by Rebecca Chandler
Today, marketers know more and more about their target audiences. They've become increasingly proficient in securing information via big data collection and we've helped them all along the way by sharing more of our habits through social media, apps, preferences, etc. While some may cite privacy concerns, it could be argued that the better the marketing community knows you, the better they can serve you through advertising and offers that are more closely aligned with your wants and needs. And, conversely, you are presented with fewer ads for things in which you have no interest.
As a real estate professional or small business owner, you may not have big data at your fingertips, but chances are, the profile of your prospective buyer or seller is right there in your head. As I've coached agents in designing their marketing campaigns over the years, I've found that defining the prospective client very specifically is the first step in a successful and profitable campaign. As you plan, start with these questions.
- Where do they live?
- Where do they work?
- Where do they shop?
- Where do they go for entertainment?
- What does this look like on a map?
- What are the words used to describe these areas?
Once you've defined the geographic profile of your target audience, you can use this information both offline and online. For example, once you know where your prospects live, work, shop and play, you can place advertising on the real streets of those geographic locations. That may mean a billboard, a direct mail campaign, or a locally distributed real estate magazine, like The Real Estate Book®. Use lead generation tools like text codes to measure the effectiveness of your ads. Interrupt the offline habits of your prospect. Don't wait for them to search for you online. You'll be one step ahead of the competition.
Use the geographic profile online to define keywords that you will use on your site, and online ad buys. For example, you can very easily and inexpensively purchase ads from Facebook, Yahoo, and Google using these keywords to drive more traffic to your site.
As a next step, think through the demographic and behavioral profile of your prospect.
- What is their age range?
- What is their income range?
- What is their family like?
- Are they permanent or seasonal residents?
First home? Move up? Downsize? Second home? Investment home?
Goals and Objections
- What are their main goals?
- What are their most common challenges?
- What are their most common objections?
- Are their expectations sound?
This information allows you to first, develop a voice for your marketing story, and secondly, overcome any fears they may have, increasing the likelihood that they will reach out to you versus your competition. For example, if your target prospect is a young family with children, your social media campaign might include school information or a calendar of events catering to families. If your targeted prospect is an empty nester, then you would include information on selling your home quickly and the advantages of a condo in a great walking neighborhood, for example.
If your prospect's most common objection is commute times, then include traffic pattern information. The fact that you are well-versed in helping them through their most common trepidations will make them much more comfortable relying on you in their home search.
While this exercise may seem like common sense (and it is), actually going through the steps and definitions will help you make sure your marketing plan is focused and effective.
For more tips on designing successful marketing campaigns for real estate, contact your local Real Estate Book representative.