While we’re familiar with the concept of marketing tapping into the people-focused or creative side of business, marketing operations as a process is heavily involved with the behind-the-scenes machine, and today’s digital agents are becoming more and more involved with the different (and very varied) processes involved: data management, social media, planning and execution, analysis and results reportage, to name a few. Although companies across many industries have employed entire specialist departments in the past, marketing operations in real estate is a relatively new and developing story, as it involves emerging technologies and platforms that seek to address modern agent professional needs.
Here are a couple of examples of what marketing operations can look like for today’s real estate agents and how it can actually enhance overall marketing strategy:
Helps keep within budget for marketing expenses:
Many agents are expected to not only develop a marketing budget but stick to it, and with literal hundreds of potential avenues of marketing spending opportunities, the best agents know that they must spend their marketing dollars on sources that will most certainly reach their core target audience. Marketing operations deal with multiple sides of this issue: first, tech-powered research into who and where the target audience is; the website/email or social media campaign/postal marketing strategy formulated to reach that audience; creative materials sourced and documented once final design and copy is given the all-clear; and automated pricing estimates of all inventory that will be required to make sure everything is within budget.
Helps identify and target core audience
Identifying, locating and targeting a core audience is arguably one of the most important strategic moves for any successful agent. Marketing operations create and secure the necessary processes to get this rolling, from eliminating traditional methods of firing blind shots in the dark and playing the guessing game with where prospects might be, to creating and maintaining incredibly detailed segmentation lists in the CRM, where they will go on to be catered to with tailored marketing programs and campaigns. It guarantees that clients, according to their identified preferences, ideals and search history, will be automatically engaged with scheduled or real-time relevant content that meets their current needs. The great benefit this serves agents is that almost all of these processes can be automated and (importantly) replicated, leaving them freed up to focus on more pressing tasks that need their direct attention and presence, without jeopardising their credibility, efficiency or professionalism.
Facilitates reporting structure and risk assessment:
Because marketing operations often typically work alongside multiple platforms, third-party software or marketing technologies, smart agents know to keep an eye on what the data is saying about ongoing and past campaigns. Having data-backed research available at hand about what’s working (and what isn’t) not only gives them a competitive advantage, but qualifies them further by increasing upsell and cross-sell opportunities. The reporting structure that marketing ops help facilitate also means brokerages are able to conduct better risk assessment and future goal setting.
Cements the agent’s value as the expert in their niche markets
For the aforementioned examples and more, when executed well, marketing operations cement the agent as an authoritative voice in the home buying or selling journey. When agents are armed with hard data and AI-backed information that marketing automation platforms are able to provide as part of the marketing operations system, they offer so much more than what the online portals do with a search results page; agents are able to guide customers down the funnel with tailored programs and solutions every step of the way, with greater transparency and modes of communication.
Enhances brand image and awareness
Another important feature of successful marketing operations for agents is that there is a real opportunity here to enhance brand awareness and put the brand front of mind for customers. Choosing the best-fit martech platforms will help brokerages and agents conduct better A/B testing when it comes to content, images, copy, as well as conduct better email and social media campaigns. To that end, it’s vital to have metrics and KPIs clearly defined that matter most to the brand, and that comes from important stages of marketing operations, for example, building baseline data and research methods for outreach.
Marketing operation is where marketing is headed, and, as many companies are finding out in 2022, the size of the organization or number of team members doesn’t matter. It won’t be done right overnight, but requires a training period of trial and testing, with a focused attention to what the data is revealing about how customers are interacting with and responding to the output that is being presented. That said, marketing operations is an important strategic step in efficiently implementing any complex marketing campaign and is especially crucial for businesses that employ multiple platforms or technologies while wanting to maintain a personal touch with valued clients.