Using Real-Time Marketing to Fill Your Apartment Complex

By adroitly executing a real-time marketing strategy, property managers can decrease vacancies without breaking the marketing budget.

The velocity of online communication has never been more accelerated. Today’s hilarious memes or social trends typically curdle into irrelevance or irritation within a few days. Today’s breaking news comes faster than ever — and is forgotten about almost as quickly.

This is a significant challenge for marketers, who must do their best to stay fresh, relevant and vital. Real time marketing helps solve this problem by using breaking news — and emerging online trends and conversations — as a springboard for targeted and timely marketing campaigns.

Let’s take a closer look at how real-time marketing can be deployed in property management, and how marketing analytics can help determine the best way to implement such a strategy.

Real time marketing and your apartment complex: a hypothetical case study

Let’s assume you’re the manager of a 1,000 unit multi-family property. Your tenancy rate is hovering around 85% and has been bouncing between 80% and 90% for the last two years. You’re seeking a new way to push it closer to 100%, and you believe a change in marketing strategy is the best way to achieve this.

Years ago, you considered incorporating real-time elements into your marketing strategy. Yet you decided against it, as the challenges seemed to outweigh the benefits. Tracking news developments and identifying the ones likeliest to resonate was a laborious job. The need to act quickly on breaking news created high levels of reputational risk, as brands raced to get marketing content out with limited context about the news they were leveraging. Additionally, you have limited tools for gauging the impact of your efforts. It seemed much simpler to pursue a conventional approach.

Today, however, you discover that the real time marketing landscape has shifted considerably. Social media, social listening tools, real time analytics and the use of a digital marketing dashboard made the process of monitoring and measuring media and marketing campaigns vastly easier. New marketing tools made it simple to build data-informed buyer personas and to connect these profiles with targeted, real time messages. These tools also allow you to closely track conversations and engagement on social media, giving you unprecedented insight into how conversations ebb and flow in real time.

Armed with these tools, you devise a real time strategy built around four elements:

  • The initiating event. What development is the impetus for real time marketing? This could be breaking news, a popular meme or pre-planned triggers such as holidays. In the case of an apartment complex, you’re looking for any event that can be related in some way to property leasing. It might be a news story that talks about the rising cost of interest rates, or a lack of affordable housing in the area.
  • The real time target. This helps you define who you’re trying to reach with this real time marketing message. Customers who fit certain demographics? Customers in specific locations? Customers with a search history that aligns with your property or the real time development you’re tracking?
  • The plan of attack. How are you going to send your message in real time? Social media? Text? Email etc.?
  • Objectives and measurements. What’s your ultimate goal? More sales? Higher brand awareness? In this case, you’re trying to increase tenancy rates. By defining objectives and tracking apartment marketing campaigns with real time analytics, you can determine how effective and engaging your messages are — a leading indicator for how much or little you’ll ultimately increase your tenancy rate.

The end result? You run the campaign, supported by social marketing tools and analytics. By following the four point plan, you generate much greater traction among your targeted audience by serving them timely and relevant messages that benefit from increased visibility thanks to their real time hook. Within three months, the tenancy rate has broken through to 95%. 

Adding real time marketing to your property marketing mix

Property rental is big business — generating roughly $4.5 trillion over the last decade. The business, however, is likely to grow more competitive. Tenancy rates have been propped up by a lack of new inventory coming online in recent years, as builders have not kept pace with population growth. That’s expected to change, however: The National Association of Home Builders projects multi-family construction growth to rise 4% in 2021, after a decade of remaining stuck at around 1%. Why? Because as more millennials and Gen Z renters and buyers enter the market, inventory will need to grow significantly. This means property managers will need tools such as real time marketing to keep tenancy rates at the desired level.

Sometimes working with a third-party agency with expertise in real time marketing is the best way to approach this.

Working with a real time marketing expert

At Bigeye, we help property developers and manager create the kind of real time campaigns that engage audiences and fill buildings. If you need help crafting your next marketing campaign, don’t wait to contact us.

