By Michael Worthington, CEO, BrightDoor
The marketing world needs a better word for “kiosk.”
Use the term with most sales and marketing pros, and they’d likely conjure up an image of an oversized, cumbersome, ATM-like chunk of hardware that leads users through a clunky, push-button-driven experience. And that mental picture is only natural, since that’s where most kiosks can trace their design lineage.
But today’s kiosks are something else entirely. Taking shape in everything from small, pole-mounted displays to advanced, 60-inch (or larger) touchscreen tables, they’re marketing workhorses that help real estate sales and marketing teams promote their brands, highlight new inventory, share interactive maps, push special promotions, and generate and capture fresh leads.
In fact, today’s kiosks are most accurately viewed as a channel—just like billboards or Facebook or MLS listings. And just like success in any other channel, their successful deployment depends on smart planning and thoughtful execution.
Here are four key considerations for kiosk marketing:
- TIMING – Assume your prospects will spend about two or three minutes using a kiosk, so ensure the user experience lets them get to what they want that require the fewest―and most intuitive―actions.
- INTERACTIVITY – Touchscreen maps are a given, but also explore what other interactive content you could use on a kiosk, like surveys, pop-up “What’s-trending-here” boxes, ads for local interior designers or landscape architects, etc.
- MAINTENANCE – Just as kiosks have to be easy to use for prospects, their maintenance should be simple for you and your team. You should be able to switch out content (text, images, video, maps, etc.) in a matter of moments.
- TRAINING – Ensure your agents are well-versed in navigating your kiosk content, and encourage your team members to share best practices (even if just informally during sales meetings).
If you’re in the planning stages of considering adding an interactive digital component to your sales environments, consider the following “planning” checklist:
- Establish clear goals – Start with your primary motivation for using a kiosk. Are you primarily striving to extend your brand? Generate leads? Spotlight new promotions? (And it’s okay if the answer is “all of the above”; having a sense of where you want to go simply helps keep you on the right path and alerts you when you’ve arrived.)
- Location is key – Position your kiosk where it’s easy to find (and, in turn, naturally inviting), but not where it’s smack in the middle of super-high-traffic area (where would-be users might feel like others are hovering over them while they interact with the kiosk).
- Keep the user experience simple – Rely on simple graphic devices (like oversized headlines and big, bold imagery) and traditional touchscreen interface protocols (like tapping and swiping) to make your users’ experience as straightforward as possible.
- Focus on rich media (3D, rich imagery, animation, video) – Consider how you can communicate a few key concepts using your best-of-the-best imagery with as few words as possible. Think of your kiosk content as a series of billboards and 15-second TV spots, rather than long-form brochures or web copy. Your goal is to leave a couple of dominant impressions that can be amplified by your sales agents.
- Source “industrial-grade” hardware – Be fiscally prudent, of course, but don’t cut too many corners when choosing your screen and computer hardware. You want reliable technology that can stand up to the pressure of an “always-on” environment.
Like any other marketing initiative, never move forward without establishing clear goals for what you want to achieve with kiosks and onsite digital marketing. Otherwise, how will you know what success looks like?
With the planning and goal setting in place, consider these key “checklist” items when it comes to execution:
- Select an experienced partner – Pick a company that has ample experience in deploying kiosk software and hardware in real estate sales centers and/or leasing galleries. Whether you use an existing software platform or have one custom-created to meet your needs, ensure that your technology partner understands how to deploy the system in a way that works for your team.
- Integrate your kiosk into the space – Frame―figuratively and, potentially, literally―your kiosk in your sales environment in a way that reflects your brand positioning and overall selling philosophy. Think about how it’ll complement your digital signage, reception desk and other key touchpoints throughout the space.
- Keep your content fresh and relevant – Tier your content in a way that puts your best messaging and imagery up-front, and then be sure to update that new content to reflect changes in your evolving communication strategies.
- Measure to the medium – Look beyond traditional website tracking metrics for your kiosk(s). Hot spots, aggregate usage data and other metrics will help you best analyze what’s working and what’s not with your kiosk program.
One final note, today’s interactive kiosk apps should easily be transportable onto tablets and mobile devices for on-the-road access. Consider how you can extend the utilization of your onsite digital marketing software as a sales force enabler.
BrightDoor creates remarkable, easy-to-use sales & marketing software for the real estate industry. We activate your sales team with a CRM that understands them (and their needs). Our Mobile and Kiosk apps empower new marketing channels for visual presentation and lead tracking. BrightDoor serves a broad array of clients in the U.S., the Caribbean and Mexico. Our clients include community developers, homebuilders, and national brokerages, and our client roster includes brands such as American Campus Communities, Coldwell Banker, Dorado Beach, Kitson & Partners, London Bay Homes, McCombs Enterprises, and Palmetto Bluff.