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Delta Media Group Blog

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Multi-Channel Attribution Modeling and your Real Estate business

We talk a lot about real estate marketing trends.

Our recent article discussed Predictive Analytics and how to best leverage your digital capabilities to improve your online business.

In that article we mentioned another “pillar” of digital marketing analytics: Multi-Channel Attribution Modeling (also referred to as "Multi-Touchpoint Attribution Modeling").

As noted, multi-touch attribution deals with understanding that today’s consumer might visit your website and submit a lead through a specific channel, but there are many points of contact they’ll have with your marketing channels in the meantime that could be largely responsible for ultimately bringing your company that lead or sale.

Traditional stats and analytics look at marketing in a single-touchpoint silo and give all sales and marketing attribution to the last touch.

In years past you probably ran print advertisements in newspapers and magazines. When someone called to inquire about a listing you advertised you asked them where they heard about it. They’d tell you the newspaper or magazine, or that they drove past the house and saw your phone number on its for-sale sign.

You’d attribute the lead entirely to the respective channel, and track leads to better calculate which advertising medium worked best for your business.

As time went on you or your brokerage might have realized you could utilize different phone numbers in different mediums. Doing so allowed you to directly attribute where each phone call came from, since you listed different phone numbers in different ads.

This allowed you to better calculate the value of each advertising medium and you began using a specific phone number on your for-sale signs.

You even got crafty and used a unique phone number on your website when you first launched it. At that time there were no lead capture capabilities or online data sources, and you wanted to make sure people were actually visiting your website and inquiring about your business directly from it. At first it didn’t account for very many phone calls, but the percentages continued to grow over the years.

Then something weird started to happen. The economy began to shift, and the industry shifted with it. Print publications made cuts, and some went out of business altogether. Billboards began to lose value, and a whole new list of digital marketing capabilities popped up—from better real estate website and lead management capabilities, to blogging, to Social Media and video marketing.

You heard and read about how your should use all of them to boost your business, but you struggled to identify a direct ROI in SEO, Social and blogging. It used to be so easy when someone called you and you could directly ask him where he got your number. But your new customers began reaching out to you online, and at a more rapid pace than ever before.

If you market yourself online correctly, consumers will be able to find you through multiple digital channels. Google Analytics allows you to follow some of them, but you’re still stuck trying to discover what impact some channels had on your marketing, and how all that direct traffic found your website directly.

Multi-Channel Attribution Modeling is one of the most and least important elements of your business. You need to cater to today’s consumer through multiple channels. But you don’t have to worry about the exact value each channel provides. Doing so will drive you crazy, because there’s currently no good way to truly measure the exact weight each channel has on your business.

Consumers are using multiple devices at multiple times during the day. They’re often taking in multiple messages from multiple devices at the same time, as they frequently sit in front of the TV with their tablet or smartphone in hand, and even use their tablet and smartphone while on their desktop computer.

It’s impossible to calculate whether your TV advertisement had a larger impact toward a purchase than did the tweet you sent out at the same time the consumer was watching it, or your website, which the consumer was using to shop for homes on their desktop.

You may have had a blog post talking about the current market, which an interested consumer found by Googling the topic. They fanned your Facebook page to see what you were about, and a few days later they clicked on one of your posts and visited your website. Analytics will give Facebook the referral credit, but wasn’t the blog post more essential to driving them to you?

It’s not as important which medium might be most important. What’s important is that you have a presence on them all, and understand that multiple channels will help drive consumers to doing business with you, even though only one can be attributed for the final click before the lead.

To best leverage this business model, you need a digital real estate interface that gives you access to all channels and allows you to control each one with a unified message when need be. You need lead tracking capabilities to go along with your lead drivers—email marketing, Social Media marketing, a blog, video incorporation, and a darn good real estate website that’s easy to navigate and provides a great property search.

Contact Delta Media Group for more information on how to drive and track sales through all real estate marketing channels.
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