesn’t need to be that tenuous. Tracey Daniel strips marketing down to its basic, common sense essentials.
If you are the person who is eventually paying for your marketing bill, it can often feel like you are an outsider in your own performance. Real estate is no different from most industries in this respect.
As with most things in life, the key to staying in control while still delivering results is largely down to sticking to a set of firmly established common sense principles from the outset. There’s no shortage of arcane details to get fixated on over the course of the average marketing campaign, so it’s critical you boil things down to the essentials from the beginning to keep things manageable.
Within this article, I will strip the whole process right down to the bone and set you up for success with five common sense questions to build your marketing campaign on. Use these and you are off to the best possible start.
Let’s kick things off with the most obvious point to consider.
1. Who are you after?
Though it sounds like an almost insultingly obvious question to consider, you’d be flabbergasted at the number of companies, not just in real estate, who are prepared to commit significant money to their marketing budgets without really considering their target market.
The next time you encounter a high-profile marketing message out in the wild, stop for a moment to ask yourself: who is the target market here? The answer should be instantly apparent, but unfortunately, all too often it’s not clear.
This is naturally even more critical when it’s your own budget at stake. Therefore, you need to be crystal clear about whose attention your marketing campaign is trying to attract. To achieve this, be sure to establish in-depth buyer personas to clarify matters, spend time on detailed demographics, and make sure you know your target audience backwards before even attempting to speak to them.
If you’re handing off the nitty-gritty of campaign planning to somebody else, they need to be able to answer this question convincingly and at length. At the first sign of bluster or uncertainty with this core consideration, be prepared to pull the plug.
2. Where can you find them?
Once you’ve worked out who you’re after, the next logical question is of course where are you going to find them? Are you looking largely at online initiatives or would it be worth moving offline to get at a particular niche?
The sad truth of most marketing campaigns is that poor targeting drains much of their effectiveness before they even have a chance to show a return. In the rush for quick returns, it’s all too easy to get loose with your targeting and assume that the right message is somehow going to magically resonate with the wrong audience.
Don’t fall into this trap – keep hammering away at identifying places where your target market naturally gathers and be prepared to do whatever it takes to get your material in front of them.
3. What price point are they at?
No matter what level of the market you’re operating at, pricing is always an ongoing puzzle. Based on your experience, you’re naturally going to have a pretty solid view of potential price points before you pull the trigger on a campaign, but it’s always worth considering this question in isolation at the planning stage.
As real estate professionals are particularly aware, pricing landscapes can change bewilderingly quickly in response to wider events. Last year’s sure-fire seller could suddenly be hard to shift if the market turns. Ideally, you want a bang up-to-date idea of exactly how price sensitive your target audience is to make sure you’re giving your campaigns the best possible chance of success.
4. What’s happening inside your prospects’ heads?
If you know who your prospects are, where they are, and how much they’re prepared to spend, you’re off to a great start. This is enough to at least get you in the door in terms of attention, but you’ll need to truly differentiate your offering to start making the sale.
Mapping the interior landscape of the people you’re trying to market to is key for crafting the right message – when it comes to driving action, you need to actually get inside people’s heads. The more you find out about your target market’s desires, needs and worries, the more persuasive your marketing copy will naturally be.
Someone who’s considering purchasing or renting at the upper reaches of a top-tier property market like Sydney is going to have a very different set of questions and concerns compared to somebody struggling to get their first foot on the ladder. Start mapping out the interior pre-purchase journey they’re going on and you’ll quickly start seeing the basics of an incredibly effective pitch come together.
5. How can you go the extra mile?
With our first four questions to steer by, you should by now be starting to get a very clear idea of what direction your overall campaign should be heading in. One killer question remains – how can you go the extra mile?
If you’re operating at the top end of the Australian real estate industry, you’ll be more aware than most that this is a market segment that demands you go above and beyond and is more than prepared to reward you for doing so.
The potential returns on offer at the upper echelons of the market also mean that you can afford to invest extra resources in really knocking it out of the park on the campaign level. The options here, of course, are numerous and will vary wildly from property to property and campaign to campaign so let creativity be your guide.
Perhaps the best way of considering this final question is in the context of the ones that have preceded it. The first four questions are there to protect your investment and keep you solid on the basics. The last one frees you up to concentrate portions of your budget where they have the most chance of moving the needle with a demanding audience – use the opportunity wisely.
Modern marketing campaigns have long since moved on from being set-it-and-forget-it affairs. These days, you’ll more than likely be adjusting your campaigns constantly in response to the stream of real-time data they deliver.
In this context, kicking things off with a rock-solid set of assumptions is more important than ever and slowly working your way through the five common sense questions we’ve outlined will put you in a great starting position for delivering extraordinary results!