Using Look-Alike Modeling for Multifamily Marketing Outreach

A proven technique for expanding audience for multifamily property developers, look-alike modeling should be a key component of any advertising campaign.

Look-alike modeling defined

Look-alike modeling certainly isn’t a new technique on the modern marketing landscape, but far too many multifamily developers and apartment complex owners fail to grasp just how valuable it can be when it comes to broadening their marketing audience base and spurring overall renter conversions.

Briefly defined, look-alike modeling regards your current consumer base as a “seed audience” that can be used to cultivate a far larger audience base while mainlining highly relevant and precise target marketing practices. In other words, a skilled marketing professional will begin to create a look-alike model by analyzing your existing target audience and identifying individual consumers of exceptionally high value. The specific characteristics and behaviors of these consumers can then be used as a template in efforts to reach out to similar individuals that lie beyond the limited purview of your existing marketing efforts.

The prevalence and effectiveness of look-alike modeling

As reported in the leading sales and marketing medial outlet Business 2 Community, a 2014 study by eXelate determined that a 73 percent of American advertising agencies and 64 percent of advertisers regularly employ look-alike modeling to “enhance their targeting marketing focus.” Furthermore, among the advertising agencies that actively engage in the technique, roughly half say that it improved the overall performance of their marketing campaigns by 100 to 200 percent.

Although no other qualified marketing industry resource has released a comprehensive survey of look-alike modeling since this most recent eXelate report, it is safe to assume that the practice has only expanded and become more effective thanks to the continuing evolution of marketing standards and improvements in digital technology.

The complex nature of the look-alike modeling process

As we have previously discussed, the look-alike modeling process begins when a qualified professional isolates the most valuable members of an existing marketing audience and analyzes their defining attributes. This requires a great deal of expertise because, among other potential problems, marketers who focus on the wrong consumer attributes are bound to skew final look-alike modeling results and set the process off in a decidedly less fruitful direction.

GlobalWide Media Analytics Manager Zackary Cantor offered a perfect example of this issue in a recent article for the leading global performance marketing publication PerformanceIN. Detailing look-alike modeling work that he undertook for an apartment rental site that sought to boost overall numbers of online rental applications, he demonstrated the need to value certain consumer attributes far more than others.

While many look-alike modeling processes simply look for overlaps in general characteristics and behaviors among different consumer profiles, Cantor quickly realized that this particular model had to pay closer attention to profile attributes for home ownership. Even prospective new audience members who share many attributes in common with the ideal target consumer were “very unlikely” to submit a rental application if they showed a propensity toward home ownership.

Look-alike modeling guidelines

The intricate nature of look-alike modeling makes it truly effective only in the hands of highly experienced of digital marketing professionals. But how can you tell if your multifamily developer marketing agency has what it takes to produce the look-alike modeling results that you seek? Here are just a couple of guidelines for securing the very best look-alike modeling services available:

  • Pay close attention to any negative predictors – A strong propensity toward home ownership is only one of may potential negative predictors that can easily trump a whole host of commonalities between the most valuable members of your existing marketing audience and the expanded audience base that you want. It is absolute vital to place all data in proper context when determining consumer similarities and differences in order to identify strong negative predicators and give them the appropriate weight in your final look-alike model.
  • Insist on full look-alike model transparency – We have already examined the ways in which the underlying elements of a less than optimal look-alike modeling framework can lead to less than desirable results. If your marketing agency can’t give you a basic understanding of the predictive modeling method that they are employing on your behalf, you may want to look elsewhere for your look-alike modeling needs.

How Bigeye can help

If you’re looking for a multifamily developer marketing agency with extensive expertise in look-alike modeling and other techniques that can expand your potential customer base and drive prospective renters to your door, contact a skilled and knowledgeable Bigeye representative today.

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Can You Benefit from Rebrand Apartment Marketing?

How can you tell when your existing apartment brand is no longer working, and if you should pursue rebrand apartment marketing? These tips can help you decide.

The importance of a strong apartment brand

Every good apartment marketer is well aware of the value attached to touting the key features and amenities of their units and complexes. Establishing a key fundamental apartment brand, however, may be even more important.

