By Angela Sweeney, executive director of Pylot™, a digital platform from Imaginuity
Commercial real estate retail marketers today must navigate an increasingly complex marketing landscape. How can you identify the right tools and technologies necessary to scale your marketing presence efficiently across locations?
Many people talk a good game about the benefits of integrated marketing technology ecosystems. When done right, the approach can improve operating efficiencies, enhance the customer experience, strengthen tenant relationships and potentially raise 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 these goals is no easy task. You need to not only identify the right tools and channels but also ensure that they work together to deliver a seamless customer experience and give you easy-to-access, data-driven insights gathered across all touchpoints to drive results.
Sponsored: Pylot’s white paper defines the issues commercial real estate marketers are dealing with and introduces an innovative, integrated platform that delivers fully featured websites and data-driven, integrated marketing programs that improve marketing performance, at scale.
Challenges in Commercial Real Estate Marketing
To implement an effective marketing strategy, we must understand the challenges faced by today’s CRE marketers. Are these hurdles 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 marketing performance clarity.
- 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 far as possible and working with smaller teams to achieve better results.
- Rapidly changing trends and technologies: It’s challenging to stay current with consumer trends, search engine algorithm changes, 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 controls its own data, making it hard to gain a holistic understanding of integrated performance.
- Fragmented view of the customer journey: Disparate data sources make it challenging to understand the complete customer journey, which is necessary for delivering a seamless omnichannel experience.
Despite all the big promises from agencies and marketing technology vendors to address these pain points, many bright, 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 the inefficient, poorly organized pieces instead of generating meaningful outcomes.
CRE marketers need a new approach to strategically consolidate their platforms and approaches to support a consistent, compelling brand presence and scale this presence across a geographically distributed portfolio of properties.
A Strong Digital Marketing Operation is Table Stakes
Managing various digital marketing platforms and keeping up with a plethora of shopping center digital marketing tactics to deliver on elevated customer expectations requires considerable time, effort and investment. But not keeping up simply isn’t an option either.
If you feel stuck between a rock and a hard place, you’re not alone.
It’s time to reevaluate your entire CRE digital marketing strategy and the platforms necessary for efficient and effective execution. Here are the must-have tools CRE marketers can’t afford to ignore:
- An easily customizable, highly engaging website: A user-friendly shopping center or property website is the launchpad for your digital marketing efforts. This home base must provide an outstanding user experience (UX) and be optimized for search while staying secure and compliant with ever-changing ADA, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and data privacy regulations. It should also be flexible and scalable so your internal teams can keep content fresh and compelling.
- Enhanced 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 consumers with high purchase intent find you, and help you gain local market share, strengthen online visibility and keep customers informed of your properties’ offerings.
- Local listings management: Consumers search on various online channels to find a business, so you must make it easy for shoppers to find your properties by listing them across different sites. An effective listings management plan including up-to-date, consistent information across platforms can help you gain visibility and improve SEO and brand presence.
- Digital advertising (in the post-cookie era): With third-party cookies being phased out, all marketers have an unprecedented opportunity to retool tracking and targeting strategies and take control of their own data. Leveraging this information and utilizing new targeting methods will help you deliver the right message to the right people at the right time and place cost effectively.
- Reputation management: Consumers often research online before visiting a store or shopping center 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. Regularly monitoring online reviews and social media mentions and responding quickly will result in delivering outstanding customer experiences.
- Integrated marketing hub: 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 deliver 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 business develop, manage and scale their online presence. Pylot delivers beautifully designed, brand consistent, SEO optimized and secure websites and serves as an integrated hub for other digital marketing efforts like email, SMS/MMS, paid search, programmatic advertising, local listings and reputation management. Pylot, powered by Imaginuity allows CRE marketers to streamline their digital marketing strategy, improve cost-efficiency and provide better customer experiences.
This post is posted 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.