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Marketing AFTER the Coronavirus

As the coronavirus continues to grip the world, companies must act now to ensure marketing campaigns are able to weather the crisis.

The effects of COVID-19 on business and business marketing

From the plummeting Dow Jones averages that are rocking Wall Street to the forced closures and loss of consumer activity that are devastating Main Street, businesses of all sizes are on shaky ground during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. As social distancing continues to force events to cancel and bring face-to-face interaction to a grinding halt, certain industries have already suffered catastrophic damage. And other industries are bound to follow as factories shut down and companies fall into dormancy.

As they lose customers to the terrible but temporary chaos of COVID-19, business must take care to ensure that these customers ultimately return to them when the crisis is over. This typically means significantly altering, if not entirely redesigning, their marketing efforts with a dual focus on immediate risk management and long-term goals.

Wise companies are already getting ahead of this issue by taking immediate and comprehensive action. Take, for example, the recently launched ad campaign of the fast food giant Chipotle. Like other major restaurant chains, it has rapidly created, produced, and distributed, television and digital video commercials that stress the safety and reliability of take-out and home food delivery.

As you formulate and execute your response to the coronavirus crisis, make sure that you are retooling your marketing campaign to meet the demands of the present and look forward to the opportunities of the future. Here are just a few tips and guidelines to help you bring your business through these uncertain and difficult times.

Managing your marketing efforts to survive the coronavirus

1. Put Safety First

Few industries have faced as much immediate damage from the COVID-19 outbreak as the global tourism industry. This makes the words of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) all the more urgent as its stresses putting safety first. By stressing customer safety, the HSMAI strives to protect overall company reputation as well as individual guest health. Businesses that do so earn “trust, respect, and loyalty.”

A big part of putting safety first is keeping customers well-informed of relevant coronavirus facts and response protocols, particularly those that may affect your company’s operational processes and/or the goods/services that you offer. When providing this information, it is important to refer to and cite respected authorities such as the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the various local public health agencies at work in your area.

Think carefully about the ways in which COVID-19 is likely to impact your specific industry specifically as well as the greater community at large. What value you can provide as an organization to help keep people safe? As you contemplate this question, remember that this crisis is evolving rapidly and will probably continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This means that your commitment to safety will require flexible planning and your marketing plan must adapt to the moment as conditions continue to fluctuate.

2. Assemble Your Crisis Management Team

If your company is exceptionally large or specialized to deal with a specific type of risk, you may already have a dedicated crisis response team in place. Most companies, however, fail to prioritize crisis management and have never even considered developing a valid crisis plan. Well, now is certainly the time to do so.

Gather functional leaders from across your organization under the leadership of its top communications executive or chief executive officer. Other crisis team members to consider for inclusion might be legal counsel, human resources professionals, operations/facility managers, sales/customer service directors, and any leaders in the fields of public relations marketing, and communications. All team member should clearly understand their specific responsibilities and areas of concern.

For smaller companies without a dedicated PR or marketing team, MarTech Advisor contributor Indrajeet Deshpande recommends contracting with a qualified outside agency. In any case, your business should have in-house spokespersons at the ready in case you are approached by any independent media outlet or news publication. These spokespersons must be property trained to faithfully and effectively answer any question that they are asked.

3. Choose the Proper Media Mix

As part of your crisis response and overall marketing plan, you must remember the famous words of Marshall McLuhan: “the medium is the message.” In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, choosing the right media channel for your public outreach is more important than ever. In other words, if you fail to choose the right forms of communication to deliver it, your marketing message will likely fall on deaf ears.

In his March 20 article “Why Companies Turn To Digital Marketing To Survive COVID-19,” Forbes writer Bernard Marr points out that businesses will have to become more and more reliant on digital media channels. “Without wanting to sound too alarmist, he states, “in many cases it will be the deciding factor in whether they make it through the tough times ahead.”

As people continue to practice social distancing, they will connect more than ever via the Internet. This makes leveraging your online marketing capabilities absolutely essential over the comping months. Ensure that your company website and social media pages contain helpful information and present a positive brand image at all times. While emphasizing digital marketing channels that range from banner ads to email newsletters, remember to keep an appropriate amount of traditional media outlets in your media mix.   

