For decades, marketing was all about display advertising, promotional campaigns and brand building. It wasn’t an exact science, but putting your business out there made you visible. Now, well into the digital age, marketing has in many ways gone online – evolving from just having a website into becoming an interactive, multimedia phenomenon that is measurable and allows you to measure, monitor and respond to changing realities.
Once seen as an investment (read: cost) that would (hopefully) bear fruit, marketing is now becoming a fully measurable and quantifiable subject matter thanks to the ability to track the results of online marketing strategies and spends. Graphs full of data about hit rates, bounce rates, visit times, likes, shares and the spread of audiences that resembles the expanding branches of a tree give the marketer a lot of information to fine-tune their strategies upon – assuming they know how to interpret the message effectively.
Because of this clearer interrelationship between cost and benefit, and the faster feedback response from the ‘field’, modern marketing is increasingly perceived not as a cost but as a driver of income. Having said that, it is also becoming more interactive and responsive, so whereas it was once enough to simply promote your business or service and ‘put it out there’, now you have to take things a step further and also focus on the customer experience. Instead of just the product or service, the consumer’s buying and user experience need to be designed to perfection too.
And if you get it wrong they will let you know – and fast! Social media is a great way to engage and enthuse your target audience and get public endorsement, but make a mistake and the world will soon know about it. Engagement, and the positive brand association that stems from it, remain as important as ever, but now you don’t merely reach out to your intended client base, you begin a virtual relationship with each and every one of them. In other words, it’s becoming less of a one-sided conversation and more of a dialogue.
So from first raising awareness, the process has expanded beyond product and service to digital engagement and measuring, the latter offering analytical tools that can help marketing experts with increasingly diverse skill sets to hone their marketing strategies ‘on the move’. This also means response times have been greatly reduced, so marketers are under more pressure than ever to get it right – and they are faced by the shifting sands of an environment that is changing more and more quickly. Very often they are no longer making the trends, but working hard to keep up with them.
On a practical level this means you can expect a new, more interactive way in which products and services ranging from cars and homes to holidays and spas are promoted, merging from product utility into desired lifestyle projections that are highly successful when they touch the right nerve. Understanding what drives your customer is therefore more important than ever, reinforcing old truths that it pays to listen to your client – something we are pleased to say we have always done.
Having been very quick to appreciate the importance of the Internet, DM Properties was among the first real estate companies in the Costa del Sol area to develop a website aimed at providing an easy to navigate information resource for people looking to buy properties and enjoy the Marbella lifestyle. From this evolved an online marketing strategy that engages with homeowners, home seekers and investors through blogs, newsletters, social media and regular informational posts in which we share our knowledge and provide information accumulated over many years. The fact that this process continues to evolve enables us to further this relationship – and it is something we pay close attention to as we evolve along with a new market.
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