Google recently published a report called The Customer Journey to Online Purchase that includes some excellent insights on how consumers use the Internet and interact with the marketing they encounter.
Google has charted those marketing tools based on their use by consumers in relationship to the purchase decision; The lower the number, the more likely this marketing medium was that last interaction right before the purchase decision.
Looking at the chart below, we’re happy to see that it nicely aligns with our long stated approach of marketing from the inside out. In the Sales & Marketing Pulse 2012 report, we recommended builders cover their search engine optimization and paid search marketing opportunities before engaging in social media. This chart would indicate the same advice, knowing that those tools are most likely to reach those buyers closest to a purchase decision.
It’s no secret though, we are proponents of social media for homebuilders when the timing is right.
We ask a lot of salespeople the question, “How do most of your prospects find out about your community?” The number one answer is always “Signs.” The real world is not as measurable as the Internet, so we’ve always theorized the “signs” answer is so popular because it is the last thing prospects see before walking in the model. Knowing intuitively that the other marketing efforts further up the purchase decision funnel help bring people past the signs, we’re hungry to connect those dots.
Seeing the display click (this is banner advertising) and social media dots in the awareness and consideration sections of the path, supports their role in a comprehensive marketing strategy. These assist interactions, as Google calls them, help guide some of those prospects just beginning the home search process toward you.
So, are you spending your dollars at the top of the funnel, the bottom, or covering the whole path?