Marketing Automation — Selling More Without Spending More
By Steven Lewkowitz, Pivotal Corporation
During the housing boom, you may have found yourself swimming in a sea of leads from the Internet and other sources. But you most likely were merely treading water when it came to effectively assembling, assessing and managing this potentially valuable marketing information.
Builders in a hot market may be able to beat their competition with less than perfect lead-stroking. In cooler times, however, mishandled leads can translate directly into lost sales.
Although it’s shaping up to be a modest slowdown, the cooling housing market is an opportunity for builders to shift from processes that worked in times of heady growth and gear up for when the going gets tough.
One way to do this is by automating more of your marketing functions. Automation can help you manage leads more effectively — without spending more — always a smart business decision.
Say ‘Hello’ to Marketing Automation
Marketing automation encompasses various technology solutions all designed to facilitate the planning, execution, management and tracking of your marketing activities — everything you do from traditional print advertising, to direct mail and e-mail, sales events and promotions.
Marketing automation includes event management solutions, planning tools, marketing analysis programs and more.
It’s about doing more with less: running more campaigns, reaching more prospects and collecting more leads — while minimizing costs.
Ultimately, marketing automation is about selling more homes faster and at a lower cost of sales.
Leveraging the Internet, Saving Precious Marketing Dollars
Good marketing automation systems help users manage and analyze the totality of their marketing initiatives, whether these are advertisements in print newspapers, glossy brochures sent by mail or in-person sales center events.
One of the greatest advantages of automated marketing systems is that they allow builders to maximize the potential of the lowest cost marketing channel: the Internet.
No longer a novelty, the Internet is now a vital tool for home builders. Keep in mind that builders aren’t just using the Internet for marketing because it’s cost effective, either. Builders are using the Internet because that’s where the home buyers are.
A recent study conducted for the NAHB Institute of Residential Marketing (IRM) found that not only did Internet-using consumers value online resources highly in their home buying search, they found them the most useful, the most important and the resources they were most likely to use in future home searches. National Association of Realtors® research also indicated that 77% of home buyers use the Web when looking for a home.
But the push toward more use of online channels is not driven purely by the consumer. Builders reported in the IRM study that the Web was the source of their best-quality leads.
The Picture Is Clear
Builders who neglect or insufficiently utilize online channels are passing up an obvious and relatively inexpensive vehicle for reaching the majority of potential buyers.
To learn more about how to effectively use technology to get the most from your marketing dollars, visit the the Institute of Residential Marketing on the NAHB Web site.
Steven Lewkowitz is professional services director of the Homebuilding and Real Estate Group at Pivotal Corporation. Pivotal offers the industry-leading Pivotal Homebuilder Front Office. For more information, e-mail Lewkowitz, or call him at 732-297-4060.
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