In short, a brand that is both psychologically/emotionally compelling and relevant to the rental properties under your purview can do wonders when it comes to driving traffic online and leading customers to your door. The Independent business news resource Small Biz Genius reinforces this fact by citing studies from multiple research authorities.

Circle Research, for example, has shown that 24 percent of business-to-business marketers regard branding as crucial for growth. Furthermore, Fundra has determined that 56 percent of consumers remain loyal to brands that “get them,” and 89 percent of customers remain loyal to brands that “share their values.”

Knowing when rebrand apartment marketing becomes beneficial

Regardless of how much care you initially put into your apartment brand, if you have had that brand for any significant period of time, you have certainly built up a good amount of brand equity. Even if your brand is struggling to connect positively with a large audience, it has value, both online (in terms of domain authority with search engines such as Google) and in the hearts and minds of at least certain segments of the general public.

By launching a completed rebrand, you must unfortunately forfeit all of the brand equity that you have previously accrued. In other words, you have to be ready to start entirely from scratch when it comes to building consumer name recognition and brand loyalty. So ultimately choosing to pursue rebrand your apartment complex is certainly nothing to be taken lightly.

So how can you tell when your apartment complex needs to cut its losses and start over with a whole new image? Industry experts have identified the four following circumstances as key progenitors of an valuable and/or essential apartment marketing rebrand:

  • Property Under New Ownership – If you’re a multi-property owner who has recently acquired a new property, you will want to conduct a thorough professional assessment of its existing brand to ensure that it is effectively connecting with your key demographic and/or the general public at large. Even if the existing brand of your new apartment complex happens to past muster, you will still want to consider an apartment marketing rebrand in order to bring that complex’s branding more in line with that of your other complexes.
  • New Capital Improvements – As we have previously discussed, your brand should reflect the unique value that your apartment complex provides and presents. For this reason, planned complex remodeling and other new capital improvements offer an excellent opportunity for a beneficial apartment marketing rebrand. Just make sure that your property upgrades are thoroughly reflected in your new overall brand image.
  • Overcoming a Poor Reputation – If you are forced to rebrand due to bad online reviews or a foundering reputation in the public sphere, you must ensure that your new brand makes a clear and distinct break from your old brand. This type of rebrand will be particularly tricky to plan and execute because you must concurrently build a new brand while “doing damage control” and dealing with fallout from your previous brand.
  • Expanding Your Audience Base – A desire or need to grow or shift your current target demographic may coincide with one or more of the situations outlined above. No matter what factors happen to precipitate your audience expansion plans, comprehensive demographic research and analysis must be undertaken to identify the specific characteristics and desires of your new target demographic.

For more information

If you’re unsure if an apartment rebrand is right for you or are ready to take the first step toward a new and better brand for your complex, contact a specialized rebrand apartment marketing agency today. The professionals at Bigeye have the tools and experience that you need to get a fresh start in a highly competitive industry.

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Not a Pet, But a Family Member: The Evolution of Pet Marketing

Pets have graduated to full-fledged family members. Here’s what brands need to know to ensure their pet product marketing is keeping pace.

Pets aren’t really pets anymore. Today, many people are more likely to regard themselves as “parents” rather than “owners” of their animals — and they want the very best for their children. Pet product marketing needs to reflect this cultural change — and brands that fail to adapt will soon fall out of favor with pet-crazed consumers.

Trending towards humanization

One stroll through a pet store or a dog park will tell you everything you need to know about how the treatment of pets in society has evolved. A generation or two ago, parents would often purchase or adopt a dog or a cat “for the children” and then provide the animal with the bare minimum level of care and attention.

Today’s pets are comparatively lavished with attention, and there are a few reasons for this shift. First, millennials have delayed marriage and child-rearing longer than any previous generation, largely due to economic uncertainty. Pets serve as “proxy children” or “starter children” for many people in this segment.

Second, the proliferation of social media has created a situation where everyone wants to document and share their lives – and pets play a major role in this. Open up Instagram, Facebook or any other social app, and you’ll be deluged with animal photos.

