All aspects of digital promotion are now indispensable tools for the real estate sector and this includes all phases of project marketing. The area has, as some of the figures below show, literally exploded over the past few years and continues to evolve. There are lots of figures to look at but there are also lessons and trends that we need to be aware of because this is a very fast moving environment and there are some drawbacks to be aware of.

Over the next few posts, I will explore how digital marketing has matured, what the trends are and how Australians use the Internet and some of the key factors that are important in planning digital campaigns and how all of this impacts the sales path and how we connect with our buyers.

Aussies Love The Net

Figures collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) clearly show how much we Aussies love the Internet.

The ABS first started to collect Internet statistics in 1996/97 when they noted these start-up figures:

Of the estimated 4 million home computer users only 300,000 (7.5%) accessed the Internet, 200,000 (5%) used electronic mail, and 100,000 (2.5%) access other online services/databases.”

Today the figures are, as we might expect very different and when last measured in 2012-13, 83% of Australian’s were internet users, we have 12.8 million Internet subscribers in Australia, which is the same number of taxpayers.

In the age bracket 15-44 that covered 97% of the population on the Net, and in the age bracket 65 and above the figure was 46%, and both men and women are both big users. People with higher incomes, those earning $120,000 or more tend to be bigger users with 97% that compares with 77% of those earning less than $40,000.

The amount of information we use was estimated at 38.7 Terabytes in 2014 and that grew to 71.5 Terabytes in 2015, that’s big jump in just 12 months and graphically shows what big demand there is for internet access and use.

From a marketing perspective where and how Australian’s use the internet is worth exploring, as this will help influence how digital advertising is planned, the figures show some very clear trends.

Most people 97%, access the Internet at home while that drops to 49% at work. This is an interesting fact because we would expect consumers to be more engaged and receptive in a home environment, however, these figures would also reflect the big trend towards downloading entertainment (like catch up TV) at home as the big jump in the Terabytes used shows us.

When people do use the Internet the really big areas of interest are travel, booking tickets, memberships and buying music & books. The big areas of use cover paying bills and banking, social networking, accessing music & videos and accessing government services.

Digital Revenue Shows The Trends

Locally we are well served by a few very good real estate portals with domain.com.au and realestate.com.au (REA) being the two big sites, the figures contained in the REA Group’s annual report make interesting reading, and are an example how buyers have moved to the use digital formats of advertising and for property searches.

The group’s headline revenue, for example, has risen from $238.4 million in 2011 to $523 million in 2015. Traffic figures also make interesting reading with 48.8 million users per month for Australia. REA also has a number of international sites and total user traffic now stands at some 59.6 million users pre month. They also report that their specialist Chinese site is attracting 73,000 visits per month and growing.

However it is the strong movement onto mobile formats (smartphones and tables) where a shift in how consumers use the group’s sites that shows a major trend accounting for 26% of traffic, it’s a picture that has changed rapidly over recent years.

Back in 1967 there were only 4 million home computer users and we had not yet seen the arrival of smartphones, today Australia has 21 million handsets in use, that’s more than the working population aged 15-65 years and shows the importance of complementing our marketing strategy to this popular technology.

Monthly mobile traffic for REA in 2013 was 4.7 million users and in 2015, that figure had jumped to 11.6 million users. The trend to mobile has lead to a re-working of how project web sites are designed and how on-line advertising is delivered, and it’s a trend that is only going to get stronger as some of the earlier figures from the ABS clearly shows.

App visits across Australia have also shown rapid growth with 585 million visits in 2015 and as one article I read recently suggested, we will soon need an App to manage our Apps, which clearly shows that the flow of information and data might just be reaching saturation levels, and that’s one of the hurdles for our marketing tactics to be concerned about that I will take a look at in my next post.