October 29, 2017
In this industry, we spend a ton of effort building an audience. People who will see our marketing, pay attention, and tell others about us. Our goal is to continue to build a strong database of raving fans and obviously, potential customers. The problem is, once we have those audience members – we throw them all in the same bucket, and we market to all of them in exactly the same way.
Your leads come from everywhere, and they all enter your database at a different point in their buying or selling process, so why wouldn’t you assume that they all have unique needs, wants, fears and frustrations? Sending them all the same messaging isn’t addressing their needs. List creation, or segmenting, within our database can seem a little daunting. The key is to start training ourselves to think differently about our audience. Not as simply hot leads, or cold, but but by realizing and respecting that each and every person in our database brings their own set of needs.
It’s not just about putting people into lists. It’s about learning the right questions to ask so you can provide just the right response. Start by thinking of all the different buckets your audience fits into. Remember, people may fall into more than one category, and the key is to start making your categories as specific as possible. Once you start segmenting your database by needs & motivations, the more likely you are to provide your audience with the content that is the most valuable to them. And marketing messages that are personalized are a heck of a lot more effective than that one bucket approach.
To really make the most of your marketing messages, there are eight factors you should consider about each segment of your database.
Description - Who are they and what is their current living situation?
Location - Where do they want to be? Specific community, style of home?
Needs - What are the must haves?
Fears - What is keeping them from making a decision? Any unknowns?
Motivations - What is convincing them to make a decision?
Interests - What are their wants in a neighborhood, home, or location?
Frustrations - What are the market conditions that are a source of irritation?
Timing - What is their timeline? Are there specific deadlines or triggers?
As you start to ask the right questions about these eight factors, your client’s needs and motivations become much more clear. Instead of dumping someone into a “first time buyer” bucket, and sending her the same marketing you are sending to all of your buyers, you can start providing real value.
You may not be able to be this specific for all of your segments at the start – but as time goes on and you form relationships with your database, you will have the framework to ask the right questions and fill in the blanks. Over time, you’ll start to see patterns, which will help you create marketing that speaks directly to each segment’s needs. The goal is to send your database more than just listings. Because anyone can drop them in a drip campaign, and you want to stand out from the crowd.
Follow a simple checklist to start discovering the needs and motivations for your leads. Than, start to segment your database with purpose. Finally, target your marketing for each segment accordingly. Keep in mind that the better you segment your database, the more personal and targeted your marketing messages become. That is how your database starts working for you.