3 Tips for Making Integrated Marketing Work for Your Apartment Communities
Seldin Co.’s Nofel Molai talks about how to ensure that integrated marketing reaches consumers and keeps apartment communities filled.
Consider Coca-Cola. Whether in a commercial, a print ad or social media, the company will always display the bottle with the logo and a red-based color scheme. That’s integrated marketing at its most basic.
“Integrated marketing emphasizes the consistent multidimensional brand experiences for the user,” says Nofel Molai, Assistant Vice President of Marketing for Seldin Co., which manages more than 150 properties in seven states. “What this means is that each brand effort, from print ads to social media engagement, is done in a way that reinforces a brand’s overall message. An effective integrated marketing campaign centers on a strong, focused brand image communicated with a clear and consistent voice.”
At Seldin, Molai manages a team that handles all marketing for the company’s property portfolio. The team creates apartment community websites and videos; designs logos, brand guidelines and marketing materials; and handles search engine optimization (SEO) and search content marketing (SCM). “We have it all maintained in-house so we can focus on specific communities, their audiences and what we are looking for with their brand,” Molai says.
Seldin is currently implementing an integrated marketing campaign that includes updated logos and marketing pieces and a new website with a simple, clean look and feel.
From this wealth of experience, Molai offers three tips for running an effective multifamily integrated marketing operation.
- Think about how to reinforce the brand. Creating a brand is hard work, but that’s only the beginning of the integrated marketing process. Continually marketing the brand is key. “Once you create that logo or brand or whatever you are creating, you have to keep pushing it, keep implementing new ideas,” Molai says. “That way, it refreshes. It’s not just creating a brand guideline, but also growing with it. You want to keep putting it back in someone’s head.” However, he emphasizes that the core of the branding stays the same. “It’s putting the logo or brand on a different element to fit with the current market.”
- Communicate with everyone — from associates to executives — about a new campaign before the rollout. Molai knows that if he and his team don’t discuss the brand guidelines with key stakeholders, those stakeholders might not buy into the marketing plan. If that happens, he and his staff will have to start over. Instead, he suggests getting feedback from stakeholders upfront about how you are planning to meet the objective of a new integrated marketing campaign. “Then you will be able to design the campaign, logo or brand that fits with what everyone’s thoughts are,” he says.
- Use occupancy rates to assess how your campaign is going. Molai has created a marketing liaison system at Seldin: Every marketing department employee focuses on specific properties' occupancy rates and marketing efforts. “They audit what each property has done for marketing, whether it’s posting on Craigslist or social media or Apartment Ratings,” he says. His team then reviews the data with the property managers. For communities with lower occupancy rates, his team can provide additional training and develop a marketing plan that highlights a property’s visibility within the community. “That’s helped a lot,” Molai says. “Occupancy percentage is the top of the list of how we determine how well a campaign is working.”
A company doesn’t need to be a multinational behemoth like Coca-Cola to manage its brand effectively. It simply needs to run a strong integrated marketing campaign.