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It’s time to graduate to more powerful analytics

Stephen Heitz, Chief Innovation Officer

Most home builders are stuck in the past. They’re counting clicks when the rest of the world has moved beyond them to view-based models which measure marketing campaign success. If this is you, please read on.

Most home builders are stuck in the past when it comes to marketing analyticsLet’s begin with the difference between clicks and view-through conversions, and why it matters.

First, a click is just that. Someone views an ad and clicks on it, resulting in a visit to your website. View-throughs are what happens when someone sees your online ad and doesn’t immediately click through, but later visits your website.

Differentiating between the two matters because counting clicks alone misses all of the conversions which can be traced back to viewing the ad, even though they took more time to complete. Failing to understand the complete impact of an ad campaign can skew your ability to analyze its actual return on investment.

Pulling an ad campaign which is failing to produce sufficient clicks without taking into account the view-throughs it generates, for example, could be a costly mistake.

Besides, rather than relying on capturing existing interest with tools such as those offered by BDX aimed squarely at those already in the market to buy, why not tap into a different media mix to create new demand?

You might ask yourself whether you could ever really create demand for a new home. We submit that you can. There is a moment where you can create interest, and we can help you find and leverage it.

How? By assigning a more diverse media spend to include places where you can generate more net-new buyers. With the insight provided by accurate, in-depth analytics, these campaigns can be optimized to ensure they are as effective as possible. Instead of just counting clicks, look instead to determine triggers and measure their effectiveness through accurate attribution.

Ready to kick just counting clicks? Take a look at how to graduate to more powerful methods of analytics.

Digital Marketing: Originate, Assist, Convert

The process of digital marketing can be compared to the roles played by various members of a sporting team lineup.

The original ad often creates awareness, much like a kickoff or tipoff signals the beginning of a sporting event.

In digital marketing, the credit is often given to the last ad to touch the customer. Likewise, each time a player scores during a game the credit tends to go to the team member holding the ball or rounding home base, depending on the sport.

Most home builders are stuck in the past. LAVIDGE can help.Before a scoring touchdown, basket or base run could take place, however, there was likely an assist from a specific team member who set it in motion. Without the assist, the score would never have happened. When likened to digital marketing, accurate analytics take these assists into account—realizing the importance of their role.

The rest of the ads or touchpoints in between which supported the scoring play are not to be dismissed, either, any more than one would dismiss the rest of a sports team roster.

It’s important to note that in the residential development industry the time between these events can be significant. Cookie windows for tracking should be lengthened accordingly, and tools used to measure need to be able to handle such modifications. Not all can.

Additionally, a significant media spend is required for such an analysis to be effective.

In any case, let’s continue.

Track Better with Multi-Touch Positional Analytics

We all know website traffic comes from more than just organic search results and paid ads which share the page. Some visits come from links you post on social media accounts. Others come from links you include in marketing emails written to entice potential home buyers to visit your website.

With multi-touch marketing efforts targeting the same audience, chances are high your website visitors have come into contact with them all. That’s the “multi” piece of the analytics term, which lines straight up with marketing efforts that go beyond a single marketing channel or medium.

“Positional” takes into account the order in which guests come into contact with each channel before landing on your web page. In theory, the first and final touches are most important with the middle ones playing a supportive role. The first contact planted the seed, while additional contacts kept interest alive until one of the touch points culminated in a page view.

Identifying which points along the path played the most important roles, and whether each supporting role was also key to the conversion or ancillary, can mean the difference between simply gathering information and obtaining actionable marketing insights.

When you understand how each step fits into generating net-new interest, you can tweak efforts to most effectively reach as many potential new home buyers as possible.

Implement Collaborative-Game Theory

Simply put, collaborative-game theory takes into account the incremental lift of every marketing tactic to determine which buyers would have converted anyway. It requires establishing a baseline upon which actual boosts can be measured.

It’s important to get this step done correctly, or none of the data compared against it will be actionable in meaningful ways. If you’re new to analytics, consider working with a partner with access to all of the tools necessary to establish a baseline you can use.

Sell More Homes with Pathway to Conversion Analysis

We like to think of this one a little like following the breadcrumbs carefully dropped by Hansel and Gretel along their journey to help them find their way home.

Pathway to Conversion Analysis is one of the advanced forms of analytics LAVIDGE can help clients conduct.Only, in this case, we just want to track where website viewers came from and the order in which they passed specific touchpoints along the way.

We do this to determine whether the pathway has the correct number of touchpoints. By uncovering overlap, the excess spend in one or more areas can be eliminated or reallocated to more productive channels.

This not only saves money but boosts return. Either way, it’s a win.

Traditional Media Lift Analysis Works

Did you know we can study the effect of traditional media on visits to a residential development sales center?

A traditional media lift analysis does just that and can help you determine whether radio, television or billboard ads are working.

Begin with forecasting tools used to build statistical models which determine trends in traffic to a specific sales office without the help of traditional media. Then air a radio commercial or put up a billboard. Analyze traffic again to see how the trend has been impacted.

Because these sorts of models take into account seasonal variances and are conducted in two-week flights, differences in traffic patterns can be seen easily.

In our experience, it’s easy to tell by looking at the data when traditional media campaigns were running—and when they were not. 

Campaign Analytics Need a Custom Build for a Custom Fit

Not every builder or client has the same needs. Your data sets aren’t the same, and neither is your marketing or business model. Chances are, we’d design an analytics program for you with touches of each element, with a custom fit and feel.

Out-of-the-box programs (such as free Google analytics) cannot achieve the same result.

Much like you might suggest custom or semi-custom features to a home buyer, well, we feel the same way about analytics. There is no one-size-fits-all.

Need Help?

Not sure where to start? You’re not alone. LAVIDGE can help. That’s why we have a dedicated analytics team to uncover trends and to help home builders move beyond outdated thinking.

To learn more, give us a call at 480.998.2600 or send email to [email protected].

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2018 Southwest Residential Development Marketing Report

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This article is a brief abstract of our exclusive study about home buyers and their preferences for advertising and marketing tactics used by new home builders.

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