By Sarah La Roche
It’s an unfortunate reality that developers can sometimes get a bad rep. Perceived as ‘faceless’ corporations who don’t consider the impact their build may have on the wider community, developers can find challenges upon starting new projects.
While marketing plays a crucial role in the success of sales; unless you are genuinely committed to understanding where your consumers are listening, the best of marketing campaigns can fall on deaf ears.
So, how can developers adjust their marketing mix to target specific markets?No two demographics are the same. Navigating the nuances of Australia’s paid advertising, earned editorial, native content, social media and broadcast mix is incredibly complex and requires a local expert to know how to leverage all of these to increase the likelihood of sales.
Let’s use an example. One of Australia’s fastest growing demographics, ‘downsizers’ will be marketed to in a completely different approach to say, first homebuyers or established investors.
At Bastion Effect, we prefer to think of the ‘downsizer’ audience as ‘reshapers’. This is because they are not downsizing as such, but instead changing their living environment to suit their changing lifestyle needs.
Their expectations are in fact heightened. They are upgrading on many levels including customisation, quality and modernity and this market typically expect the best.
There are large barriers to purchase for this audience. A couple that have lived in the same home for forty years have many factors to consider in changing lifestyles.
The marketing mix for any audience depends on where they find their trust. This audience tends to trust traditional journalists. A multifaceted media play is essential - not only are they voracious consumers of daily print media but the ‘Reshapers’ are online watchers - using a mix of online news and lifestyle websites as well as social media.
In contrast, a first homebuyer audience trusts the insights of their friends and peer group, and tend to seek both inspiration and aspiration from social media channels. Interestingly, with the millennials and Gen X, they are moving away from more "public" social media channels such as Facebook and even Instagram in favour of more private messaging apps such as WhatsApp and closed groups within Snapchat. This makes connecting with this audience challenging for brands unless they have content and create engagement situations and experiences that are so compelling that these audiences choose to share with their friendship and peer group.
Having a strategy which builds relationships with the local market is one of the most effective ways to develop trust with a community who at first, might be hesitant to support the idea of a new development.
Australian buyers are incredibly well informed and savvy in their purchasing decisions. They read up on market values, design trends, and they value Australian designers highly. By collaborating with up and coming architects and designers, developers can capture the attention of the local audiences who are looking for something valuable and different.
Having a presence in a local market comes down to your appetite to engage at a local level. Are you listening to what the community wants and needs?
Sarah La Roche is the CEO of Bastion Effect.