Our thoughts on Ofcom's Comms Market Report

Our thoughts on Ofcom's Comms Market Report

5 mins

Over five billion people now own a mobile phone

With most UK adults spending a day a week online and more and more of us glued to our mobile phones, how can brands within the property sector reach and engage with people in the busy and ever-evolving digital age?

The Ofcom Communications Market Report 2018 has just been released. Here are some key learnings for property developers and housebuilders looking to build engagement and create better connections with their customers:

Go digital

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that digital is big business. The popularity of smartphones and app downloads has undoubtedly impacted the way many people communicate and it appears most of us are addicted to surfing the Internet. Over half of the world is now online and adults in the UK are spending 24 hours a week online (double the amount they spent in 2007). And this has obviously had an impact on the way people search for a new home.

Gone are the days of just buying property magazines and local newspapers. Now people head straight for their phone, seeking out apps like RightMove and Zoopla to begin their house search. For developers in the UK, it’s clear that an omni-channel approach is vital and digital has to be at the heart of the communication strategy. We work with many of our clients to implement digital campaigns (like this one at Paintworks) and we’ve seen some excellent results from them.

Digital is not only a cost effective way of increasing reach, it can create a real buzz about a development and get people talking about a new community. Whether it’s a banner ad that promotes your social media page or a #hashtag on some hoarding that promotes interaction, digital should be at the forefront of your campaign and supported by print media.  

It’s all about the smartphone

Most of us use our smartphone to complete daily tasks. Shopping, interacting with friends, to-do lists, podcasts, fitness apps, reading (you might even be reading this on your mobile), meditating...the list is endless. And for brands launching a marketing strategy, optimising for mobile is essential for maximising engagement.

According to Ofcom, 72% of UK adults use their mobile phone to access the Internet and 40% of adults check their phone within five minutes of waking. It’s also the preferred device when it comes to browsing online. So whether you’re launching a new development or publicising new community facilities, don’t just optimise for mobile, think mobile first.

More than Millennials

Millennials or Gen Y are known for their love of digital and tech, but what about the older generation? The stats are in and they suggest that digital is a very effective channel if you’re trying to capture the downsizer market. Over 54s use communication apps the most out of any age group and there has been a 51% take up of smartphone devices in over 55s. What’s more, social media is attracting more and more downsizers and retirees - Facebook’s second biggest demographic is over 55s.

Social media and digital advertising is not only a way to reach more people, it’s also cost effective and incredibly trackable, making it easy to tailor campaigns to your target audience and monitor performance.

Invest in video content

We’ve previously shared our thoughts on video and property marketing and the recent stats highlight just how important it is as a communication tool. People watch an average of 3 hours and 23 minutes of TV a day, but our viewing habits are changing. With the rise of superfast broadband and smart TVs, more people are heading online to watch video (one third of people watch content via an online subscription). Video is also one of the most popular forms of content on mobile and social media.

Consider your tone of voice

One in ten people listen to the radio via a smart speaker, but it’s still growing in popularity, as in the first half of 2018 only 16% of people aged 16-54 owned a speaker such as an Amazon Echo or Google Home. We think this figure is only going to rise in the coming months, so it’s something to consider when you’re creating a new marketing campaign. When producing content for digital platforms, consider how your brand will appear in a voice search. Not just the narrative, but also your brand personality. As part of a group of creative agencies we regularly talk about brand tone of voice, but voice search will add another layer and make your voice jump from the page. So how do you want your brand to sound? And what keywords do you want a device to pick up on?

What’s your view on the latest research? Are you using digital channels to reach homebuyers? Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and let us know what you think.

Source: The Ofcom Communications Market Report 2018

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Hayley Clark
Hayley Clark
Hayley has over a decade of experience, starting out as a journalist before moving into digital content and strategy. She has worked with clients across a variety of sectors (from property and finance to FMCG), specialising in content marketing and helping brands find their tone of voice.
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