4. Practice Careful Media Buying

As part of your media mix planning, don’t fail to consider the supreme importance of cost. If it is to survive the COVID-19 crisis, your business will likely need to implement some fairly austere budgetary restrictions in the short term. Simply put, you will have to use every one of your marketing dollars wisely and make it count.

The Wall Street Journal reports that companies looking to mitigate immediate risk often cut advertising spending first and foremost. “With the coming U.S. presidential election and Summer Olympics, 2020 was expected to be a good year for advertising,” writes WSJ contributor Suzanne Vranica. “Then came the coronavirus.”

Careful media buying will look different from business to business and from industry to industry, but most organizations can benefit from gravitating toward digital media channels, which are not only generally less expensive but more suitable to a market under the ongoing effects of diligent social distancing. To learn what effective media buying can do for your particular company, you may want to contact a qualified marketing agency.

5. Develop Creative Campaigns Driven by Common Sense

In today’s challenging marketing environment, it is more important than ever to find extremely creative ways to keep your brand in front of their customers. Even companies that are temporarily shuttered must plan for a future in which brand positioning will become absolutely essential to survival.

In light of this, place an incredibly high value on unique and striking marketing campaigns that are carefully designed to turn heads. Just make sure that your creative content is properly vetted and above reproach.

In the words of Google’s global marketing vice president for media Joshua Spanier “in the spirit of reassessing campaigns, we’re finding that all kinds of creative elements need scrutiny right now.” As an example, he warns against any use of “slapstick humor” that might come off as tone deaf in the midst of the serious times in which we live. Certain imagery – such as actors using “handshakes, hugs, and high-fives” to interact with one another – may also turn off your existing and potential customers.

6. Employ Key SEO Techniques

Among the other benefits of digital media outreach, search engine optimization (SEO) reigns supreme in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. As quoted in Forbes, 123 Internet Group Chief Executive Officer Scott Jones points to SEO as a key way to reach new audiences in the current market.

As brick-and-mortar shopping becomes increasingly impossible, consumers are turning to ecommerce in numbers that are rising exponentially. SEO can help to ensure that your company appears at or near the top of the list when people search online for the goods and/or services that you provide.

By maximizing your online marketing through SEO, you can also benefit from the practice of geo-targeting. This involves optimizing not only for search terms that relate to your goods/services but for search terms that relate to your location as well. This is a great way to attract consumers from within your state, your city, or even your particular neighborhood.

7. Leverage the Power of Video

In addition to benefiting from the incredible audience targeting power of SEO, digital marketing gives you the versatility to present your message in a range of compelling ways. And, at present, consumers are responding to video messaging in droves.

In fact, the independent authority Quicksprout recently released research showing that consumers report a 74% increase in their overall understanding of a product or service after watching a video. And this engagement can lead to a significant improvement in your bottom line. Quicksprout goes on to report that a well-made video boosts the likelihood of a purchase by 64%.

In terms of general public relations and effective branding, the eye-catching and attention-retaining nature of video makes it a great way to remind consumers to stay with you, or to come back to you, as a company.

To learn more

Contact a skilled and knowledgeable Bigeye representative today for more information on the current impact and lasting effects of the coronavirus on your marketing campaign. A highly innovative and forward-thinking marketing firm, Bigeye prides itself on its ability to respond quickly to the challenges of a constantly evolving marketplace.

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Don’t Ignore Influencer Marketing for Your Pet Products

Don’t knock influencer marketing when building your strategy for pet products. Influencer marketing amplifies word-of-mouth marketing through social media.

Do you trust a random TV actor pitching a product?

What about a celebrity pitch person — someone you’re familiar with? Would you trust this person more?

How about a close personal friend whose opinions you respect? Does their product recommendation carry even greater weight?

In most cases, the answer to these questions are all in the affirmative. There is a definite spectrum in terms of whom we trust — that’s one reason why word-of-mouth marketing has historically been so effective. People trust friends, family members and people they respect more than faceless corporations.

