Greg McCoy shares insight into improved cost and marketing spend through better data analytics at AIM 2015.

Greg McCoy shares insight into improved cost and marketing spend through better data analytics at AIM 2015.

Traditionally, marketing has been known as an inefficient cost center that can’t really be measured.

While that’s changed some over the last few years with the growth of Internet marketing, some doubters remain. If Rich Hughes, head of data science for RealPage, and Greg McCoy, social media & digital marketing manager for Campus Apartments, had their way, there’d be no doubt that marketing works.

They put the results where there mouths were during the Marketing Analytics: It’s a Data Driven World session at the 2015 Apartment Internet Marketing Conference.

“Marketing is the fuel of the engine of our enterprise,” Hughes said. “Why is it a cost center? It doesn’t make any sense to me. If we want to escape this cost center perception, we need to be able to anchor our activities to demonstrated results.”

Hughes went on to show how lead scoring can significantly improve leasing office efficiency, providing a true ROI to sophisticated, data driven marketing activities.

“We split prospects into quintiles, five buckets, each containing the same number of people,” Hughs said. “The top 20 percent converted 16 times better than the bottom quintile. We can show you who the best candidates are quite early in the process.”

But the benefits of lead scoring can be further enhanced through an even more sophisticated data-driven approach to search engine marketing prior to garnering leads, McCoy said. In the summer of 2013, McCoy recognized that his cost per conversion was too high and took steps to reduce the cost through the use of data.

McCoy reviewed the quality of his cost-per-click campaigns and optimized his spend to get the most high quality leads for the lowest cost possible. To determine quality, he multiplied the best CPC bid times a 1-10 ranking of how relevant his ad was to market.

McCoy also reviewed where his traffic was coming from and stopped spending in locations where he received little to no traffic. Finally, he reviewed which devices – desktop/laptop or mobile, were producing the best results in the highest conversions for the lowest cost. McCoy, then, optimized his spend based on the device, putting more money to more effective devices.

The result was a lower cost per conversion and an optimized marketing spend. Through the use of data, McCoy and Hughes demonstrated real results from marketing both in cost savings and return on investment.

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