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Leveraging Augmented Reality (AR) Marketing Strategies for Real Estate Campaigns

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Leveraging Augmented Reality (AR) Marketing Strategies for Real Estate Campaigns

Have you ever hunted Pokemon with Pokemon Go or used face filters while talking on Facetime? You may not have realized it, but these are some of the most popular examples of Augmented Reality, or simply AR.

AR has become increasingly popular as a powerful marketing tool to captivate and de­light customers. The number of AR device users worldwide is anticipated to reach 1.73 billion by the end of 2024!

Competition everywhere is intense, leading to a growing need for innovation. The real estate industry is no exception. Let’s learn how Augmented Reality real estate marketing can pave the way for the achievement of revolutionary results.

Understanding Augmented Reality in Real Estate Marketing

Generally speaking, Augmented Reality allows users to overlay virtual objects into real ones. For comparison, VR (Virtual Reality) is based on absolute simulation, i.e. it is a fictional reality. Augmented Reality, on the other hand, rather “embellishes” reality.

The real estate industry can greatly benefit from using augmented reality (AR) in its marketing campaigns. This sector encounte­rs multiple challenges when it comes to attracting and converting potential buye­rs, including:

  • Difficulties to effectively communicate the actual value and features of a property using traditional media like photos or vide­os.
  • Lack of differentiation and competitive­ edge among similar properties or agents.
  • Inability for remote potential buyers to arrive on site to view the property.
  • Too much time and money is spent to prepare and organize a view of the offered properties.

AR (Augmente­d Reality) technology can help to overcome these obstacles. It can be seamlessly integrated into real estate marketing campaigns through virtual tours, virtual staging, and virtual neighborhood guides. Presenting properties that are just built, unfinished, or even still in the design stage becomes more accessible than ever.

Benefits of AR Marketing in Real Estate

The benefits of AR for real estate marketing are indisputable. Here are the most important of them:

Enhanced property understanding

AR allows buyers to get an in-depth look at a property from different angles and perspectives. They can also explore the property features in detail, such as the space and furniture dimensions, materials, finishes, appliances, etc. Local people could also use AR apps to learn more about certain properties for sale or rent; simply holding a cell phone close to a property could enact a virtual visit.

Increased buyer engagement

AR provides customers with an enticing and interactive experience, which has the potential to catch and retain their attention. Customizing can be done in seconds, like changing lighting fixtures and experimenting with furniture style, color schemes, and other interior or exterior elements. Prospects can envision their dream home, wherever in the world they are at that exact moment.

Shortened sales cycle

AR can speed up the decision-making process for customers while proportionally reducing the need for multiple visits or consultations. The buyers can likewise think about various properties or choices all the more effectively, by utilizing AR apps or devices. And real estate companies can publish AR visualizations on their websites and social media pages to reach a wider audience. This saves time and money for both sellers and buyers.

Differentiation and competitive edge

Implementing Augmented Reality real estate marketing strategies helps realtors get ahead of their competitors. Utilizing this emerging technology provides them with a unique selling proposition while demonstrating expertise and professionalism. Naturally, their brand image and reputation will improve, resulting in more referrals and leads.

AR Applications in Real Estate Campaigns

There are many ways to leverage AR for real estate marketing campaigns; some examples include:

Showcase immersive property tours using AR technology

Real estate marketers can create virtual tours of properties with 360-degree AR walkthroughs. Buyers can access them anytime and anywhere, using their own devices. They can also interact with the tours with actions like zooming in, rotating, or tapping on certain elements. This creates a more realistic and engaging experience than static images or videos will ever do.

Virtual staging

AR can be used to stage an empty property, without the need of arranging any physical decor. Pretty much anything can be added and adjusted, such as an indoor space with plants, digital furniture with the preferred size and shape, home decorations or additional amenities such as SPA area with sauna. That way clients can picture how the rooms would look when furnished. The visual idea of what a property can become makes it more attractive.

Interactive property visualization

AR enables buyers to envision their dream home in a simple and impressive way. By utilizing cell phones or AR glasses, clients can explore the property inside and outside while seeing extra data, for example, information on the plumbing system, electrical wiring, or even future renovations.

Personalized property experiences

Realtors can tailor their AR content to fit each segment of their target audience. For example, AR can help emphasize certain advantages of the property, such as being suitable for big families or pet owners. Clients can be shown different scenarios or options, such as different seasons, times of day, weather conditions, etc.

AR-enabled location-based information

AR makes it easy to understand what kind of amenities are there in a neighborhood, such as schools, shops, public transportation, restaurants, parks, etc. AR can also show how far they are from the property or how long it takes to reach them. This valuable feature helps people make informed decisions about whether the neighborhood fits their lifestyle and personal needs.

Data-Driven Decision Making: AR Analytics for Marketers

One of the most important aspects of any marketing campaign, including the performance of AR content, is the tracking and analysis of results. In this way, real estate marketers can assess the chosen strategy and find ways to improve it. Here is what to keep an eye on:

  • Reach and impressions: It’s used for assessing audience size and awareness. Example metrics are the number of QR code scans of app launches.
  • Engagement and retention: It gives a better understanding of customers’ interests, preferences, and overall satisfaction. The essential metrics here are dwell time, session duration, frequency, and completion.
  • Conversion and revenue: It shows how users move along the sales funnel. Conversion and revenue metrics, such as click-through rate, purchase rate, average order value, and customer lifetime value, help evaluate the ROI of AR marketing strategies.

Empowering Remote Purchases: AR for Off-Site Property Evaluations

AR is suitable for real estate buyers who can’t visit the properties in person, such as those who live far away, have disabilities, health issues, etc. Off-site property evaluations are particularly useful for investors with busy schedules as well.

In addition, AR can minimize some risks that usually accompany remote transactions, such as misinterpretation and disappointment. This increases trust between the parties involved and thus facilitates communication.

Challenges and Considerations

Augmented reality (AR) might be a game-changer in real estate marketing, but it poses several challenges, including:

  • Technical requirements: AR applications require the use of compatible devices, software, and internet connection, which may not be accessible to all customers or brokers. This can be partially overcome by trusting agencies to create custom AR apps that meet specific business needs.
  • Latency issues: They are common in AR technology implementation, due to the transmission and processing of large amounts of data between user devices and servers. To address such issues, AR applications must be designed with efficiency in mind and regularly tested under diverse scenarios.
  • High costs: Developing and maintaining AR applications can be expensive and time-consuming, especially for complex 3D models or animations. The solution is to rely on proven AR applications, such as Vera or RealAR.

Future Trends and Outlook

How a trending technology will develop can not always be predicted precisely. One thing is certain—as long as there is demand, there will be development. Three of the expected upgrades of AR implications for real estate marketing are as follows:

  • Creating more realistic experiences. It can be done through the use of advanced graphics, sounds, haptics, and even smells.
  • AR-based virtual assistants. He or she will be able to answer customers’ inquiries, negotiate, and share opinions with clients. That will bring the virtual tour even closer to a real one.
  • AI will get more into AR. Artificial intelligence is currently used for face and spatial recognition in AR apps, but it is assumed that their “collaboration” will deepen.

Conclusion

Every real estate professional, who wants to provide top-quality service, should embrace tech innovations. Like any new technology, AR piques people’s curiosity to use it. When a real estate company offers this opportunity, more and more potential customers will take advantage. And what’s even better, they’d share that unique experience with other people. Word of mouth and user-generated content can do wonders for the business.

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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