As an estate agent, you’ll discover that you have a wide target audience. From students who want a short-term letting to the older generation who are looking to invest, many customers have different desires and needs. To appeal to these different groups, a segmented marketing strategy is key — but what’s the best way for it to be done?
1. Segmenting your audience.
2. Tailoring your message.
3. Driving new traffic.
4. Downloadable help tool.
Segmenting your audience
The first step to appealing to customers is to identify who they are and segment them. There are four types of main market segmentation and these are: geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioural. Although they are all relevant to some extent, it’s likely that you’ll want to focus on geographic and demographic segmentation. This will help you target customers that are in a certain area (most likely the local town or city that you’re operating in) and their key characteristics (age, gender, income, socio-economic status and family size).
Next you need to determine the target customers within these segments. For example, your target customers might be students, first-time buyers and older existing homeowners who are planning to sell. Once you know who you want to target, you need to find out their real estate needs. You can do this through carrying out primary and secondary research, this is important so that you further understand your customers. You might do research online to find out more about the segment or head to the streets and collect survey data — or even create your own focus groups. It’s important to consider external influences too, perhaps changes in the industry such as new legislations that may be affecting your target market.
We talked about creating brand guidelines in our ‘Launching Your Estate Agency Online’ post and segmentation is a significant part of this. Use your segments and research to create personas for each of your target markets. This could be something like “Jenny, 19-year-old Liverpool University student, looking for a rented property with friends”.
Tailoring your message
Once you have a better understanding of your different target markets and have created some useful personas, you can start tailoring your message.
Through your primary research, you may discover that each segment is reachable through a different channel. For example, the younger generation may use Instagram as their primary social media app whereas older customers might prefer to use Facebook. You should also consider having separate sections on your website for each of your main target audiences. This can include relevant information to that audience and an appropriate tone of voice.
Tone of voice is one way to tailor your message to different segments. Finding the right tone of voice for your brand is a skill that’s worth practising. Of course, you want your tone of voice to be consistent to some extent as this keeps your brand recognisable across different channels. But, you can vary the words that you use slightly to keep your brand relevant to each target market. For example, you might take a light-hearted and fun approach when targeting your student customers but a more serious and formal tone in marketing materials for first-time buyers or investors. It’s all about getting the balance right, try testing out your tone of voice with focus groups and interviews.
You should also consider what your unique selling points are to each of these customers and ensure that you’re promoting the right side of your business to the right people. For example, if your company is reducing rental deposits, you should be ensuring that student renters are exposed to this promotion and not first-time buyers.
Driving new traffic
Tailoring your brand message in the right way can appeal to existing customers, but it’s also important to remember that it can help you gain new customers too.
Reach new customers through targeted (paid) social media marketing. You have the choice of many social media platforms and it depends on your budget, audience and desired outcome as to which one you choose to promote on.
Facebook allows the most advanced targeting as you can target by location within a 5-mile radius, job description and other helpful measures. On the other hand, Instagram boasts one of the highest audience engagement rates through social media, but it’s user base is mainly 18-29-year olds. Again, it all depends on the message you’re sending and who you’re trying to reach.
Through tailored offline marketing you can also reach new customers. With geographic segmentation, discover the areas where students live and distribute marketing material such as flyers and leafletsto shout about your letting services.
With your primary and secondary research, you may also discover what your target market does in their spare time. Perhaps there is a local sports centre where many hang out, or a nearby pub that attracts a lot of attention with that demographic. Use this information in your marketing campaign when deciding where to distribute business cards.
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