This is the second in an ongoing series. Our goal is to accelerate your learning curve by connecting you to some of the brightest minds and best marketers in the apartment industry. Is there someone you think we should feature in a coming post? Let us know!
On July 23, 2014, Ryan Cox sent an email to 46 business friends saying that he needed to transition out of consulting. One of them, a friend he’d never met in person, said the J.C. Hart Company was looking for a marketer with his level of experience, and made an introduction.
Ryan then met with Mark Juleen, Vice President of Marketing at J.C. Hart, and essentially provided a 10-page audit detailing what he’d change or do differently if he were working at the company, as well as a job description for the position he and Mark envisioned.
“That was all before even having an interview,” says Ryan.
Eventually he met with the executive team, and on September 6, 2014 (less than two months after his initial email to friends) he accepted an offer to become J.C. Hart’s Digital Marketing Specialist.
For Ryan, the tangible impact of his marketing efforts is the best part of the gig.
“Apartments aren’t cheap,” he says, adding, that he should know— he’s a renter himself.
“Crafting a message that conveys the J.C. Hart commitment to our product and the residents that live on our communities, and seeing that translate to new leases is pretty darn cool,” he says.
What’s not cool? Or, in his words, dramatically bad?
The answer might surprise you. To find out, keep reading.
What’s the greatest marketing challenge you’re currently working on?
Efficiency. The rallying cry for me in 2015 is efficiency. My goal is to make our efforts, campaigns and conversions as efficient as possible. As @theaptnerd says, “Squeeze more out of the orange.”
What’s your proudest marketing accomplishment to date?
Related to my current job? I assume that is the best way to answer this question, so in my short six months, I’d say my proudest marketing accomplishment to date is the fact that we already have decreased our cost per lead and cost per lease. We aren’t where we want to be yet, but we’re beginning to prove that we can better target our messaging for those in our demographic. Less noise in the wrong places.
What’s one thing the apartment industry as a whole could do better as far as marketing and advertising is concerned?
Effort. I think the spray-and-pray model of listing services and mass mailing isn’t efficient. (There’s that word again.) I think marketers of any industry, including multifamily, will shock themselves at the increases in conversions they’ll see when they better segment their targeted marketing.
Who do you think is doing the most innovative apartment marketing right now?
I don’t pay attention to a lot of other apartment marketers, companies or firms, I’ll be honest. However, to answer the question, despite being one of my fastest growing multifamily marketing friends, I love what Holli Beckman (@apartmentalist) is doing. She’s a data nerd like me, so her commitment to efficiency and proving her models is fantastic.
Who is doing innovative marketing outside the industry? Where do you look for inspiration?
Who isn’t? I know that’s horribly cliché to say, but I think anyone with an Internet connection can do something innovative. That’s the beauty of the plugged-in society we are. Anytime I see a really well done visual marketing campaign, I take notice.
I think someone that does email marketing well is a big deal. I think too many marketers miss this boat. I can’t think of any specific examples off the top of my head, but I can tell you who isn’t doing it well: Apartments.com. The digital marketing I’ve seen them do for their site “redesign” has been dramatically bad. It feels like someone trying to wrap cool graphics and celebrities around people using Internet Explorer.
I had a local PR/marketer who was starting to breakout on their own also commit a big no-no in opting in people to their marketing email list without permissions. Worse? When I explained to them I wasn’t thrilled about that, their response was, “What about the content wasn’t relevant to you. Be sure to reconsider, you’ll get left behind. I’d hate for you to miss out.” I’m paraphrasing slightly, but I was utterly shocked.
You can order anything at the bar. What are you drinking?
Anything not beer. #notabeerguy I’d probably order a vodka cranberry.