Elders Real Estate had a lack of vision, had seen power move to the portals, and consumer needs change.
A tough new consumer environment was emerging where users expected everything to be available to them all the time and in a simple accessible format. Compounding this expectation was the social networking phenomenon which was facilitating highly connected consumers able to share rankings and opinions.
We observed that Elders Real Estate had largely been reactive to market changes in the interactive space.
Elders were not alone; effectively the whole industry had given, at a cost to themselves, power to the portals.
Future Medium was identified by a specialist partner to undertake a digital review and demonstrate a path forward. Broadly we were charged with the responsibility of defining:
- Where are we now?
- Where do we want to get to?
- How do we get there?
Ultimately we had to create a positioning statement, articulate this as a visionary path, and then clarify this with indicative way points at 0.5, 1, 3 & 5 years forward.
We performed a 'current situation analysis' which involved:
- consumer and franchisee offerings
- market positioning
- points of difference
- weaknesses, and
- intellectual property.
Reviewing systems integration and the various data flows between Elders Real Estate and the end-consumer highlighted dependencies on key software components. These were viewed as bottle necks and constrictive to future developments. Recommendations were made with regards to solving these issues.
An interesting exercise was the visual mapping of the organisations positioning with respect to usability, editorial content, and the emphasis on the core subject of property. Analysis revealed that a highly competitive zone was being targeted by the majority and that there were actually unique opportunities to lean towards and secure as points of difference.
We looked at the key competitors with a view to defining the competitive landscape and in particular any threats and opportunities.
Lastly we sought to understand the target market, its particular segments, and the attractiveness of each in the context of the organisations growth aspirations and operational challenges.
Gaining an understanding of how consumers were confronted with information and all the various touch-points they might have in their buying/service cycle flagged a number of gaps in Elders Real Estate's digital strategy. Our review identified a number of opportunities for increased relevant and targeted brand exposure as well as functional development opportunities that could serve as tangible repeatable value to customers.
Deliverables were identified and presented as a high-level gap analysis, both in competitive terms and business goals. These were segmented into
- design/consumer facing, and
What eventuated was a visualisation of the future whilst identifying actionable tasks for the current site and how it could be shaped and merged into new assets to maintain a competitive position in the digital environment.
The visualisation captured what was happening in their market, and the online world, and determined how they could better use their data and systems to provide for richer customer experiences and franchisee satisfaction.
5 key recommendations and opportunities were specified and each was visually developed to inspire stakeholder investment and commitment. These recommendations were supplied in a roadmap document driven by 1) ease of development (quick wins) and 2) consumer pressures (trends).