Pet ownership numbers have also sharply increased, rising from 56% to 68% over the last three decades. As you might expect, younger people are overrepresented in pet ownership, accounting for 62% of all pet owning households.

How the pet industry – and pet ownership – are evolving

Changing cultural dynamics around pet ownership are reflected in larger trends inside the pet industry. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the most important trends, and how pet product marketing is adapting.

  • Direct to consumer pet boxes 

 Brands have used the DTC subscription box model to great effect, as it allows consumers to feel like they are receiving a gift in the mail each month and doesn’t require driving to a brick and mortar shop. This model has been especially successful in the pet sector; brands such as Bark have experienced fast growth by shipping curated boxes of dog treats and toys direct to consumer doorsteps.

  • Elevated pet food 

The days of feeding pets undifferentiated food brands of questionable quality are over. Today, pet owners are buying pet food much in the same way they purchase human products — and pet food marketing should reflect this. Witness the recent craze over grain-free dog food, which mimics in some ways the “gluten-free” craze of the last few years.

  • TV for dogs 

Pet parents are understandably worried about leaving their animals alone for extended periods of time. Dog TV — a new network that creates dog-centric television programming – purports to solve this problem. When you depart for work in the morning, you can position your dog in front of the TV screen, where he can watch hours of programming calibrated to his interest and level of understanding.

  • Dating apps for dog lovers 

People have famously highlighted pet photos in their Tinder profiles for years, but Dig takes this to the next level. Dig is a dating app for dog lovers that helps set up canine-friendly dates. Unlike other dating apps, women outnumber men by a significant portion on Dig, which gives the app another interesting wrinkle.

Finding the right pet care marketing agency

Most pet product marketing agencies produce campaigns that are all bark with no bite. Bigeye is different – we’re a team of talented creatives, tech wizards and strategic thinkers, and we all have one thing in common: We love pets, and we’re great at producing high-level pet industry market research.

Come visit our website, and we’ll be sure to show you a few tricks to help you catalyze your next pet product marketing campaign.

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Direct to Consumer Marketing: Ignore it at Your Peril

Don’t let your business hit rock bottom before considering a DTC marketing agency who can help you achieve your marketing and advertising goals.

Direct to consumer advertising and marketing is drawing a wealth of buzz — and for good reason. The DTC model is now a priority for enterprises across the spectrum. And a DTC marketing agency is more of a need. 

Legacy retailers are selling and marketing directly to consumers to reduce their footprints and expand their digital strategies. Digitally native brands (Warby Parker, Harry’s, etc.) used the DTC model to disrupt the prevailing retail paradigm and ramp up their businesses with impressive speed.

All of this maneuvering, of course, is supported by DTC-specific advertising and marketing. Some DTC brands handle it internally; others partner with legacy agencies or more specialized boutique firms. Still more employ a combination of these approaches. 

One thing, however, remains constant: Brands that get DTC marketing right – regardless of whom they partner with – are in the strongest possible competitive position.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some smart digital strategies that brands can implement with minimal difficulty.

Offering personalized content

One of the most attractive aspects of DTC is the removal of middlemen. Brands can connect directly with their buyers, with no third party to mediate or filter the experience.

DTC brands can use this proximity to gather valuable first-party data that offers thorough, actionable insights into consumer preferences. Brands can use this data to create personalized content presented in the consumer’s preferred medium.

When it comes to leveraging data and designing content strategies, smaller DTC brands often need assistance – and the easiest way to get help is by partnering with a nimble DTC marketing agency with a full suite of digital offerings.

Developing a mobile app

Speaking of DTC marketing agencies with digital expertise, such agencies are the perfect partner for mobile app development. Small to mid-sized brands may believe that a mobile app is solely the province of big players. While that may have been true years ago, that’s not the case today.

Mobile apps give brands a direct channel to consumers.  They also provide an excellent opportunity to deepen engagement and stay fresh in the minds of consumers.  And while mobile apps are being adopted by smaller brands, they are still uncommon enough to serve as a competitive differentiator.

