How to Construct an Effective Marketing Strategy
A guest blog by Andrew McNair.
Marketing is an essential part of getting your business the right coverage, for the right audience.
It’s the process of communicating a brand, with the purpose of advancing a product or service.
Jon Baily, Head of Marketing at the Cream Club, gave us his professional insight into the industry, by condensing his 15 years of experience (and counting), into five key points.
Always have measurable goals.
Very often, especially in the estate industry, companies will pour money into newspaper advertising, with no idea on its return.
What Jon proposes is a system whereby you can track an enquiry, through the sales process, to a done deal. So for example, an online campaign costing £500, will allow a business to track the progress of the ad on a ‘cost per page impressions’ basis. Say the campaign receives thousands of page impressions, five of which lead to online contact form requests, and one sale worth £2500, you can see the total profit margin is £2000.
Can you measure your print campaign this easily?
Provide relevant info to your clients.
It’s all well and good having a snazzy website, packed full of product listings, and quirky little blurbs accompanying pictures of employees with Windsor knots. Yes it’s important, but how does this help your clients?
Say for instance, posting articles about property performance on a particular road, or comparing property performance on two roads, you are demonstrating local know-how, and building trust.
With stats about a particular area, “you can position yourself as the local expert” said Jon.
Try being a mystery shopper.
One of the first ports of direct contact with a business, is the telephone. So how can you know how effective this first contact is if you have no idea what the customers mindset is as they sit and wade through all the automated options?
At a marketing conference, Jon and the rest of the attendees were asked to phone their own offices, and see what the response was like. Some of them didn’t return after lunch as they went back to fix all the problems they encountered on the phone.
The biggest thing about efficient marketing, is knowing the mind of your audience. Call your offices one day, experience the same frustration that your clients do, and fix them. Assuming you have problems of course.
Remember, if people are struggling to contact you, you lose calls, and you lose money.
Don’t be scared of social media.
Personality is important. Tweeting employee birthdays and office goings-on is fine, but it’s completely useless on its own, because nobody really cares.
For example, customers don’t follow estate agents to find properties, they’d go on a website like Rightmove or Trulia, so why tweet endless property listings? Prospective customers will follow you to see if you really know what you’re talking about.
Try tweeting links to similar blogs, interact with similar companies and individuals, give customer advice, deal with complaints, and most importantly, BE HUMAN. Nobody wants to read something that sounds like it came from an automated robot.
Whatever you do, don’t shy away from having a Twitter account, 95% of all property searches start online.
Invest in your own brand, rather than endless property listings.
It’s useless. If someone wants to find a product, they’re more likely to go onto something like Trulia or Rightmove. If they’re looking for a particular company, they want to know why they should go to you and not your competitor.
If you’re an estate agent, why not have a profile on the manager, who’s worked there for 25 years, and knows the area inside out?
Talk about what makes you different, be honest, and build trust. Win the vendor with your ability to attract the right buyer.
Similarity and settling are a recipe for mediocrity. Offer something different, create something different, BE DIFFERENT. Otherwise what’s to stop your paying customer from going to your biggest rival?
Are you bold enough to be different? What sets your business apart from its competitors? What other effective marketing strategies have you set in place for your business? We’d be glad if you can share your thoughts with us.
Andrew McNair started his journey in the creative industry by moving to the gorgeous country of Surrey. He learned his trade at the University for the Creative Arts. He is currently honing his writing skills in Cambridgeshire.
Having specialised in Broadcasting, He has been working on developing himself as a well-rounded multi-platform journalist, and presenter. Want to find out more? Check out his website and twitter!