HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA - In the last five years, multifamily marketing has become a more technology-driven, data-oriented career path. The rise of technologies specifically focused on creating, disseminating and tracking marketing campaigns has created a cross-functional job description, wherein marketers must become technologists. In order to better understand customer demographics, customer needs and customer communication channels, marketers must gain an understanding of the fundamentals of their company’s technology to create a holistic marketing technology strategy.
"The lines between the Chief Marketing Office and the Chief Technology Officer have blurred, and the multifamily housing industry is no exception," explains Landmark Property Services marketing director Lauren Curley, who will speak on the Think Like a Technologist panel at the 2014 Apartment Internet Marketing Conference. " As marketers, we are in charge of the customer experience, which means we are responsible for all customer-facing technologies. If we can marry an understanding of basic technology, programming and database principles with an understanding of financials, communication, customer behavior, market analysis and marketing best-practices, we have the ability to produce an amazing customer experience."
But where do we start? According to Curley, if you don’t know the technology, you can’t own the technology. "Which means most of us are probably only skimming the surface of what our resources can do to create a better customer experience," she says. "What kinds of questions would a technologist ask in a multifamily environment? How can multifamily marketers test user experience and build basic results into their marketing strategies? How can the principles of database management help marketers tell a better data story?"
During her presentation at AIM 2014, Curley will address these questions and pinpoint specific tools and practices that marketers can employ to help non-technologists begin operating like technologists within the apartment Internet marketing arena, including:
Tools like Canva.com, which allows users to create print and online media without graphic design skills.
Zoho Forms, which allows users to create customer-facing webforms with a back-end database without knowledge of SQL.
Wordpress, Wix, and other website templating services which allow users to create beautiful, modern and functional websites without knowing any coding language.
"A knowledge of the available tool sets is just the foundation," says Curley. "A key question for any apartment owner or manager to ask next is: are these resources a sufficient replacement for more technical solutions? From scrums to agile development, to test-driven development, what are the opportunities beyond entry-level applications that technologists are most excited about and how can we incorporate these ideals and practices into a multifamily environment?"
The importance of the convergence of multifamily marketing and technology is only made more critical by the staggering increase of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) graduates entering the workforce over the next few years. "Soon enough, current multifamily marketers will begin to compete with technology majors for the same jobs, properties and promotions," Curley says. "Given that eventuality, it seems only natural to align the marketing department and the technology departments. The result, at least at Landmark, has been very successful.”
Interested in learning more about the convergence of multifamily marketing and technology? Take Curley's 10-question multifamily technology and marketing survey at and register to attend her presentation at AIM 2014: Conspire for the exclusive. Consider it an upload button for your multifamily marketing career.