Big Data, it’s everywhere and everyone is being profiled… That Facebook quiz you just entered, that link you shared, and that email you just forwarded and clicked on, your online footprint is becoming your fingerprint. There is not much we can do about being profiled and the data collected on us, it is part of the payment terms… The Gmail/Hotmail account may be free, monetarily, but the payment is the exchange for your search history and profile data.
Given this new world of user profiling, as marketers, for what useful purposes can it be used for? Enter the world of Big Data.
Companies are capturing data from a wide range of sources, from what you as a user is looking at online, what you like, your social media friends and general preferences. New technologies like Augmented Reality (see AR Real Estate and VR in 2016) such as Pokemon Go, GPS fencing and non-AR app’s like Facebook check-ins, tracking users in the real world and matching online preferences is the new thing.
User data is big business and it’s growing in size, and becoming more and more accurate. Each day, intelligence software is developing more advanced solutions, with the aim of more products/services being targeted to consumer groups. A great example of content matching software is the Salesforce product Marketing Cloud (once known as Exact Target). Marketing Cloud provides the ability to display specific content on your website, aimed at exactly what the consumer is seeking (based on user profiling data). The best use of this technology at work is Customer Intelligence (CI) and how companies like Expedia and TripAdvisor deploy its use. Content on their site, from the moment you land on any of their pages, is based on data that has been collected about you. See Tech Target article.
Given the data is here, and here to stay, how can it be used in real estate? The first point is, if you are not using it, then you are about to be left behind. Your competitors are definitely either using Big Data to profile new opportunities, or they are commencing strategies to deploy, or more probably profiling you (their competitor) right now.
The usual occurrence works something similar to the following example:
- A consumer visits Facebook (or similar social media website)
- The consumer then visits a News website, followed by a property developers website and then perhaps eBay for some shopping.
- The consumer at a later day, types a search term into Google, something like “how to buy land in QLD Australia”
- The consumer may visit a property portal, like realestate.com.au and perhaps a few independent real estate agency websites
- The consumer may then return to social media, and post an update “found the best land in QLD”
- The consumer will probably next visit a property developer website, like GJ Gardner, knowing they have found land and would like to match the best fitting property. So they search for a specific sized new home design.
- The consumer may then return to realestate.com.au and search for existing 4 bedroom homes, with 2 baths. For comparison, or perhaps to see if it’s more cost effective to buy existing.
- The consumer then discovers a local real estate agent, visit’s their site and arranges an inspection time.
The question is, who has the ability to get the sale of the A) Land, B) New Home Build and C) Real Estate Agent sale.
The answer is all of them; if they have the right online strategy. They need to capture the consumer at the beginning of their journey and continue to communicate with them as they progress, always remaining an arm’s length away.
Working with the consumer example above and to maximise the use of data captured, it is important for the following to occur:
- A search Engine Optimised website – to ensure prime placement of Google searches.
- A Search Engine Marketing budget – to double ensure prime placement of Google searches.
- A Facebook or social media login on the real estate agent or property developer’s website. This is now expected by consumer behaviour in any company or organisation and allows for consumer intimacy.
- A Social Media Marketing budget – to display advertisements in social platforms.
- A website capable of providing customised content, such as Predictive Intelligence – to serve EXACTLY what the consumer is looking for.
- EDM (electronic direct marketing) solution to provide campaign’s, based on consumer preferences and targeting – to remind the consumer of your product/service when they leave your website
- CRM (client relationship management) what product/service the consumer last looked at and what they are interested in – to manage consumer behaviours, contact detail & profiling within your business.
At the very minimum, the above is a must. Marketing is not what it used to be, there are tools widely available which can substantially add more value to businesses bottom line. It’s no longer about “I can’t afford to do that”, the industry is now “I can not afford to NOT do that”.
You are being profiled by your competitor.