In previous posts, we’ve spoken briefly about channel planning being less critical when property marketing, due to the targeted nature of the property sector and the performance required of the media buy. But it still has an important role to play in the framework of any campaign.

In most instances, I’ve always found a reverse funnel approach works most effectively. Especially for Apartment marketing where CPL is king. Getting ahead of the curve early in a campaign in terms of lead generation and CPL is critical as it allows you to test other areas deeper into the campaign without destroying your budget. We will generally plan a campaign with an analytical baseline using channels and line items that will guarantee performance over a specific timeline.

House and Land can be a different approach where more often than not, we tend to sell on more lifestyle cues which can lend itself to more awareness type platforms.

In the past, there has been limited opportunity for property marketing with REA and Domain being the only two major players in the digital market along with Google Ad Words. It was a strong combination. As far as press opportunities went it was Domain, The Age and The Weekly Review that were more suited to the apartment buyer and Local Papers and The Herald Sun for House and Land press opportunities. It was a very predictable market place.

Now with recent new players such as ApartmentDevelopments.com.au, and the rapid growth of Facebook along with the rise in Data Management and Demand Side Platforms over the last five or six years, we’re seeing Domain and REA losing ground and effectiveness. This is making the landscape more difficult to manage and understand. We are also now even seeing boutique press products popping up in recent times such as The Saturday Paper.

Adding to this, publishers too have discovered new ways of managing data and allowing advertisers to reach buyers. Even News Limited and Nine (along with the Fairfax Merger) can provide ways of targeting audiences via data usage with data partners such as Experian and Quantium. The introduction of audience extension has certainly worked well in most instances.

So this begs the question. What do we do first and where does everything sit?

The first thing we need to understand is that every medium we use has a role to play in overall campaign success. But it’s how you use that medium and gauge its success or lack thereof, that is the most critical part of the plan.

Whilst not all are mediums are conducive to analytical performance, their result can be accentuated by triggers that can help provide insight into the performance of a particular placement.

Digital

The obvious role of Digital is lead generation. Well yes and no. It depends on which platform you are using and when. Property marketers focus heavily on post-click attribution but it can be taken too far. More importantly, it’s flighting, supplier selection, timing and optimisation that is the key to online success.

For example, social media can be seen as a more engagement type platform rather than hard qualified enquiry and a “soft traffic driver” whereas Ad Words can be the backbone of lead generation and property sites for low funnel awareness and lead generation.

Qualified traffic to your site can be just as important as enquiry. It is the cornerstone of analytical opportunity and provides performance options later on down the track that help yield cost-efficient performance.

Yes, enquiry is important but it can take time. So it is critical to ensure we have strategies in place that use multiple touchpoints that allow us to nurture data, manage performance and glean valuable insights to optimize the campaign moving forward.

Not only can we use qualified traffic as a way to provide valuable audience insights to use later on in communications, but we can also use it for re-marketing and finding new audiences that are similar to ours. All vital tools in the pursuit of campaign results.

Off-Line

Off-Line media has always been a hard medium to gauge performance and results – especially in a non-retail environment. A lot of the time bricks and mortar retailers will use digital as support and potential “pre-cursor” medium to drive awareness and then tail off with off-line to drive footfall, with footfall and sales being the ultimate success metric.

But there are other ways of analysing the performance of off-line media via triggers such as offer redemptions, unique landing pages, phone numbers and search keywords. All valuable methods to help identify the performance of off-line media and something that is often missed.

So by increasing channel selection, you, in turn, increase your reach – it’s as simple as that, as not all media channels have a duplicated audience.

Off-Line channel selection can be chosen not only by channel planning. It can also be driven by analytical insights from your digital campaigns. Thorough understanding of your data in Google Analytics, Facebook insights can go a long way to helping you to better understand your actual audience from an age and gender and location point of view amongst other things. Those insights can then help drive supplier section over and above audience planning. Social commentary is another important piece of the puzzle. Listen to what your audiences are saying on social.

Digital creative metrics can also go a long way to better understanding market appetite for a particular product over another and another data point that can help decide creative messaging in off-line channels.

Strategy

As we can now see, overall media planning strategy is incredibly important to ensuring overall campaign success. By adding other media channels that help deliver audience and not enquiry, it can allow us to nurture first-party data that can then be used at a later date to help drive cost-efficient lead generation.

In our next post for the series, we discuss “analytical opportunity” and what you need to know.