Canada is not unique to the impact of global uncertainty on its economy. From the ongoing impacts of the global pandemic to unprecedented domestic immigration targets, to unstable geopolitical factors in Russia and Ukraine, to record-level inflation and increasing interest rates, Canada is reacting to the global economic headwinds.
Even still, there are many reasons to remain optimistic.
In the Government of Canada’s recent Economic Overview released in March, it was reported that our unemployment rate is near a record low. Additionally, compared to other countries in the G7, Canada’s economic growth has been the strongest over the last year. However, affordability remains the number one challenge for Canadians. This means that for those selling real estate, and particularly those marketing pre-sale development projects, it is more important than ever before to have a simple and well thought out strategy.
As both a developer and marketer, it is imperative to understand and anticipate the complexities of the current economic environment before committing to any kind of large-scale project. Teams selling projects must balance minimizing financial risk with maximizing potential gain, no matter the market conditions. And, in a complicated economy, your marketing strategy must be engaging, smart, and appropriate.
To create a successful project, our team has highlighted six essential tips for project success.
Know Your Customer
It is more important than ever before to know your customer. Consumers' needs have adapted in the post-pandemic era. Remote work is here to stay, and everyone needs a home office space. Additionally, people's values have evolved. The pandemic allowed everyone to evaluate their lives and their goals. Consumers have never been so dialled in on their desires, and as marketers, we must ask the right questions and create the right product to meet their needs.
Engage a 3.0 Strategy
At Talk Shop, our teams engage 3.0 strategies when it comes to marketing presale projects. Gone are the days when you could simply decorate the presentation centre and wait for potential buyers to come to you. Now, marketing teams must have a sound strategy in place ahead of launch. This includes engaging a public relations team to do proactive media outreach, creating a digital strategy with paid ads and an active social media presence, host bespoke events, work with influencers, and create direct to consumer marketing campaigns. And, above all else, strategies must be holistic and creative.
Be Cost Efficient
While consumers have been impacted by inflation and rising interest rates, so have all other aspects of the industry. From developers to lenders, to construction and trades, the cost to build is more expensive than ever before. Add slow approval processes from municipalities into the mix, and the cost to build a project continues to grow. This means that foresight is paramount when engaging a marketing team to ensure you are not constantly pausing and commencing efforts. The best time to engage a marketing team is once you have your sales launch date locked in, and a clear work back schedule developed. You want to work with a team that has a proven track record of driving sales and delivering results.
Adapt to the Times
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The same is true for marketing. While the foundations of a successful marketing campaign remain the same, it is paramount to be creative if you are going to attract the attention of a consumer. Whether it’s a creative influencer campaign, activation in the downtown core, or hosting a pop-up shop, an important question to ask your marketing team is where they get their inspiration from. If the answer is travel, art, literature, galleries, magazines, and theatre -- you know you have come to the right team. You want to work with a team that is brimming with ideas and not afraid to push the envelope.
Do Your Digital Due Diligence
When it comes to social media, the next generation of home purchasers is plugged in. According to a recent survey, millennials spend 7.5 hours per day online. That means that in order to reach your target audience, you must have a sound digital strategy in place. Your SEO, digital ads, and social media presence must be strong, and your team must constantly be adapting your approach to ensure you are reaching your target audience. Five years ago, the approach was to simply start a project-specific Instagram account. In today’s economy, a comprehensive plan must be created with experts in the space to effectively market your project.
Learn From the Past, Look to the Future
When you engage a marketing team, you choose to work with them because of past experience in the industry. However, one of the most important questions to ask is how they adapt their strategies based on current market conditions. You want to work with nimble teams that understand the industry and how it is evolving. Long table dinners with social media influencers were introduced in 2015. While that is still an effective way to reach a target audience, it can’t be the only way. It’s important to understand how marketing teams have learned from past campaigns and are evolving for future ones.
Ultimately, careful consideration must be taken when choosing tactics for marketing a project in a complicated economy. A holistic approach must be engaged to ensure you are reaching your target audience. The team must use a combination of public relations, digital strategy, events, and community engagement. And, above all else, creativity is key.