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Digital Marketing Integration

Written By Bryant McClain

Making the Switch

In 2015, Keen was faced with an intriguing marketing task. We were hired to consult on a boutique luxury project in Belize, Itz’ana Resort & Residences.

Our early tasks for the developer were significant as we analyzed the local market, refined the site-plan and architecture, developed the brochures, collateral, and website to position the brand as a thought-leader in the Caribbean.

However, one key issue remained: How could we drive enough quality leads to sell a significant number of residences in an emerging market? Mature markets with multiple in-class offerings have a cooperative flow, generated by the multiple opportunities and associated press but emerging destinations like Belize with virtually no history require an aggressive approach and budget.

When we first began in the resort-residential property sales and marketing, huge portions of marketing budgets went into costly print advertising and elaborate collateral printing, packaging, and mailing. Ultimately, these costs are reflected in the purchase prices of the residences, but we had concerns that Belize could support the elevated pricing to cover the costs.

We elected to advance our digital strategy and PR aspects, while virtually abandoning all print advertising.

The results were a historic performance with record sales. There are key lessons from that Digital campaign that we’ve carried forward and inform our engagements to this day!

Targeting is a Process

At the commencement of any campaign, defining the target market is vital. We need to know the demographics for the upcoming purchasers, “Who will buy these and how do we find them?”

While we had a general idea based on Belize affinity travelers and standard wealth to price ratios, the most important understanding that guided our success was that we were “On the road to find out”.

Sales professionals don’t need leads, they need qualified leads!

Digital marketing offers the unique ability to A/B test countless assumptions, so we implemented a rigorous analysis of semi-competing campaigns. Each image and every tagline were reviewed and advance based on performance data, not the opinions of the developer or a dominant personality on the team.

There are deeper dives into concepts such as “Brand awareness” vs. “Lead conversion” but most developer success is determined by predictable capital models so it’s important to set up the campaign as a process that follows its own success.

Be Adaptive, Do the Work

Following the successful campaigns and discarding the less successful sounds easy, but it requires constant analysis.

Updating the website is an endless activity as information regarding the performance of keywords, page titles, meta-tags and conversion rates is brought forward by detailed analysis.

We analyze search trends, SEO trends, location data from traffic, performance metrics from various browsers to re-frame the campaign form month to month. This work requires a dedicated team comprised of experts in SEM, SEO, and the continual evolution of the creative teams.

The hours of coordinated efforts by aligned working groups requires daily, weekly, and monthly accountability. Keen coordinates and aligns the team members as the Captain of the ship. Successful digital campaigns leverage the advantages of an adaptive technology. When the effort is made and the actions are coordinated, the results are cost-effective.

Define Successful Conversions

Digital marketing professionals define their success in terms of digital conversions, form submissions, and traffic numbers. Developers define their success as sales closings. Ultimately, these two definitions need to align.

Huge volumes of the wrong traffic can provide false positives for the digital analysis while not producing the end result desired. Sales professionals don’t need leads, they need qualified leads!

Especially in the luxury sector, our sales teams are required to spend large segments of their time with each true purchaser. When the lead quality suffers, sales conversions drop off as the sales team spends too much time qualifying and not enough time closing.

Finding success is a process that can’t be bought. It has to be revealed through the hard work of informed professionals engaging in an advanced feed-back loop guided by a Keen understanding of the project and it’s market position.

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