I feel like the last 3 weeks have been a never ending game of dodgeball and the ball is Covid. I spent 7 hours waiting to get my oldest tested on the eve of Christmas eve and even ran into a client at the doctors office. Smalltimore at it’s finest. She was negative. Just took her again yesterday for another test, also negative and in between those events family, friends, and others keep popping up positive.
From my hermetically sealed home, I’m pleased as punch to be focusing in on the marketing and housing news of the new year and not thinking about the never ending barrage of Covid news. Outside of that, the end of the year was as it should be, quality time spent with family and friends, rest, and relaxation, sprinkled in with a heavy dose of GSD (Getting S%^& Done).
This week I find myself recharged and ready to tackle the year whatever it may hold. The metaverse and web 3.0, video, email, data privacy, user experience and consumer confidence are the hot topics today. I couldn’t narrow it down more because they all kind of bleed into one another with the exception of the consumer confidence news. That’s being included because we’ve noticed an interesting trend for December that I think is tied to consumer confidence.
I’m putting the video news, email, web 3.0, and data privacy all under this umbrella today. Because ultimately that’s what each of the other topics is about.
Overall, user experience is a hot topic because it’s how the internet evolves. User experience something that is measurable and will impact your bottom line because it’s so influential in how people perceive your brand when they encounter it online. Not to mention the fact the Google now officially measures it as it pertains to SEO. We talk about here as it relates to your digital presence but it is also as important to your buyers in person interactions. From phone calls to model home visits and more, user experience should be at the heart of your marketing strategy.
On the video end of things, it’s not so much news as it is a prediction from Search Engine Journal. We wholeheartedly agree and have been saying so to clients. Video is where it’s at for 2022. Do you want to get potential customers’ attention in your ads? Use video. Do you want them to stay engaged on your website? Use video. Want to build a personal connection between your home buyer and their new home? Use video. It should be a focus for your marketing department and a line item in your 2022 budget.
On the email front, if you really want to connect with your potential buyers and the customers who have signed contracts but not yet moved into their new homes, email is a reliable, personal, and scalable way to do so and delivers outstanding results. It’s also having a moment as cookies disappear because email lists are 4eva (Fear, the movie, anyone?).
What is Web 3.0 and what does it have to do with Facebook and the Metaverse? Web 3.0 is the Metaverse in short. It’s where the internet is headed and it’s a bit of a mindbender. But then the internet of today would have been a mindbender for me 20 years ago. And this falls into the user experience category because using the internet is a user experience. It’s how Facebook and Google came to be…improving upon user experience making the internet navigable and connected.
Finally under the user experience umbrella is data privacy. I talk about it rather endlessly here because the death of the cookie is iminent and solutions aren’t as forthcoming. The best thing a business can do is to over prepare and shore up all possible privacy leaks before the end arrives. There are two fronts to this issue, first is the 3rd party data loss that will change the way digital ad targeting works, and second is the first party data that you can safely collect and use to offset the 3rd party loss.
FLoC’s don’t get much love but they do get lots of airtime. The article highlighted above talks through the pluses and minuses as well as giving some insight into other options for replacing that 3rd party cookie.
Oh but that first party data and the CDP that will hold it, is a beautiful thing. Imagine a world in which you have a complete picture of not just a customer persona, but an actual customer. You can see all the particulars for how they used your website, how they got there in the first place and what happened to them after they completed that form. It’s a glorious place from a marketing standpoint and it is the future.
I am opting to include this metric here because it is the only data that I can find to even remotely support the trends we saw in December. Website sessions increased, goal completions increased, and Facebook ads in particular saw an increase in impressions, clicks and goal completions. Most importantly home sales increased for many clients in December.
The Facebook ads data really threw me for a loop because from mid October through the end of November the total opposite transpired and I attributed it to data I found about increasing competition due to the holiday season. So I expected December to continue that trend. Instead it went off on its own and had a party. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super psyched to see the numbers that we saw but I just don’t know why it happened.
Apparently in December, consumer confidence improved which I guess means that perhaps more people were on Facebook and it was easier for retailers and others to make sales so maybe it got less competitive?
It definitely explains the increase in goal completions and home sales for our builders. When consumers are feeling more sure of their bank accounts and the economy, they undoubtedly feel better about buying a brand new home.
Let’s hope they keep feeling good. As I said on a call yesterday, I guess the day after Christmas and January is the new Spring housing market kick off.