Before their major media launch, Dixu had been in existence for a couple of years. However, practically nobody knew about them, and their operations were very small-scale. Nonetheless, we had developed a pretty good idea that we were on the right track: up to 90 per cent of home sellers chose Dixu after our customer service had a chance to talk to them. The question we heard over and over was “Why haven’t I heard of this before?” This confirmed our belief that we should go for a major launch. The next question was: how can be make ourselves better known without an expensive media budget? This was when we discovered Foppa Media Funding, which enabled us to reach the next level. They key insight was that it’s not enough to have a good product or service that meets the market needs to have a successful brand launch. You also need the right marketing channels, budget and a message that make it attractive and reach the correct target group.
1. Create a basis
When you launch something, it all starts with background work and mapping the basis for the brand. We carried out a comprehensive concept and target group study at Dixu, giving us valuable input on how potential customers might react to Dixu’s new operating model, concept, brand and the drivers related to the selection of the agent – and home sales in general. The key thing is to realise that understanding the customer stems from creating a picture based on customer feedback. The purpose of marketing is to crystallise this picture, to find the themes and viewpoints that customers find attractive. Don’t fall for the common mistake of using the results of the study to boost your own hypotheses, but remain open to find the optimal approaches. On the other hand, bear in mind that you cannot please everyone. If you try to offer something to everyone, soon you won’t be offering much of anything to anyone. So focus on the target groups to which you can create the most added value with your service.
2. Focus on the messages
Your advertising campaign should not only have an impact on the target group but also stand out from those of your competitors. When presenting an entirely new service model, the message must be clear and interesting, yet simple enough. With Dixu, selecting the message started from a good understanding of the customer, which the advertising agency was able to crystallise and make attractive to the target groups. The insight is that a bland message rarely invokes a sufficiently powerful feeling about a new product or service. So invest time and effort in the visual design and texts and select a creative partner that understands your needs and is able to create added value with their expertise.
3. More boost with mass advertising
These days marketers have a wide range of choices in terms of the media. This is why, when launching something, you have to make choices and consider the role and weight of various channels. Mass advertising plays an increasingly important role in making the brand better known and sticking in people’s minds. Dixu, for example, had engaged in tactical digital advertising in various social media channels before their major launch, but it wasn’t enough to reach the masses and potential target groups – especially with a business like Dixu, with people changing homes at an average of about every seven years. In Dixu’s media mix, TV (and moving images in general) and radio were selected as the primary media, because they can provide coverage costs efficiently with the necessary repetition in order for the message about the new service to certainly reach the target groups – and to create and emotional link, which strengthens the image about the brand.
4. Make sure you can be found
Once the launch has ensured that you have caught the consumer’s attention, you also have to ensure that they can find more information about you. So, prepare the path for them to be as easy as possible. Invest in your website and search engine optimisation. Remember that you cannot say everything in your launch campaign, however. It’s best to encourage the customer to search for more information themselves.
5. Measure, optimise and continue
Following the launch, your key task is to make the new product better known as quickly as possible in order to compete well with others. In other words, a launch should not be carried out with a low media budget or with a single-campaign idea, because brand construction requires long-term work. It’s more like a long distance run than a sprint. Making your brand known only begins with the launch, and you must have resources reserved also for the future. Measure the results, learn from the launch and make use of what you have learned in further campaigns.
Note also that all marketing and sales requires the value promise of a product or service. For us, it simply means a smarter way of selling homes. We at Dixu do not have our own estate agents. Instead, we work together with well-known major chains and small local estate agents. We do most of the manual work traditionally done by the estate agent: we obtain the documents and take care of photography and digital styling. Once the estate agent is ready for showing, they can do their work at a lower price. We can not only offer consumers a lower, fixed commission, but also make the work of estate agents easier. Our main goal is to make home sales easier for all parties, and the purpose of the launch is to make more people aware of our service. But this does not mean the work is done at this point. It’s actually only the beginning.
Text: Kaisa Karjalainen, CMO Dixu