More than 90 BILD members gathered at our HQ on Wednesday to hear from an esteemed panel of marketing experts about the latest trends, strategies and vehicles in today’s market.
Attendees heard from Cindy Lloyd of HOMES Publishing Group, Ryan D’Mello of YellowPages NextHome, Gord Paolucci of Metroland Media and Edward Skira of UrbanToronto.ca. The discussion was moderated by John Amardeil of BAM Builder Advertising & Marketing Inc.
Much of the conversation centred around the Internet’s emergence as a growing research and branding tool, leading to questions about the role of traditional marketing methods in a successful campaign. While not everyone agreed, the panelists concluded that in today’s market, it’s important to have a good balance of digital and traditional media when selling a new home or condominium development.
“You can’t launch a new project without a healthy dose of print,” Amardeil said, pointing out that the top lead generators for projects in the 905 areas are street signage and Google ads.
Interaction with the target buyer is important, and a great way to do that is through targeted advertising. Just make sure that whatever you do is measurable so you can analyze the results and see what’s working, and what isn’t. Check out this awesome video from BAM about integrating targeted advertising into your campaign.
Lloyd echoed his thoughts, suggesting that marketers seamlessly link digital and traditional media in their marketing plan for an integrated user experience.
“Every age group and demographic is still reading magazines,” she said, explaining that a call to action in your print advertising can help you measure the effectiveness of the ad. Some examples include asking readers to visit a custom, trackable URL or drop by the sales office for a special offer. With technology constantly evolving and changing, it’s important that you keep up.
“Readership is not dropping as more information becomes available,” Lloyd said. “As more people turn to reading online, it’s important to integrate video into your campaign.”
She also recommended the use of e-mail marketing, describing it as an inexpensive, immediate and an effective way to convey your message to a targeted audience.
Paolucci’s presentation offered a few really cool facts on the effectiveness of traditional advertising. Did you know that 97 per cent of consumers read flyers? How about the fact that 76% visit a store or dealer within a week of receiving a flyer?
He also gave digital media a nod, particularly the mobile sector which is responsible for more than half of your online page views. Having a mobile-friendly website is very important today, and lacking one will hurt your Google ranking.
D’Mello kicked his presentation off with an awesome video about digital marketing buzzwords.
“Buzzwords are not the Holy Grail,” he said. “People will accept information when they are ready for it.”
He stressed the importance of identifying your target market before launching your campaign so you can speak volumes to the right people – marketing plans must centre around your audience, not your budget. He also joined the “hybrid” camp when it comes to print versus digital media.
“All marketing exists to get and retain audience attention,” he said. “Digital marketing is an extension of that, not a replacement.”
Skira disagreed, pointing out that last year the average Canadian spent 36.7 hours online each month. He suggested using smaller budgets to buy targeted online advertising instead of more traditional media, as well as having a strong social media component.
“Social media marketing allows you to talk to consumers and give them the opportunity to talk back,” he explained, citing a few examples of builders enhancing their reputation by listening to consumers’ online criticisms and addressing them promptly. “People have real questions. You have to be genuine, know yourself and your brand. You can interact with consumers online to enhance it.”
He also stressed the importance of never ignoring online criticism, if it’s reasonable, and instead use it as an opportunity to enhance their brand by keeping an open dialogue and engaging the public in meaningful conversation.
BILD would like to thank everyone who attended and participated in the discussion by asking questions and offering their comments. A big thanks to John, Cindy, Gord, Ryan and Edward for sharing their expertise.
You can check out more on the event by reading John’s Storify story here.