"Marketing Secrets from the Outside In" session at AIM Reimagine 2021.

AIM 2021 Session Recap – Outside In: Marketing Secrets from Outside the Industry

If there is one thing that every attendee who sat in on this exciting session walked away thinking about, it was the word “experience”. In this dynamic hour-long panel at AIM Reinvent, Lisa Troisien, Consultant and President at ApartmentExpert.com, guided a very thoughtful conversation with Kainoa Clark, CMO at The Wasatch Group, and Robert Gastieger, VP of Marketing & Communications at Steadfast Living, to discuss what the Multifamily industry can learn and apply based on what is happening outside of the industry.

Lisa opened the session by asking Robert to expand on a unique brand experience he had. He dove into an amazing story about driving up to Napa Valley after NAA 2016. His experience at the winery was so memorable that it made the wine taste better and left a lasting impression on him. When he got home, the wine “was ok” but he’s still a member at that winery. This story feels all too familiar and serves as a reminder that experience plays a huge role in shaping our reality. 

When Kainoa was asked to give his overall point of view he shared that “something I’ve always said is that ‘experience creates belief, and beliefs influence action’.”

Shifting into more specifics, Kainoa went on to talk about how there are both strategic and tactical opportunities for Multifamily to look at other industries (he specifically referenced eCommerce) to create a more user-centric experience. 

The expectation for online shopping experience today must feel familiar, seamless, and take as few steps as possible to complete the transaction.

How can we bring that experience both to the prospective resident, but also to your leasing staff who are owning that experience for your customers? Learn how Rent Dynamics’ intuitive CRM eliminates about 30% of the steps for your site teams to accelerate leasing velocity.

“What is an example of a brand that’s doing ‘experience’ well?”

Kainoa took this first and went right into the example of Vans shoes. 

One of the things that he believes has made Vans so unique is that it’s a company and a brand that spans generations. They’ve stayed true to a simple shoe with a strong brand identity and been able to attract generation after generation. Finishing with the point that “there aren’t many companies these days that can capture the attention of grandparent, parent, and child.” 

A key aspect to focus on here is identity – oftentimes, brands become diluted when they are trying to compete or keep up with the latest trends. Staying true to your brand’s most authentic identity will always win over the competition. 

Robert talked about GoPro as an example. A lot of folks seemed to like the example right out of the gate, but what was captivating was the reason why he mentioned GoPro as a great example. “User generated content.” When you watch any of the ads or films of theirs on YouTube, almost all of what you are seeing is User Generated content. This opened up a very fun discussion on the power of getting as close to your customer as possible and leveraging their experience to connect with your future customers / prospects. Certainly, this example directly applies to multifamily and the opportunity to leverage your residents to become advocates.

“Where can we improve our approach to websites?”

Robert talked about his most recent portfolio redesign. The takeaway for him was using data to make the right decisions throughout the process, and designing with the user experience in mind. 

Kainoa went back to e-commerce and really encouraged everyone to be user-centric with their website approach. Driving users to the content they are truly looking for, having the right call to actions, and finding a balance of designing for both conversion and experience. 

Lisa’s closing question was “What are we doing right and what are we doing wrong?

Robert took this one and said “what we’re doing right is that we are coming here, together, to learn and to collaborate” followed by “what we are doing wrong is going home, and doing nothing with that information.”

We were grateful for the opportunity to listen in to this thought provoking conversation with some of the best marketing minds in multifamily. 

Heading to OpTech 2021? We’ll be there, and can’t wait to see you – email sales@rentdynamics.com to connect.

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