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Missing Link in Real Estate Marketing Found?

We can show website traffic. We can show leads. Heck, we can even show you what phone brand and model brings in the most website visitors. All of which can be used to improve a digital marketing campaign. But there is one link missing that could bring it all together. That is, until now.

Foursquare recently announced the launch of Attribution Powered by Foursquare, which allows advertisers to track the amount of in-store foot traffic that results from their digital advertising efforts.

Let me repeat that‚Äö√Ѭ∂ You can actually see if the online campaigns you are running are bringing people into your physical location. It‚’ time to start justifying those advertising dollars.

How does it work?

Basically it uses GPS enabled apps on smartphones to track where the user goes after exposure to an ad. This only works if the smart phone user has agreed to leave their location-sharing feature on. And it might surprise you how many people actually do leave this feature on. A study by Skyhook Wireless showed only 20% of people turned off location for all of their apps. With the popularity of location based apps on the rise, that‚’ a pretty big sample size to analyze.

Why This Changes The Real Estate Marketing Game

This technology was clearly designed for brick-and-mortar retailers. And that makes sense, because they need people to be physically present at the store in order to buy their products.

However, for the real estate market, this bridges a gap we’ve been discussing with our clients for years. Does our digital advertising increase the amount of foot-traffic to the homes and sales centers?

Based on anecdotal evidence we know that many prospects don’t fill out contact forms or pick up the phone before visiting a community to look at houses. They just show up. The problem was that until now we had no way of proving it. More importantly, we can’t see which of our digital strategies brings in the most foot traffic. This revolutionary technology could change the way we optimize and help us make even more informed decisions about where we put our ad dollars.

A word of Caution

This technology has just arrived, which means two things. First, it‚’ not readily available to everyone just yet. But this is a long awaited capability so you can expect all the big names to jump on this. Google Adwords has already been beta testing this exact concept with select big box retailers for a while now.

Secondly, it won’t be perfect. There is still the unsolved challenge of cross device tracking. For example, if a user sees your ad on a desktop it‚’ very difficult to follow them to their mobile device, which is how we know if they got to your sales center. So there‚’ a long way to go, but the good news is the advancements are coming and coming fast.

Proving ROI on advertising is one of the most beneficial and difficult tasks we have to accomplish. Having the ability to see the relationship between your digital advertising and the amount of people coming to meet your product in person is a definite game changer.