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Revenue Marketing: What is it and How Can Your Teams Achieve it?

The world of multifamily is ever-changing. As renter demographics shift and the ways in which they search for their future apartment home evolve, we’re recognizing a similar evolution in effective marketing strategies.

Traditional marketing built around cost-per-lead or cost-per-lease metrics still has a strong hold on our industry. However, forward-thinking marketers are examining how revenue marketing can lead to a fundamental change in how we do business.

The Four Stages of the Marketing Maturity Model
According to the Pedowitz Group, a leading marketing consultancy, the four stages of the marketing maturity model span from traditional marketing - built on the foundation of the “4 Ps” - followed by lead generation, demand generation, and, finally, revenue marketing.

Our industry is highly comfortable following the “4 Ps” of marketing – product, promotion, placement, and price. We are in tune with our brands and how to promote our apartment homes through many tried and true methods. Revenue management has also empowered us to be more effective in pricing apartment homes. Yet, there is still room for growth, both in terms of optimizing the lead funnel and accelerating revenue.

Moving Beyond Traditional Marketing
Many owner-operators are already exploring a lead generation model. They’re highly focused on the quantity of the leads they’re generating from their investments and whether their leasing teams are converting those leads to leases. But performance within this model is still bound to vanity metrics like ad impressions, click-through rates, and form submissions to determine a cost-per-lead and lease.

While a focus on lead generation moves us in the right direction, there are still opportunities for improvement. After all, this model assumes that once a lead is acquired, the responsibility of conversion rests solely on leasing. This creates friction between marketing and leasing. We’ve all probably heard it: “marketing sends me bad leads” or “leasing never works the leads we send them.” The two teams are working in silos, not in unity, to convert leads to leases. 

Conversely, in organizations that have adopted demand generation models, the focus is on the alignment of marketing and sales around a unified funnel, understanding that the role of marketing doesn’t end when a lead is acquired. Both teams must work together to nurture and convert leads to paying customers.  

These organizations recognize that simply generating leads and sending them to leasing teams is not a holistic strategy. Measuring acquisition sources is only part of the equation. They also need to measure how leads flow through each stage of the leasing cycle to calculate funnel attrition and lead velocity. This is the only way to truly understand how their collective efforts are working.  

This model emphasizes a systematic approach to lead generation and conversion, not just generating the most leads, and the creation of opportunities to move a lead faster to the point of sale. The performance metrics used in this model are typically the number of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) sent to leasing agents; sales accepted and/or qualified leads (SALs/SQLs); percent conversion to a sales qualified opportunity (SQO); percent conversion to closed-won; contribution to pipeline; and number of days to close. The key to this model is technology. You need an integration of marketing automation software and a sales CRM in order to implement this type of process design. This allows you to layer on a multi-touch attribution technology to measure influence throughout the full lead lifecycle. 

Achieving Revenue Marketing
Revenue marketing reflects an organization’s maturity in its lead-to-revenue management: how effectively it aligns people, processes, and technology to create repeatable, predictable, and scalable revenue impact. When a demand generation engine is optimized, an organization can more easily determine how much investment is required to hit specific revenue metrics. 

To achieve this, owner-operators will need to rethink how they’re currently organized to better align their teams around common goals, objectives, KPIs, workflows, and buyer experiences. The model also requires a centralization of technology and business processes. This can often require a significant initial investment, but it can pay huge dividends in what is gained through centralization of marketing efforts, transparency provided through data, and the ability to more closely forecast returns on each marketing investment. 

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