CRE’s Digital Marketing Revolution – Commercial Observer

Marketing tactics were already changing rapidly before the pandemic, as digital transformation boosted the adoption and popularity of social media and other online forums. Yet COVID-19 has changed everything, accelerating changes in how we communicate, including how marketers engage the commercial real estate (CRE) industry.

Partner Insights spoke with Marci Rankin, Director of Marketing Strategy for Commercial Real Estate at JPMorgan Chase, about the changes the company has implemented as part of the ongoing digital marketing revolution.

Marc Rankin

Business Observer: What are some of your key issues and challenges when marketing to the CRE industry?

Mark Rankin: JPMorgan Chase has clients spanning various asset classes and geographies. So first we need to know who we are marketing to and what issue were-solve for them. Whats important to a building owner/operator in Los Angeles is very different from whats important for a large developer in New York. Our goal is to deliver the right message to the client at the right time, and through their preferred channel, so they can find solutions when they need them and stay focused on their CRE portfolio.

You must be creative and able to pivot quickly in this dynamic industry. Our CRE clients face many forces and factors, such as changes in policy, legislation, interest and employment rates and, of course, the recent impact of the pandemic. For example, once the pandemic hit, we had to quickly shift from comprehensive marketing to connecting directly with customers to share important and timely information. Our shift in communications consisted of detailed support related to the Paycheck Protection Program established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, and our loan relief program so that we can help our customers and their tenants through unprecedented times.

How has marketing and communications changed within the finance/CRE industry over the past 20 years?

Technology and digital transformation, coupled with the rise of mobile devices, have resulted in an always-on experience. There has been a convergence of customers’ business mindsets with the expectations of their consumers. They want real-time information at their fingertips, delivered in a personalized and contextual way. As a marketer, I no longer have to wait for a direct mail to reach the customers, I can communicate key messages and content 24/7 via digital and social channels. Even with the adoption of technology and real-time delivery, integrated marketing — leveraging traditional and digital channels to connect with customers and prospects where they prefer — is the most effective approach I’ve found. havehave experienced for our industry. This type of method must balance digital delivery with human interaction to truly connect with the audience.

The pandemic has forced us all to rethink our relationships with each other. We had to adapt quickly to virtual events and webinars to continue information sharing, networking and learning. Videoconferencing technology helped us make this adjustment, but it required training for sales and customers. Creativity was super important. How can you keep audiences engaged while they suffer from video call burnout? We’ve introduced a variety of unique formats, from budget round tables to a hands-on cooking session with a “Top Chef” winner. It’s obvious how much our customers and our sales team value in-person engagements. WeWe have seen a lot of interest and attendance at our recent industry events and conferences.

As a new generation of owners begins to support CRE family wallets, how do you and your team plan to change the marketing to them?

We take the time to fully understand what is important to these customers: what keeps them up at night, the problems theyare trying to solve, and how they like to communicate and receive information. They may prefer to learn more about us through social media, rather than the traditional phone call. Thisit’s no longer just about the product solution, but about a sense of shared passion around purpose-driven missions like JPMorgan Chases commitment racial equity and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. For example, one of the main objectives of the company is to help solve the problems affordable housing crisis.

We really focus on building trusting relationships with the whole family and creating a sense of community and connection. It is important for us to offer this new generation of customers a place where they can exchange ideas and best practices in terms of profitability and respect for the environment. amenity upgrades, tenant trends, estate and estate planning, digitize their business (like collection of rents) and community impact.

For a fairly risk-averse industry, how can marketing play a role in the adoption of new CRE technologies and digital solutions?

The industry has been seen as a technology laggard, but the pandemic has made adoption digital out of necessity. Tenants, especially the younger generation, expect to manage and pay their rent digitally and in real time, just as they do other transactions as consumers. To remain competitive, owner-operators must adapt.

We like to highlight clients who have successfully adopted technology and digital solutions and highlight the positive impact it has had on their business, tenants and suppliers. We bring their stories to life and share their journeys through case studies, training videos, peer-to-peer roundtables and more. All of these marketing tactics are aimed at getting people comfortable with digital transformation and providing resources to ease transitions and overcome any hesitation. We recently launched our “Changemakers You Should Know” content series, which elevates industry leaders who are making progress – whether through modular housing, hiring diverse vendors, implementing digital collection rents or the optimization of tailor-made construction projects taking into account the environment .

Is direct mail dead? Where is the CRE space still in it, and why?

Not dead, but perhaps less popular than 10 years ago. Direct mail is now one tactic in a much larger integrated marketing campaign. Thisis most effective when the public is unreachable by email or phone due to a lack of data or opt-out lists. ThisIt is important to be thoughtful and targeted with direct mail recipients to reduce waste. Environmentally friendly materials, ink and production costs are all at the forefront of our strategy. Thiss an expensive channel with slower delivery, so itIt is imperative that it be deployed effectively.