Jennifer Staciokas, Pinnacle’s Senior Vice President of Marketing & Training, recently shared her thoughts at the Optimize 2017 Conference in Los Angeles, CA on a panel with two other industry experts titled “The New Power Couple: Revenue Management and Marketing.”
The session opened with videos of two revenue managers sharing their experiences of collaboration between revenue management and marketing – what works well and what could use improvement. Jennifer commented that the revenue management team does a great job digging in and analyzing data to provide recommendations to the operations teams around pricing and other variables that could impact pricing. She suggested that the two departments can work well together when they try not to recreate the wheel or remain in their own silos. For example, marketing is constantly looking at reputation management and social media sentiment and this is a factor that revenue management will review when trying to diagnose a performance issue. When the two functions are aligned with operations, a larger picture can be viewed in diagnosing the true root cause of a performance issue by examining all of the 4 P’s of marketing – people, price, product and promotion.
The conversation continued as each panelist gave an example of an underperforming asset and described the steps to determine, and ultimately fix a problem. Jennifer shared a story about a lease-up that was never stabilized prior to Pinnacle taking on management. A team effort was needed to meet the owner’s goals of revenue optimization and a stabilized occupancy of 95 percent. She mentioned how the operations, marketing, training and pricing departments were in constant communication to put a plan in place and achieve the goal through in-person meetings and regular phone calls. The four P’s were analyzed and action items were taken in each case:
- People – additional training was provided to enhance conversion from phone/email to in person visits and in person visits to leases as well as additional training on the technology tools currently in place to ensure follow-up occurred at the appropriate times and effectively
- Product – it was determined that enhancements needed to take place in the common areas to remain aggressive with the local competitors
- Price – each vacant unit was walked to re-analyze amenity based pricing and ensure appropriate positive and negative amenities were assigned
- Promotion – each advertising source was analyzed and in certain cases funds were reallocated to sources that converted at a higher level to provide additional exposure
The property reached its target occupancy and revenue goals after implementing a 60-day action plan for this community with the input of all appropriate departments contributing to its success.
The conversation ended with a discussion around the talent needed in our industry in order to truly marry the skill sets of operations, marketing and revenue management. The panel unanimously agreed that a different team member is desired at this time as it relates to their analytical and problem solving capabilities. Jennifer mentioned that the marketer of today (and the future) needs to be a balance of the creative side with the analytical side to truly measure effectiveness of the campaigns put in place.