Using third parties to sell and market

Amazon and other large marketplaces have spawned a massive new opportunity for direct to consumer selling and marketing. By leveraging the vast buyer networks of these third parties, brands can disintermediate retailers and still theoretically reach millions of consumers.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that brands can simply list their products and watch sales accumulate. Third party sites have their criteria for how products are marketed to visitors, and these rules govern how products are shown and to whom they are shown.

Brands can determine which strategies work best for their products by pursuing continuous testing and making occasional adjustments.

The takeaway

With our team of media & analytics experts, Bigeye has the strategic savvy and digital chops to help DTC brands achieve their advertising and marketing goals. If you’re not satisfied with the traction your current campaigns are generating, we urge you to visit our website today.

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Why More Cities and Towns are Taking on Place Branding

Read why place branding has become a key differentiation strategy for cities and towns seeking to compete for a larger share of tourism dollars.

Corporations have long known the value of branding — and in the age of social media influencers, personal branding has also become routine. Yet there’s another branding category that often flies beneath the radar: Place branding.

Let’s take a closer look at how smart place branding works and why more cities and towns are engaging in the practice.

Why place branding has become a critical differentiator

Great branding tells a story and helps establish an identity. Companies use it to connect with consumers; people brand themselves for competitive positioning and places use branding to help generate tourism revenue.

Travel is now the second-fastest growing industry in the world. The travel and tourism sector generated a staggering $8.8 trillion in global revenue in 2018, generated 319 million jobs and was responsible for roughly 10% of all worldwide economic activity.

Why is the travel and tourism sector growing with such rapidity? Two reasons: First, globalization has lifted tens of millions of people into the middle class over the last decade. These people now have the resources to travel.

Second, travel has become ever more desirable. Instagram and other social media platforms have made documenting vacations a global obsession. Millennials and Gen Z prize experiences over items, and few experiences can compare with travel.

This means there is a massive – and ever growing — tourist revenue pie for cities to split. Barcelona and other major tourist hubs are dealing with an epidemic of overtourism, which has created a market opportunity for other cities and town to pursue some of these tourist dollars.

So how do these locations best compete for travelers? In most cases, through smart and well executed place branding.

How Place Branding Works

Years ago, cities and towns were competing against other regional municipalities for tourist money. Today, they have the power to market themselves globally.

There’s a problem, however: Most of the information in guidebooks and online resources is outdated and superficial. In order to draw tourists in significant numbers, cities and towns need to take a strategic and creative approach to creating a brand narrative — something that can be done by partnering with a place branding agency.

What does an example of well-executed place branding look like? Consider the case of Austin, Texas. For most of its existence, Austin was a sleepy college town with no national profile — a very junior brother to Houston and Dallas.

Austin had something that larger Texas cities lacked, however: An incredibly diverse and eclectic music and arts scene. City officials leaned into this, promoting Austin as a world capital of live music and reinforcing the city’s status as a creative hub for talented misfits. “Keep Austin Weird” became a civic mantra and rallying cry during this period.

Today, Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the US. It hosts the massive South By Southwest festival and draws more than 50 million visitors annually.

This kind of strategic push and creative thinking eclipses the limited, catch phrase and logo-based place branding of a few decades ago — think “I Love NY” or “Virginia is for Lovers.” It shows that cities and towns need to determine what makes them special and then engage their own people, places and institutions in an effort to tell that story to the wider world. They need to go beyond the guidebook — and really think about the singular experiences that only their community can offer visitors.

In a travel-crazed world, that’s a brand story that a lot of people will want to hear.

Finding the right brand identity design company

Effective place marketing isn’t easy — it helps to have the services of a truly top drawer neighborhood marketing firm. The right agency can help your city or town develop a marketing plan that goes beyond routine local attractions and delivers the unique experiences that travelers are seeking.

Call Bigeye today to learn more about what inspired place branding can do for you.

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How to Use Video to Power Apartment Marketing

When it comes to effective digital apartment marketing, video has proven invaluable in a broad spectrum of circumstances and applications.

