Property marketing meets the best campaigns of the decade

By Bijan Shahrezaey

What can the property industry learn from some of the best marketing campaigns of this decade?

If you were suddenly asked to list the best marketing campaigns from this era, I’m pretty sure that Coca-Cola, Dove or Mercedes would feature in your recollection – and that’s partially what makes them so great. Whatever these brands did, they certainly embedded their names into the minds of their audience.

Understandably, each of these brands took a unique approach in communicating with their audiences, as well as fulfilling their respective, initial objectives. In this post, we will take a look at what these marketing mavericks did and what was accomplished. Though, in the light of our expertise, we will focus on what the property industry can learn from these campaigns.

Coca-Cola – Share a Coke

In this successful campaign by Coca-Cola, the brand thrived on the power of personalisation; and everybody was involved. Even if you had a name as unique as mine, you could get yourself printed onto the front of your Coke. While personalisation is traditionally effective for customer experience, this campaign increased much more than just the pleasure of sipping a drink with your name on it. The brand saw growths in awareness, sales and online activity. For instance, their Facebook saw a whopping 870% traffic increase, young to adult consumption was increased by 7% and they created a positive brand image.

While we can all agree this campaign was a success, how can we relate it to property marketing? Well, aside from the ability to reach more people, personalisation is effective for encouraging an action (or increasing conversions) and improving customer retention. Now, if we tie these benefits in with a product synonymous of the property industry (housing, apartments, furniture etc.), it makes complete sense to employ personalisation.

So, we have established why personalisation is beneficial, but how can we incorporate such a complex system into our property business? The answer lies in ‘cookies’ – those small data files designed to deliver a tailored page to individual web visitors, based on their activity. By utilising these on your website, you can increase the likelihood of connecting your customer with their ideal property; while keeping your existing customers satisfied by presenting them with relevant and tailored information.

Of course, there is still the good old-fashioned route of personalised direct mail, which can still be a very effective way to impress and reach audiences offline.

Dove – Campaign for Real Beauty

Posing as one of modern marketing’s most talked-about success stories, Dove’s campaign set out to achieve more than just awareness and conversion – they tried to change the way female beauty was perceived and talked about. While there were expected criticisms alongside positive feedback, the campaign and its brand certainly took the spotlight. This ultimately benefited Dove’s brand image not only by appealing to the vast range of women who use their products but by highlighting desirable values, parallel to compassion and benevolence; without changing their actual product!

From a property perspective, we can learn that good marketing concerns itself with the external environment. This means understanding the attitudes and true needs of our customers as well as understanding the wider market and the challenges within it. In essence, Dove was bold with its campaign and did something unexpected and potentially controversial. Perhaps the lesson for developers and suppliers to the industry is to do something that makes them stand out – and focus on changing perceptions and push the envelope on what is expected of them.

Mercedes – Escape the Map

In an attempt to attract a younger audience, Mercedes ran a four-week campaign which essentially defined interactive marketing. This integrative advertising campaign invited consumers to go online to escapethemap.com and rescue a woman trapped inside a Google Streetview. Whoever could save Marie, the fictional character, by solving clues and helping her exit to into the real world, would win a Mercedes C350 Coupe.

Escape the Map repositioned Mercedes as a vibrant, fresh, aspirational premium brand by showing a side that appeals to its younger audience who traditionally would overlook Mercedes as an unaffordable, premium brand.

So, what can we learn from this campaign? Firstly, we should recognise that Mercedes-Benz and the property sector have a few things in common – they are both a considered purchase and quote often out of the reach of younger consumers from a financial point of view. Hence, the nature of targeting properties at younger consumers can often be unpredictable and challenging.  Considering Mercedes’ success, property businesses should create a relevant buzz (appealing competitions, opportunities etc.) and utilise integrative technology/online platforms; including social media, mobile applications and websites and interactive content which engages potential buyers.

What have we learned from these successful campaigns?

  • Personalisation can increase reach, conversions and retain customers
  • It is essential to understand the external environment and reality of your customers; in B2C and B2B settings
  • Where possible, offerings should be adapted to suit particular customers
  • Desirable values should always be communicated
  • Integrative marketing is the present and future
  • We should utilise social media and other online platforms to appeal to younger and mass audiences
  • Interactive campaigns should be innovative, but easily understood