Following the developments associated with design over the last few years and the dramatic influence linked with technology, the way marketing collateral has been distributed has undergone changes. In previous years, print was once the primary as well as the more successful channel to deliver marketing materials onto consumers. However, today there are many debates around whether print is still relevant.
The Increase of Digital Media
Fat Free Media believe that with such a significant increase in digital media, the World Wide Web is now the primary vehicle when it comes to distributing and delivering content, along with a host of benefits. In comparison to print, digital publications have the ability to instantaneously reach global audiences. In addition, it is a highly effective way in which to target specific demographic groups via multiple channels. The effectiveness of the marketing campaigns can now be evaluated accurately through analytics, unlike conventional advertising.
The Rise of Property Portals
Perhaps the most effective and efficient methods for distributing digital property-marketing brochures is through primary property portals like Zoopla and Rightmove which provide a way for mass circulation associated with marketing collateral. These brochures can either be directly downloaded from the property-page or it can be saved for reading later. When comparing these methods to traditional ways to contact agents or relying on the method of snail-mail for delivery. It comes as no surprise that the other traditional methods to distribute print media, like advertisements in the national newspapers or regional or local magazines are declining.
Buyers Still Like Something Tangible
However, Fiona West from The Marketing Centre has discovered that the print brochures are still, in fact, a valuable takeaway for a person that is at the trial or evaluation stage of a purchasing process, and still has a specific benefit when it comes to reinforcing emotional sides of a decision. She goes onto say that holding something that is tangible when thinking about large investments often makes the purchase appear more justified and important. For many people, a brochure acts as a type of tonic when it comes to “buyers’ remorse”. On the other hand, digital brochures do not provide buyers with the same feeling or experience of satisfaction, because they are less interactive and tangible.
Another important consideration is your client-base when it comes to making a decision between digital vs. print. The 25 to 35 age group are usually more tech-savvy which means they will usually use web searches when searching for a property, especially through a smartphone, which is usually why a digital brochure might be a better option in order to target these audiences. A Google Consumer Survey discovered that a lot more home hunters rely on smartphones in order to remain competitive.
The Rise of Mobile Search
In the month of June, mobile phones are what accounted for 27% of the total searches associated with buying homes, which is up by 19% when compared to the previous year. This indicates that properties that might appeal to the first-time home buyers might be suited better to digital-marketing, as this is the primary way that they search for properties. Most of the younger buyers also work in design, technology along with other types of creative industries, which means they have an increased appreciation for style, fonts, design, character and uniqueness.
Geography Affects Print Choice
In-house market research also suggests that location may also inform the choices between digital or print marketing. While the properties in the more rural areas like Newbury are typically accompanied by a 50-100 brochure run, averages for London properties are between 20 to 30 copies with London agents that request web-versions more frequently associated with their brochures. This might be contributed to the pace of London property markets and the general London life, where it is much easier to research properties on the Internet as opposed to visiting the various estate-agents across this capital.
Overall, the property marketing brochures are usually extremely influential to the success of property sales, whether it be in digital or printed form, as they assist in decision-making processes as well as deeper reflection and insight into a property. With the direct influence from the online world, the digital brochures are only now becoming a more popular service, and the uptake is likely to rapidly increase in the years to follow.
It will be of interest to find out the effects this will have on the estate agent’s reliance on the printed brochure in future years. Yet at the moment combinations of digital and print may still be the correct answer, as many businesses start to notice the benefits they can achieve in the way of employing different marketing techniques which will have the largest impact over potential clients.