Influencer marketing offers many of the same benefits associated with word-of-mouth marketing, and amplifies those benefits by including the reach of social media. Let’s take a closer look at the current state of influencer marketing, how it can specifically be used to sell pet products more effectively, and the benefits of working with an influencer marketing agency.

Influencer marketing: a maturing market

The growth of influencer marketing has been nothing short of astonishing over the last few years. Just consider these statistics from Influencer Marketing Hub’s “The State of Influencer Marketing in 2020” report:

  • The influencer marketing industry is worth nearly $10 billion, growing from $1.6 billion in 2016.
  • Average earned media value per $1 spent has jumped to more than $5.
  • The number of micro-influencers used by large companies has tripled in three years.
  • 80% of respondents plan to have a dedicated influencer marketing budget in 2020.
  • 91% of respondents believe influencer marketing is an effective tactic for growing a customer base.

2020 trends for the influencer marketing space

As those statistics show, influencer marketing is on a rapid growth trajectory. Yet to get the most out of your influencer marketing campaigns, it’s essential to have your finger on the pulse of evolving trends. eMarketer’s recently published “2018 Influencer Marketing Report” cites the following trends for 2020:

  • 48% of businesses plan on using celebrity (or “macro”) influencers, while 45% will use micro influencers.
  • Instagram is the preferred platform for influencer marketing, with 100% of report respondents using it. 85% use Facebook, 67% reported using YouTube, Snapchat 44% and Twitter 33%.
  • TikTok, which is seeing some of the fastest growth among social platforms, is expected to be a major player in influencer campaigns in 2020.
  • Influencers will continue to cross-over from having niche social media followings to being full-fledged celebrities. While this will give the most prominent macro influencers more leverage with businesses seeking to work with them, it also greatly expands their potential orbit of influence.

How can this be applied to pet products?

The pet industry is a natural home for influencer marketing. People are devoted to their animals and love to consume and share pet-related content over social media. It’s estimated that one-quarter of all social content is pet-related and that one-fifth of pet owners have created a social media account specifically for their animal. The #dogsofinstagram hashtag alone is closing in on 200 million posts. Social media influencer marketing agencies that are solely dedicated to working with famous animal accounts have sprung up in the last couple of years, attesting to the power of this phenomenon.

Companies seeking to sell pet products therefore have a powerful advantage relative to businesses in other industries: An army of potential influencers waiting to be leveraged. Pet bloggers and owners of pet social media accounts number in the millions, which means that the pool of available influencer talent is vast. Given that the ability to source influencers is perennially ranked as one of the most difficult challenges for firms engaged in influencer marketing, this is a considerable advantage.

There is an obvious parallel to be drawn here: Mommy bloggers. Brands, over the last ten years, profited enormously from their partnership with high-profile mommy bloggers, who were able to build vast and deeply engaged audiences across various social platforms and websites. Parent-focused social media marketing become a core strategy for countless brands, and helped generate billions in new revenue.

Pet industry brands have a similar opportunity to leverage pet bloggers in the same way, given their sizable numbers and considerable reach. Pairing this approach with some of the trends we’ve cited above is a winning strategy for 2020 (we especially encourage brands to focus on integrating TikTok into their influencer marketing strategy, as that platform is poised to become perhaps only second to Instagram in terms of cultural cachet and reach).

Finding the right influencer marketing agency

At Bigeye, we are experts at crafting compelling influencer marketing campaigns rooted in a deep understanding of the latest trends and technologies. If your pet product campaign needs a boost, we encourage you to reach out to us today — and learn what the right influencer marketing campaign can do for your brand.

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What Brands Can Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Pivot your marketing strategy to handle coronavirus by producing digital content, airing television ads and OTT ads, and a communication strategy.

Shift focus from events to digital

On top of major events like NBA games and Coachella being cancelled or postponed indefinitely, conferences, expos, and trade shows have also been cancelled. According to a Demand Gen Report, 53% of B2B marketers say in-person events are the most effective channel for driving conversions, so many marketers are now searching for new channels to connect with target audiences. 

