According to current marketing statistics, not only do 86 percent of consumers hop between more than one website when searching for something to buy, they hop between more than one channel, from apps to physical stores. As a result, 87 percent of retailers affirm that omnichannel marketing is vital for their businesses.
So, what is omnichannel marketing, how does it differ from multichannel marketing and how can real estate agents use it to improve their business?
What Is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing is a marketing strategy that centers around creating a seamless, consistent, and well-integrated brand presence that reaches out to customers across multiple touchpoints, such as:
- Physical stores
- Websites and apps
- Emails, newsletters, and SMS
- Social media, WhatsApp, Pinterest, etc.
- Newspaper and magazine ads
- Special events
- Streets signs, billboards, and yard signs
- Television and radio
- Telephone marketing and call centers
Omnichannel Marketing vs. Multichannel Marketing
Real estate agents often use the terms omnichannel marketing, multichannel marketing, and, even, cross-channel marketing interchangeably. But, there is a fine line separating and distinguishing each of them.
- In multichannel marketing, each channel and its marketing strategy is isolated from the others.
- In cross-channel marketing, only select connections exist between each channel.
- In omnichannel marketing, all channels are strategized collectively to create a seamless and consistent customer experience.
Why is Omnichannel Marketing Important?
Here are just some of the stats proving even real estate agents have much to gain from omnichannel marketing:
- 72 percent of adults prefer to communicate with businesses digitally.
- 60 percent of millennials expect brands to provide consistent experiences across platforms.
- 48 percent of consumers are willing to share their personal data in exchange for more personalized services.
- Companies using an omnichannel marketing strategy experience 30-percent greater LTV (lifetime value) from consumers.
Another study, from the Harvard Business Review, found that the more channels a consumer used to make a decision to patronize a particular business, the more valuable they found that business to be.
That said, only nine percent of marketers consistently engage consumers across channels and only three percent of marketers say their marketing technology well-integrates their various brand functions. This leaves plenty of room for forward-thinking real estate marketers to gain a competitive edge in the real estate marketplace.
Omnichannel marketing is vital for real estate businesses looking to build a positive customer experience and reputation for your services throughout every stage of their real estate buying or selling process. It also helps reduce churn.
Creating an Optimal Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
A real estate marketing agency can apply omnichannel marketing most effectively in a pair of mutually inextricable ways.
Learn Your Customer
To build a comprehensive and effective omnichannel marketing strategy for your real estate business, start by learning to understand your customer. Who are the precise home buyers or sellers you work with or desire to work with? What are their unique needs and concerns?
If looking to buy a home, do they prioritize a good school district and a safe neighborhood for their kids or do they need to be close to town for easy commutes and convenient shopping? How large are their households? Is the interior square footage and layout or a private yard more important to them? Do they want new construction or an existing home? What are their limitations and restrictions?
If looking to sell their home, what price point are they seeking? What is their time frame? How much work does their home need to make it attractive to buyers? Are they offering the best home in a decent neighborhood or a decent home in the best neighborhood?
The better you know your typical customer, the more easily and effectively you can reach them through the channels they most commonly use.
Custom Tailor to Your Customer
There is no single omnichannel marketing strategy that’s perfect or best for all businesses–and that goes for real estate businesses too. The strategy that will work best for your unique business in your particular territory with your particular specialties is the one that will most consistently, seamlessly, and effectively appeal to your specific target customer.
A perfect omnichannel marketing strategy is no static, fixed rulebook either. Your strategy must change and adapt to the changing needs and faces of your customers. By employing multiple channels to reach your customers, you can learn directly what their greatest concerns and issues may be at any given moment in the rapidly changing real estate marketplace. Then, you can more effectively design solutions targeting those precise problem points.
Tips for Effective Omnichannel Marketing
Getting to know your customers and customizing your services to best meet their needs is the foundation of good omnichannel marketing for real estate agents. In order to help you do that most efficiently, here are a few useful tips:
- Plan the customer experience – Don’t just leave it to chance, take shots in the dark and strategize on the fly; plot your moves ahead of time based on what you know of your customer.
- Employ data – Effective marketing isn’t built on guesswork. Cold, hard facts from CRM data, your customers’ online search behaviors, and social-listening data help to eliminate this guesswork.
- Segment users – You don’t just have one type of customer. Parse your total customer base into unique and easily definable segments. This way, you can target your marketing efforts differently according to the preferred touchpoints and approaches of each of these segments.
- Optimize context – Each segment of your customer base prefers different types of messaging. Make sure you tailor not just the channels but your messages to each segment’s preferences.
- Automate – By choosing the right tools to automate what can be automated, you leave yourself free to work on strategy and customer relationships.