As a marketeer with a few years, a few global agencies and a few continents under my belt, the new build residential market has proved to be a unique, refreshingly surprising and very interesting beast.

I was blown away by the intimacy of the industry’s high-volume local area marketing machine. It was reminiscent of the “thinking global but acting local” of McDonalds and working with complex dealership networks such as Alfa Romeo and Citroen operating at such a fast and continuous pace.

However, after spending the last 12 months getting closer to house builders, there’s room for improvement and some things we can learn from other sectors.

There is the opportunity for developers to clearly define their brand purpose. Their WHY. Why do they do what they do? Really digging deep into the why (beyond sales). The definition of their guiding principles, their personality and reasons to believe.

Just like a house painted in magnolia, the industry needs more strength in their brand, more bright colours to really stand out from the sea of sameness. The “so what” is the benefit of increased awareness to drive consumer consideration of your brand and your developments and not have to over-spend at the end of the development lifecycle.

We need to go beyond top line demographics when defining our consumers. You have to be ready to understand & embrace your customers at every stage of the buying process. Not just when you decide to throw an offer their way because they are not pouring in through your doors. Your starting point is relationship building, even before day one of a customer’s interest in you. Because without actual human contact, how can you begin to understand their needs and wants?

To truly get under the skin and understand buyer psychology at each stage - browser (thinking of buying) to shopper (I am ready to buy) to buyer (I want to buy now) and their multi-dimensional profile drivers at each stage requires different approaches.

This is the untapped opportunity gap.

Then you can plan and flex tactical marketing messages around their buying journey.

Defining how to nudge them down the marketing funnel to convert into visits, reservations and completions and how to maximise your marketing spend is what we at AF do.

It’s a journey we like to take all our clients on.

 

Author: Carolyn Jackson-Potter, October 2019

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