Google Cloud Next, Adobe Summit, Y Combinator Demo Day and more have opted for a digital-only approach. Although digital-only events do not offer the same traditional networking opportunities as in-person events, marketers can experiment with their event strategies to still capture those audiences. Consider these tactics: 

  • Produce digital content that can still influence your intended audience. Even though your company will not be able to interact with your audience in person, you can still reach them through digital channels. 
  • Target attendees with email campaigns or direct-mail. These channels provide the personal messaging that audiences look for while attending events. 
  • A/B test everything to measure the effectiveness of attending events in the future. You could find valuable insights from changing your strategy this year. 

Opportunity for television and OTT advertising

Social distancing and work from home mandates mean more people will be at home watching television and streaming content. Audiences are tuning in to reporting on the coronavirus pandemic and searching for ways to stay entertained while limiting contact with potentially affected areas. 

Although ad spending is projected to slump across the board, reallocating budget to television and OTT advertising could pay off. Many brands are cutting ad spend in preparation for lower sales projections, which means there could more inventory available. Between self-quarantines, cancelled events, and precautionary measures, potential consumers are on the couch in front of the television as a captive audience.

Communicate any service disruptions to the customer

In the event your supply chain is disrupted, you have to cancel your event, or any other major changes, clearly communicate to your consumers why your regular service may be affected. Your customer will understand if your company has to make changes in the current situation as long as you are clear on why the package is taking longer to arrive or you are issuing a refund. The last thing the consumer wants is to be left in the dark and without the proper information.

Dispel misinformation about your brand

Misinformation about COVID-19 is multiplying across all social media channels. In-depth social listening for mentions about your brand will help you monitor untrue information that could be harmful to many people. 

For example, some people are attempting to make their own hand sanitizer using Tito’s Handmade Vodka and aloe. However, the CDC recommends that hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60% alcohol and Tito’s only has 40%. To stop this unsafe information from spreading, Tito’s is replying to all tweets with a statement disproving it and recommendations from the CDC. 

Don’t sacrifice safety for the bottom line

It’s hard to predict what kind of long-term impact coronavirus will have on our economy, but it’s important to keep acting with brand values in mind. At the end of the day, the safety of the public is the most important thing and companies should act accordingly.

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Four Audience Targeting Strategies for Your Product

Audience targeting can help you identify who your ideal customers are and help you create relevant and resonant marketing messages.

Few things are sadder than wasted potential — and that applies to both people and products. If you build a great product or service and can’t get it in front of the right audiences, your odds of realizing its potential are slim. This is one reason why audience targeting is so critically important.

Audience targeting 101

The practice of audience targeting is straightforward: You take a large customer segment and break it down into smaller groups in order to target likely buyers within these groups.

The animating principle of audience segmentation is this: General messages sent to large undifferentiated audiences don’t resonate the same way that specific messages sent to highly targeted audiences do.

In other words, why waste your time selling your product or service to people who aren’t interested? Instead, find the people who are interested and send them messages custom-designed to appeal to their wants, needs and interests.

Audience segmentation comes in four general types:

  • Geographic: The state, city, neighborhood etc. where your audience lives.
  • Behavioral: This evaluates spending habits, brand interactions etc.
  • Demographics: Includes age, gender, marital status, income level, education level etc.
  • Psychographic: Personality, beliefs, values, interests etc.

By considering these four factors, brands can begin to develop highly tailored audience segments and deliver customized marketing messages. This allows brands to speak directly to consumers, creating specific messages for specific audiences. This creates higher-quality leads, more loyal customers, and differentiates your brand from others.

