Putting the customer first in a digital landscape for property professionals

For PR and marketing professionals, putting the customer first is second nature. But according to a line-up of experts at the EG Marketing Summit, the property industry is lagging behind. Annie Brafield shares her top tips for maximising marketing spend and delivering real ROI

PR and marketing professionals are adept at understanding our audience, what makes them tick and how to influence them with tailored content – but experts at the EG Marketing Summit last month say the property industry is lagging behind.

The marketing – and, in particular, digital – landscape is changing quicker than ever before, offering us more ways to target our customers, so understanding who they are is imperative if we are to drive enquiries and, ultimately, sales.

Perhaps surprisingly for a sector, particularly within the residential market, which so directly relies on its customers, the property sector is seemingly forgetting this with its marketing activity.

While you may be tweeting, creating news and devising eye-catching advertising campaigns in earnest, are you actually getting real, tangible results with your marketing?

We have compiled some top tips for maximising your marketing spend and delivering real ROI.

1. Know your audience

It might seem simple but understanding who you are targeting is absolutely essential.

If you don’t know who is buying your product, whether that be a speculatively built industrial unit or a one-bedroom city centre flat, how can you target them effectively?

It’s also important to understand what matters to them – that will help you define the content you share with them.

So, make sure you do your research, whether that be through social listening or getting out and about.

By knowing who you are targeting, you will be able to set better targets and achieve stronger results.

2. Solve problems with compelling content

Once you have established your audience, devising a strategy to target them with well-placed and useful content is the next step.

Identifying their ‘problem’ and giving them a ‘solution’ will achieve the best results.

For instance, you might target a first-time buyer online with downloadable content with hints and tips about buying their first home.

Don’t be afraid to be creative here; attention spans are shorter than ever before and you need to get your message across quickly and succinctly if you are to gain traction – particularly online.

Also remember, you don’t need to try and do everything all at once.

Focus your efforts in line with your specific campaign goals.

3. Win hearts and minds

Again, it might seem simple, but it’s really important to think about how you can foster a conversation.

Broadcasting your news might be important to your board, but is it what your audience is interested in?

How can you get them interested in you and your product or service?

Once you’ve done your research, you will understand how and where your audience is consuming its news or media, so you will be able to become part of that more easily.

4. Interrogate your approach – and make changes

You’ve done your research; you know your audience and where they’re engaged, so the next step is getting your content right.

Creating the right mix of content to suit your audience can be a case of trial and error – it might be that what you think will work isn’t as effective as you’d hope, so it’s important to be agile in your approach.

If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to change it.

There are a number of tools you can use to measure your activity and gather data to inform your approach moving forwards.

For example, looking at your customers’ digital body language online can determine how interested they are and how you can communicate moving forward; engagement figures on social media will inform whether your content is what your audience is interested in; and customer feedback gained in person or online will help you to tailor your activity.

5. Look to the future

An important part of putting your customer first is being able to keep an eye on the future.

You know what your customer wants today, but what about next month? Next year? In five years’ time?

By keeping an eye on the future, you are able to focus on adding value for your audience and your approach will continually refresh.

At Cartwright Communications, we are experts in delivering creative campaigns for clients within the built environment. We deliver integrated PR and digital campaigns, which support our clients’ business goals as well as leveraging our extensive network across the industry to great effect.

If you need any support with your PR and marketing then get in touch on 0115 8532110 as we have extensive expertise within the property and construction sector.

Annie Brafield is a specialist in delivering strategic PR and content marketing campaigns for clients within the property and construction sectors. Contact Annie on 0115 8532110 or send Annie an email.