According to recent statistics, more than 75% of Americans now shop online. This means that, whether they are buying groceries or searching for a new apartment, consumers are responding to the ample information and dynamic features that only online marketing can provide.

The informative digital marketing authority Quicksprout reports that videos engender a 74% increase in overall understanding of a product/service when compared to still photos and, perhaps more importantly, boost the likelihood of an ultimate purchase by a whopping 64%. In fact, 80% of Internet users have strong memories of the video advertisements that they watch online, and 46% take some sort of direct action as a direct result of their video viewing.

The practical applications of video in the field of apartment marketing are virtually endless when it comes to boosting conversion rates among prospective renters. Of course, the road to these increased conversions depends on the unique qualities, deficiencies, needs, and goals of the apartment business at hand. Therefore, the first step toward using video to power your apartment marketing efforts is deciding upon the specific categories of video that you would like to immediately pursue. Here are just a few that you’ll definitely want to consider:

1. Listing / Tour Videos

The most prevalent form of apartment marketing video, the listing/tour video has proven very effective. Quicksprout cites statistics showing that listings with an attached video generate 403% more inquiries than those without. Although a virtual tour of the apartment itself is an absolute must, these videos are even more successful if they also show key aspects of the surrounding neighborhood, community, and/or city.

2. Interview / Testimonial Videos

In an interactive modern marketplace that is profoundly influenced by social media, social proof reigns supreme. Therefore, you simply cannot underestimate the value of a well-placed interview or testimonial video. Whether they are new to your community or have lived in it for years, satisfied tenants are an invaluable resource. By offering a few positive comments in their own words, your loyal tenants can become video marketing superstars.

3. Apartment Advice Videos

One of the most popular types of online video is the ”how-to.” As a result, some of the most effective apartment marketing videos offer advice on apartment hunting and/or moving process. Incorporating this category of video into your overall marketing campaign can drive conversations from an incredibly wide audience base.

4. Housing Market Update Videos

Like an apartment advice video, a video that provides information on the current housing market in your area can easily lead to a conversion. This is especially true if the information provided casts your apartment rentals in a particularly light.

5. Brand Promotional Videos

When it comes to centering your apartment marketing campaign, nothing works better than a good brand promotional video. Typically a bit longer than the average real estate video, your brand video can root your entire website and/or social media page in a central message that demonstrates your company’s unique approach and style.

Tips for Making Effective Apartment Marketing Videos

After determining the type of video you would like to make and the audience that you would like to reach, it’s time to start planning. Critical questions to ask during this phase include “who and what will your videos feature” and “how will this video attract/keep the attention and ultimately lead to conversions.” Whether you choose to produce videos yourself or hire experienced audio/visual professionals, you would be wise to keep a few industry best practices in mind. These best practices include…

1. Aim for Instant Impact

The typical viewer will judge your video within the first few seconds, so you must make an immediate positive impression. This means creating videos with high production values that scream “I am worthwhile” from the onset. Remember: customers have nearly endless options when it comes to watching videos online.

2. Keep It Brief

Research has shown that viewers overwhelmingly prefer shorter videos to those that are longer. Don’t test the attention span or challenge the time commitment of your audience. Generally speaking, a two-minute video is ideal for most forms of real estate marketing.

3. Avoid Auto-Play Videos

Most people simply don’t appreciate a video that begins blaring at them the second that they visit a particular webpage. Allow viewers to choose exactly which videos they might like to view on your website or social media page and click on these videos at their leisure.

4. Motivate Viewers to Take Action

To increase your chances of making a conversion, you should include essential information such as agency logo and contact details during both the introduction and conclusion of each video. (Remember that the modern consumer may only watch your video for a few seconds!) To drive conversations among viewers who make it all the way to the end of your video, consider integrating a clickable lead capture link or “shop now” button directly into the video frame itself. You should also take the time to include a compelling call-to-action that directs viewers to visit a particular online destination and/or enter lead information.

To learn more about the benefits of video

A full-service real estate digital marketing agency and an incubator for forward-thinking industry techniques, Bigeye has developed countless creative uses for promotional video. Contact us today and let us show you all the ways that you can boost conversion rates with video.

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