Smart strategies for audience targeting

In order to get maximum value from your audience targeting efforts, it’s important to lay the groundwork by following some tried and true segmentation strategies. Some of the most impactful strategies include the following:

  • Begin with buyer personas. The buyer persona is the foundational document for targeting purposes. These personas are descriptions of your ideal customers (some businesses may have two or three, others up to a dozen). These personas are constructed from market research, internal data, demographic data, and other sources. Once a brand has well-defined buyer personas in place, the process of targeting specific audiences becomes viable.
  • Use an identity graph. Such graphs are powerful algorithmic tools for identifying who your highest-spending customers are and where you can reach them. By analyzing mobile advertising IDs and email address data, brands can gain deep insight into what potential customers are searching for along with their purchasing behavior.
  • Use Facebook and other social platforms for custom targeting. It’s not the most complex approach, but Facebook has more information on our interests than any other organization. It’s no stretch to say Facebook knows most of its users better than they know themselves. Brands can use Facebook’s backend to set up demographic, behavioral and psychographic profiles that target the right audiences.
  • AI-assisted chatbots. With the right design and programming, a chatbot can significantly improve UX and glean critical targeting data from site or app visitors. This data can be used to determine whether visitors fall within target markets. Marketing messages can then be tailored according to this segmentation.

Locating the ideal audience insights agency

Audience targeting has long been a critical part of advertising and marketing, but today’s digital tools are making the job easier than ever before. At Bigeye we have the domain expertise and technological resources to help you find the right audience and serve them with the perfect messages.

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The Explosion of OTT Content

OTT content and distribution platforms continue to proliferate at an astonishing rate. Here’s what you need to know about marketing your OTT services.

Remember when Netflix was a quaint little DVD delivery service? When they introduced a streaming component, it seemed more like a novelty, and less like the future of entertainment. OTT services (short for “over the top services”) have since become ubiquitous, thanks to the “Big Three” streaming content providers: Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.

We’re experiencing another shift in the OTT services marketplace, however. Unwilling to cede the streaming entertainment category to the OTT Big Three, a number of major competitors are entering the market in force and creating ripple effects through the ad world.

These days, everyone is a content provider…

Disney, WarnerMedia, all the major TV networks, cable providers, technology companies etc. have all pivoted to become content providers and distributors. The end goal? To become OTT companies and capture as many eyeballs as possible, carving out a significant piece of the $70 billion spent in the U.S. every year on TV advertising.

While OTT services account for roughly one-third of all TV viewing, ad spend (and budgets) don’t correspond. At the moment, OTT video services have only gained about 3% of total TV advertising spending. So what does this mean? It’s simple: Though OTT viewing is growing at an exponential clip, advertising and marketing in the OTT space hasn’t grown in parallel. That’s coming, however — and the brands that act today will be in the best possible position to create competitive advantages.

Currently, OTT advertising is dominated by two large players: Hulu (which generated $1.5 billion in ad revenue in 2018) and Roku. Other major players are coming in strong, however. YouTube is refashioning itself as a platform with TV-like programming capable of going head-to-head with traditional television networks — a competitive, rather than complementary force.

YouTube has one undeniable argument in its favor: Raw viewership. According to the most recent company data, U.S. residents spend 200 million hours each day watching YouTube videos, many of which are consumed on smart TVs or other large screens.

Meanwhile, Amazon has been pursuing a new TV advertising strategy based around Fire TV. The technology giant has been heavily targeting TV advertisers and has created a dedicated TV ad sales team to further that goal.

An OTT ad duopoly?

This activity is sparked in part by a realization that, if other players in the space don’t fight for OTT ad dollars, Hulu and Roku could form a duopoly reminiscent of the digital ad duopoly created by Facebook and Google.

TV advertisers, meanwhile, have their own imperative: Audiences are moving to OTT services in ever-increasing numbers. If advertisers don’t mirror the behavior of these audiences, their pitches will be less successful, and they’ll ultimately cede ground to competitors.

There’s another reason why OTT advertising shouldn’t be a hard sell: It holds the potential to be far more effective than traditional approaches. While network TV may have been the gold standard in terms of reaching viewers, it can’t compete with OTT in terms of audience segmentation. The data-rich nature of OTT platforms allows for high-level audience targeting, allowing brands to deliver much more relevant ad content and target motivated buyers who have an interest in what they are selling.

Finding the right OTT marketing agency

OTT advertising can move the needle — but only if you’re working with an agency that has the experience and expertise to drive results. At Bigeye, we’re OTT experts, and we’d love to show you the power and reach of a well-executed OTT ad campaign.  

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