Marketing today is all about the customers. It will be a crime if most real estate companies say they aren’t customer-centric. No sane companies would admit that they don’t prioritise the very people who make their existence possible.
However, when you ask customers how “customer-centric” or personalised they find the marketing they receive, most of them agree that it’s not. Of course, we want to produce marketing that’s relevant to our consumers. The problem is, we don’t know our customers well enough for us to do that. And when you don’t understand your clients well, how can you personalise your marketing? As such, we tend to stick to what we know well: product development, advertising campaign, and sales strategy. All of these don’t really spell out “customer-centric.”
However, a new class of companies emerged, and they revolutionised the whole game. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies have mastered customer-centric marketing. They studied their customers’ behaviors and gleaned insights and practices that they used in their services. Take Netflix, for example. They have a direct billing and streaming relationship with their consumers. They analyse their subscribers viewing behaviors and make data-driven recommendations as to what they might enjoy watching in the future. As a result, the entire Netflix experience is built around the customer.
It’s so customer-centric that even if you share the same account, different profiles will have different recommendations. For example, if Person A watches lots of romantic movies, he/she will be categorised as a “romantic persona” and will be given more romantic movies as a suggestion. Then, if Person B watches lots of comedy films, he/she will be categorised as a “comedic persona” and will be shown more comedy film recommendations. Even if Person A and Person B share the same account, they will be given individualised movie suggestions based on what they watch. Fascinating and smart, isn’t it? Data is key to making personalised experiences, and it’s working so well.
Now, in real estate, how do we build personas? Most probably, “thin data.” It’s called as such because it’s supplied by a third party and it’s static. Perhaps you have a persona called “Karen” and Karen is a 30-something-year-old single mother of three looking for a decent apartment in Brisbane. It’s an imagined, static data, and it’s highly unreliable in a constantly changing world. This means that personas in thin data are outdated even before they’re created. That’s why many potential clients don’t receive any personalised marketing. As such, there is a need for static personas to evolve into dynamic personas driven by first-party data. But how?
This where LinkedIn marketing can help your business. LinkedIn has a free Website Demographics Pixel. With this tool, you can see which professionals (anonymised) are coming to your website. This information can give you a first-hand and dynamic understanding of your potential buyers. And once you have data as to what kind of people your prospective clients are, you can begin developing relevant marketing that resonates with them. When you start with the “who,” it can be easier to convert them through the customer-centric experience you create for them.
You don’t have to be Netflix or any DTC giant. You just need to understand your clients deeply and know where they’re coming from. And you can begin this process by reconceptualising personas and how you build them.