By Angela Sweeney, Executive Director of Pylot™, a digital platform from Imaginuity
Commercial real estate marketers today must navigate an increasingly complex marketing landscape. How can you identify the right tools and technologies needed to effectively expand your marketing presence across all sites?
A lot of people talk big about the benefits of integrated marketing technology ecosystems. When done right, the approach can improve operational efficiency, improve guest experience, strengthen tenant relationships and potentially increase the value of your properties.
But when the rubber meets the road, implementing the right commercial real estate digital marketing strategy and technologies to achieve those goals is no easy task. You not only need to identify the right tools and channels, but also ensure they work together to deliver a seamless customer experience and give you easy-to-access, data-driven insights across all touchpoints to drive results.
Sponsored: Pylot’s white paper defines the issues facing commercial real estate marketers and presents an innovative integrated platform that delivers comprehensive websites and integrated, data-driven marketing programs that improve marketing performance at scale.
Commercial Real Estate Marketing Challenges
To implement an effective marketing strategy, we need to understand the challenges facing today’s CRE marketers. Are these obstacles keeping you up at night?
- Increased marketing complexity: Multi-directional customer journeys mean you have to manage more platforms, touchpoints, and overwhelming amounts of data to connect the dots for better clarity in marketing performance.
- Decentralized decision making: When individual teams implement their own platforms, tools and tactics, the result is inconsistent execution across a management company’s portfolio of properties.
- Resource Constraints: Marketing teams are challenged to do more with less, stretching their budgets as much as possible and working with smaller teams to achieve better results.
- Rapidly changing trends and technologies: It is difficult to keep up to date with consumer trends, changes to search engine algorithms, compliance requirements (e.g. privacy, Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA]) and more, especially with limited resources.
- Too many agencies and marketing platforms: Each uses different approaches and measures of success and monitors their own data, making it difficult to get an overall understanding of integrated performance.
- Fragmented view of the customer journey: Disparate data sources make it difficult to understand the complete customer journey, which is necessary to deliver a seamless omnichannel experience.
Despite all the big promises from agencies and marketing technology vendors to address these issues, many shiny new tools don’t integrate well with your existing technologies. The resulting hodgepodge of services often doesn’t work well together, so you end up spending more time coordinating inefficient and disorganized elements instead of generating meaningful results.
CRE marketers need a new approach to strategically consolidate their platforms and approaches to support a cohesive and compelling brand presence and extend that presence across a portfolio of geographically distributed properties.
A strong digital marketing operation is table stakes
Manage various digital marketing platforms and follow a plethora of mall digital marketing tactics to meet high customer expectations requires a lot of time, effort and investment. But not following is just not an option either.
If you feel stuck between a rock and a hard place, you are not alone.
It’s time to reevaluate your whole CRE digital marketing strategy and the platforms necessary for effective and efficient execution. Here are the must-have tools that CRE marketers can’t afford to ignore:
- An easily customizable and very engaging website: A user-friendly mall or property website is the launch pad for your digital marketing efforts. This homebase must provide an exceptional user experience (UX) and be optimized for search while remaining secure and compliant with the ever-changing regulations of the ADA, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and data confidentiality. It also needs to be flexible and scalable so your internal teams can keep content fresh and engaging.
- Improved SEO and Paid Search: While ongoing organic search is important, your search engine marketing (SEM) strategy should also include paid search to support your efforts. Paid search can help high-intent consumers find you and help you gain local market share, build online visibility, and keep customers informed about your property offerings.
- Management of local announcements: Consumers search across different online channels to find a business. You must therefore make it easy for buyers to find your properties by listing them on different sites. An effective ad management plan with up-to-date and consistent information across all platforms can help you gain visibility and improve SEO and brand presence.
- Digital advertising (in the post-cookie era): With the phasing out of third-party cookies, all marketers have an unprecedented opportunity to revamp tracking and targeting strategies and take control of their own data. Leveraging this information and using new targeting methods will help you deliver the right message to the right people at the right time and in the right place in a cost-effective way.
- Reputation Management: Consumers often research online before visiting a store or mall and use reviews to help them decide where to shop. There is a strong correlation between positive reviews and increased traffic for a local business. By regularly monitoring and responding to online reviews and social media mentions in a timely manner, you will deliver an exceptional customer experience.
- Integrated marketing department: Omnichannel marketing is the name of the game. Use a centralized hub to manage marketing communications across all touchpoints, including email, SMS/MMS, mobile apps, social media, chat, messaging , etc., to provide a seamless user experience that will keep your customers coming back.
Imaginuity, an integrated marketing agency with extensive experience in commercial real estate marketing, recently launched Pylot™, a digital marketing platform to help multi-location businesses develop, manage and scale their online presence. Pylot offers beautifully designed, brand-consistent, SEO-optimized and secure websites and serves as an integrated hub for other digital marketing efforts such as email, SMS/MMS, paid search, advertising programmatic, local listings and reputation management. Pylot, powered by Imaginuity, enables CRE marketers to streamline their digital marketing strategy, improve profitability, and deliver better customer experiences.
This article is published as part of Shopping Center Business’ Retail Insight series. Click here to subscribe to the Retail Insight newsletter, a four-part newsletter series, followed by video interviews delivered to your inbox in May/June.