Ever notice just how many statistics are used in sports? Look at Tim Tebow, for instance, who recently joined the New York Mets organization to vie for a spot in the major leagues. He's barely joined the organization and he has been dissected by statistics; height, weight, running speed, bat speed, batting average, throwing distance and the list goes on.
In this time of big data, we are more eager than ever to collect and analyze facts in order to measure the success of our undertakings. For a bit of an eye-opener on just how quickly we are amassing data, have a look at this list of 20 mind-boggling facts about big data that everyone must read, that was published by Forbes Magazine. It's a bit startling.
The logical response to all this data collection is, “why?” Why do we care so much about data? Anthropologists will likely have rationale for this, but the answer probably comes down to that fact that we love to measure. We collect, manipulate and cull through all sorts of data in order to measure. It gives an assuredness about performance, whether it's surrounding athletes or commercial real estate marketing campaigns. If you're serious about driving business, building your brand and connecting with the marketplace, marketing is likely one of the biggest expenditures your commercial real estate business makes. After all, if you're not investing in things like email marketing, website design and brochures, then you may be jeopardizing your company's ability to grow in size and revenue. Executing on those tactics and more is just part of the process. Understanding the value that these items are delivering for your organization is probably even more important.
Every business is different and each will measure marketing performance in a different way based on organizational culture, need and available resources. Collecting and analyzing data is not light work, so it may be helpful to engage an experienced commercial real estate marketing firm for help. In the meanwhile, here's a few steps to consider in preparing to measure the performance of your next commercial real estate marketing campaign.
Revisit your goals
Before you launch into measuring every single detail about your campaign and marketing performance, first think about your goals. You established these goals when you put together your real estate marketing plan. What were you trying to accomplish or gain with your marketing activities? Were certain goals more important than others? If you did a thorough job on your plan, the answers to these questions are probably already laid out. You may have even included some details on how you were going to measure each of these goals. In the end, you want to inspect what you expect, so you should have a good idea of just what it is you want to achieve.
Define your measuring stick
The next step is to match your goals to things that you can actually measure. For example, if you’re trying to measure engagement, then you should know what that means for your organization. Is it a measurement of the number of times the phone rings? Website visitors? New followers on social media?
If you undertook an email campaign with the hope of generating leads for your most recent offering, you should have an agreement on what constitutes a lead. Is a lead merely a “suspect”, that is someone that clicks on a link and downloads a prospectus or is it a fully qualified inquiry? The answer is going to be specific to your business.
After you’ve defined the metrics that are important for your business, you'll need to figure out how you're going to actually capture these metrics. In some cases, social media channels themselves provide some form of tracking and Google Analytics can provide some great insights on the performance of your website. However, you shouldn't preclude things like simply talking to customers and prospects and asking them, “Are you aware of our two new offerings in Orlando?” If they've heard, put a check in the successful column.
One of the most important things with measuring is making sure it's getting done. Assign someone the responsibility of ensuring that information is getting captured in your customer contact management system or that your administrative assistants are asking “How did you hear about this offering?” and then tracking it somewhere.
Review, Tweak and Repeat
Everything leading up to this point would be for nothing if you didn't do some review and evaluation. Compare your actual results to the goals you stated in your commercial real estate marketing plan. Are they better, worse or unchanged? If they are not what you hoped for, or even if they are, think about what you can change to make them better. Did you unintentionally put out email on a holiday? Maybe your subject line wasn't quite as attention grabbing as it needed to be. Whatever it was, think about what you can do differently and then try it. Marketing success takes time, and unfortunately, some trial and error, so make some adjustments and try again.