Summertime. Let’s Not Just Sit Back and Unwind
Will Smith’s 1991 anthem Summertime offered his new definition of summer madness. His infectious, chart-topping single invited everyone to “leanin’ to the side but you can’t speed through. Two miles an hour so everybody sees you” and to use the summer months to “sit back and unwind.”
And while I strongly support Mr. Smith’s suggestion to spend time with friends and family and to find ways to relax, I believe the season also offers a unique opportunity for business. Work is often less hectic (dare I say quiet) during the summer months, with many people taking vacations or just taking time away from the office.
I get that it is hard to find motivation when work is quiet. I understand the struggle to say no to friends when they invite you to paddleboard on a gorgeous Colorado day. But this found time affords the ability to plan for the second half of the year.
You may recall a previous blog that discussed the pitfalls of not being proactive. In that blog, we offered ways to keep your team focused on strategic planning to keep your PR and marketing efforts dynamic and as successful as possible. Today, let’s explore additional tactics you can use today that will make tomorrow so much easier:
1. Conferences. While we have just completed the largest industry conference of the year, there are still a handful of conferences everyone needs to prepare for. The ULI Fall Meeting, Maximize, the Multifamily Executive Conference, NMHC Student Housing and NMHC OpTech, just to name a few.
Before heading into any conference, supplier partners need to evaluate what a “successful” conference looks like. Attending, entertaining clients and prospects and producing conference “swag” are costly endeavors. So what makes the ROI pan out?
Will it be in the number of leads received at your booth, the number of business meetings held, or even the number of contracts signed? Whatever the measurement of success is, utilize data from other conferences and past conferences to generate a realistic goal. Then work backward to determine what tactics you need to execute between now and each conference to best position you to achieve those goals.
Conferences are a little bit different for apartment owners and operators. Closely look at the content offered at each conference to determine the most appropriate team member to send. While it may seem easier to just send executive leadership, could a company ‘up-and-comer’ see more value in attending?
2. Media Pitches. At the beginning of each year, the LTM team develops proactive media pitches for every client. These range from product-specific pitches to thought leadership pieces and everything in between. While we believe we are often leading the conversation in multifamily, the industry has been moving so rapidly, and we aren’t ostriches.
We constantly communicate with our supplier clients to understand how their product pipelines are changing and to learn about new goals that have recently emerged. This knowledge allows us to readjust media pitches to better serve their strategic goals. On the owner/operator side, strategic conversations about overall company objectives, and how those may have changed since the beginning of the year, can help us fine-tune thought leadership pitches.
3. Digital Marketing. This is a big one for our supplier partner clients. Digital marketing is an ever-growing tactic within our industry, not only to delight and educate a target audience but to build relationships that drive business decisions. Goals need to be constantly evaluated and revised, and email lists need continual updates and refreshes. This is particularly important leading into a conference (see above). We can’t just rely on the conference attendee list, and successful digital marketing starts well before the weeks leading up to the conference.
Some things to consider for your digital marketing: Are you leveraging all your case study and thought leadership content to the fullest? Case studies can be dissected into multiple pieces like social media pull quotes or as short-form emails to drive the reader to your website for more information. Could recent industry news help build a strong case for your product or solution? If so, think about developing a new blog post and promoting that via your digital marketing channels. And speaking of channels – are you leveraging all of them? The most successful digital marketing campaigns utilize a variety of outlets including emails, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Now don’t get me wrong: I don’t expect you to spend your entire summer indoors and at your desk. But by taking the perceived downtime of summer to proactively plan activities for the end of the year, can ensure success. And as Will Smith suggested, do try to find some time to “hop in the water plug just for old times sake.”