When the concept of integrated marketing was unearthed decades ago, it involved a narrow set of traditional advertising channels, a few websites, email and public relations. But the information age and technological advances of the past two decades have created a wealth of new information sources and devices. Blogs, online marketplaces, smart phones and tablets have exploded on the scene.
That has made integrated marketing a much larger challenge than ever anticipated, as the evolution of marketing channels has made it nearly impossible for marketers to manually create and maintain a cohesive strategy.
As technology has changed where and how prospective renters receive their information, it has also changed how marketers manage integrated marketing communications. Here are some of the ways technology can help you better manage your integrated marketing strategy:
- Creating a single source of customer data. If you’re not keeping all of your resident and prospective resident data in one place, like your property management system, you’re most likely operating inefficiently. You probably have already moved away from paper guest cards, but you might have customer data stored in several different software products that make it difficult to manage. Implementing a system that brings all of that data together in one data place could go a long way toward improving the integration of your marketing efforts.
- Managing multiple channels through one content management system. Today’s newer content management systems can maintain copy in one place and distribute that content through multiple channels, such as email, blogs, social media sites, review sites, listing services and your community website. You don’t want to waste valuable time with the cumbersome task of manually posting to every outlet.
- Holding you to a cadence schedule. With so many channels to manage, it can be difficult to remember which channel you sent which communication through at which time. It can also be easy to respond to a request from operations to send an email to prospective residents, not realizing that you just sent an email the previous day. Integrated marketing demands that you follow a cadence to avoid annoying your prospects. Technology can ensure you don’t send too many messages and lose subscribers to your content.
But not every platform provider does this well, because some can be disjointed. To choose the right platform, you need to:
- Optimize your integrated marketing program.Determine what channels you have, which ones are most important and which associates will be utilizing them. A clear understanding of your target audience greatly assists this process.
- Make sure your database works with the platform or can easily be integrated. Your database of residents and prospective residents is key to any integrated marketing program. Part of successful integration is offering a consistent experience through every channel to segmented lists of customers or potential customers.
- Make sure whatever software you are already using for any marketing task is either available with the new platform or can be easily integrated into the new platform. The last thing you want is to choose a platform that doesn’t have the functionality you need and doesn’t allow integration for the items you do need. Open systems with an abundance of options are key.
The landscape of integrated marketing has shifted. But technology can make it easy to keep up with the ever-evolving changes. The Entrata Marketing Suite puts you in the driver’s seat and allows you to take control of your pricing, reputation, postings and lead management all from one platform.