Following the developments in design in recent years, with the undoubted influence of modern technology, the manner in which marketing collateral is distributed has changed dramatically. In previous years, print was the primary and most effective channel to deliver marketing material to customers; however, there is a strong argument that print is now an outdated option. With the dramatic increase in digital media, the internet has become a vehicle for content distribution with various benefits. In direct contrast to print, the digital publications can reach a worldwide audience immediately. It is also effective in targeting specific demographic groups via multiple channels. The effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns can be accurately tracked using analytics, unlike its traditional print counterpart.
One of the most efficient methods whereby a digital property marketing brochure is distributed via major property portals (Zoopla, Rightmove, etc.) is by mass circulation of the marketing collateral. For example, property brochures can be downloaded from the property pages and saved to read later if desired. Comparing this approach with the traditional method of contacting agents or relying on ‘snail mail’, it is no surprise that the digital media methods are overtaking print media as a form of advertising.
According to Fiona West of The Marketing Centre, it has been found that printed brochures maintain a high value takeaway for some people at the trial or evaluation phase of the purchase process; therefore, print media can have a benefit to reinforce the emotional perspective of a purchase decision. By having a tangible item to accompany larger investments, it is possible to make the purchase appear more significant and justified. For the majority of people, print brochures can also act as a cure for ‘buyer’s remorse’; however, a digital brochure does not offer the buyer the same type of experience or satisfaction because it is not tangible or interactive on a physical level.
It is also important to consider the client base when choosing between digital and print media. Statistics found that the 25 to 35 age group tends to be more tech savvy and prefer to use the internet for property searches, particularly their smartphones; therefore, digital brochures may be the most beneficial option when targeting this demographic. However, the Google Consumer Survey discovered that more house hunters rely on their smartphones to remain competitive in the property market.
According to the survey, mobile phones accounted for approximately 27 percent of all property searches in June 2017 – an increase of 19 percent from June 2016. This shows that properties which appeal to younger individuals may be more suited to digital advertising as this is the primary method they use to search for property. Moreover, younger buyers tend to work in design, technology and creative digital industries; therefore, they have an increased appreciation of fonts, design, style, character and uniqueness.
In-house marketing research found that locations can inform the choice between digital or print marketing. For example, while properties in rural locations are typically accompanied by physical brochures, the average urban property utilises at least 60 percent fewer physical brochures and frequently request digital versions of their brochures. This can be due to the fast pace of urban property markets as it is simpler to research property using the internet, rather than visiting various real estate agents around the city.
As can be seen, property marketing brochures can be influential in the successful sale of a property. Regardless of whether the brochure is digital or printed, it can prompt the buyer’s decision-making process and allow insight into the property. With the growing influence of the online world, digital media is becoming a popular service with usage expected to increase dramatically over the upcoming years. It will be interesting to see the effect digital advertising has on real estate agents’ use of printed media. As businesses are beginning to realise, both print and digital advertising offer benefits; therefore, it may be beneficial to utilise the different marketing techniques to have a larger impact on potential customers.