Updated: Jul 27
I recently visited a client's marketing suite while their interactive experience was being installed, so I took a moment to glance around and take in the whole environment.
As I surveyed the suite with a critical eye, I noted how the suite builders had ensured the brand permeated the suite design with effective use of their colour palette and strategically placed logos. Upon entering the suite, the customer journey had been planned to ensure a primary interaction with a sales agent before continuing with the sales journey on our interactive screen. To finish, there were a couple of ‘break-out’ areas and closing desks.
The branding was development specific but fitted nicely within the overarching developer brand, which was also present and available throughout the digital and printed marketing collateral. The whole thing felt and appeared seamless, as it should!
To the unknowing eye, it may well have appeared as though the whole thing had been designed, produced and delivered by a single entity. In reality, there had been no fewer than six separate external [to the developer] specialists involved in this amazing delivery.
These were, in no particular order;
The branding agency
The website builders
The interactive, CGI & virtual content specialists
The interior designers
The model makers
The suite builders
Seeing the list of specialist services above, it's not surprising that some developers’ marketing departments choose to opt for a single supplier to deliver several, or all, of these services under one roof. That does have upsides - one point of contact and a single account for purchasing to deal with.
But, does the one-stop shop really work?
Actually, the real question I'm pondering is: does the one-stop shop for property marketing really even exist?
The appeal of having all services condensed into one singular supplier is completely understandable, though the collation and management of those services within a one-stop-shop type scenario aren't always as simple as it seems. With those things in mind, is there really such a thing as a one-stop property marketing solution for your marketing suite?
The key consideration is that no one company is a specialist in all of the services required by a developer to design and deliver all of their marketing requirements. So, more often than not, the one-stop supplier will extend out to other specialists regardless, and they'll, understandably, add on markup for their part of the project.
In my experience, the obvious one-supplier benefits should be balanced against potential challenges. Effectively communicating the brief so that all of the specialist suppliers fully understand their individual requirements can be challenging in the one-stop scenario. Having to manage communications between the specialists can add a further level of complication for the one-stop supplier too, especially if they (understandably) don't fully understand the technicalities involved in some aspects of a specialist's work. Ultimately, this type of setup does have the potential to lead to delays with the deliverables.
In summary then: although there are definitely cases where a client may benefit from having just one or two agencies working closely together and one single point of contact, in general, I usually recommend that developers deal as directly with their suppliers as is reasonable.
Lastly, across my twelve years working extensively in this sector, it's always a pleasure to work with professionals in their specific fields and see all the elements coming together. Collaborating to create something worth much more to the client than the sum of its parts, however, our working together comes around, is why we all do what we do.
About the Author:
Alex Sperling: An evolving human being with aspirations of a cleaner, greener and leaner lifestyle! >20 years in the online and digital sector - currently focused on innovating PropTech solutions including interactive and virtual experiences.