Why You Should Be Investing in Digital Marketing Now for Your CRE Firm

Why is digital marketing crucial now?

The world continues to change rapidly, and with it the commercial real estate industry – alongside many, if not most, other sectors. To thrive in this landscape, it is important to recognize and embrace change in whatever form it comes. 

This year, research showed that spending on digital transformation strategies broke $2 trillion globally. This is a huge amount of investment by companies across the globe and across sectors. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should be investing in digital marketing now. 

1. Digital natives have taken over the market – and they have expectations

More than 50% of the world’s population is under the age of 30- and with over half of the population as part of this demographic, there are more digital natives than ever before. Tenants and investors of today are digitally focused and find a digital presence an imperative for the organizations and businesses that they interact and/or do business with. In order to appeal to this huge demographic, an investment in digital marketing is essential. 

2. The physical aspect of marketing is currently on hold

With a significant decline in face-to-face trade shows and conferences have you taken a moment to reflect on what this might mean for your business? If these physical gatherings have hit the pause button for at least the next year or so, businesses need to plan ahead now on how to best replace those experiences. And how will you get those eyes on your business and make future customers aware of what you can offer? Thankfully, digital marketing is at our disposal while the more traditional forms take a backseat thanks to the current global climate. 

3. Online is the most efficient and impactful place to be

Over 7.7 billion people use the internet across the globe. It is without a doubt an integral part of everyday life. The internet is where we look for things to buy, stay in touch with our friends, and find out information about every aspect of our day to day lives, from the daily weather to global news to the latest sports statistics.

That being said, it should be obvious – your customers are online. Your clients are searching for services and properties. And if you don’t have an online presence, it’s that much less likely that they’ll be able to find you – in fact, they’ll be finding your competitors that have already been investing in their digital presence. 

4. Measuring ROI is much easier than traditional methods

All digital strategies can be monitored with precision, and most of them in real time as well, whether it’s via Google Analytics, Facebook advertising, LinkedIn marketing or a variety of other resources. There are so many digital tools at our disposal, with a number of metrics to be tracked precisely that will help you immediately judge how effective your efforts are. Whether or not you’re on your way to achieving your hoped-for ROI will be clear for you to see, and much more quickly than with the more “old school” methods of marketing. 

5. You have access to a much more precise audience

Traditional marketing casts a wide net. With targeted digital marketing and search engine optimization efforts, you can target your potential clients and customers directly where they are. Audience segmentation and geographic location targeting are much more specific in the digital realm, which also enables you to plan your spend more effectively.

6. You can boost your digital budget without increasing overall marketing spend

39% of today’s marketing professionals are boosting their digital budgets without increasing overall marketing spend, by redistributing their present budgets into their digital channels. This is open to commercial real estate marketing as well! On top of this, the plethora of digital channels and touchpoints available to today’s businesses continues to grow year on year and month on month.  By investing in these avenues now, your business won’t be left behind. 

7. Digital is shaping how tenants, investors and buyers look for property

As you can see, an investment in digital marketing is crucial across industries. However, there is a special need for this investment in the commercial real estate industry. 

For both tenants and buyers the physical experience of looking at properties is much further along the funnel than it previously was. In the commercial real estate industry, for example, mobile devices now account for more than 1 out of 5 online visits. A digital marketing strategy that includes SEO optimization, user-and-mobile-friendly web design, and other digital considerations is the only way to meet customers where they are, and give your properties the biggest chance at success. 

8. Your competitors are getting ahead

In commercial real estate, it can be easy to think that the industry is somehow completely separate from the digital revolution that has taken over nearly everything else. But this shouldn’t be accepted as an infallible truth, as we can see by examining other traditional industries such as entertainment (Netflix et al), retail (Amazon), and hospitality (AirBnB) that have changed rapidly in the recent past. All have capitalized on digital as a cornerstone of their success and pushed out those that chose not to pivot as quickly as they could have into a new 21st century business model which is far more suitable for the digital age we are living in. CRE should be seen as a modern industry that is equally as agile. 

There last few years have shown a significant increase in technology adoption and greater investment in digital marketing in commercial real estate. All of this is being further accelerated these past few months by the appearance of Covid 19. Companies are realizing that they need to invest in these things if they want to get ahead.

Basically, digital marketing is no longer something you “should” do. It’s critical.

There is no going back to the marketing ways of yore – digital is the present, and indeed the future. Are you ready?

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