Case Study: Digital Marketing overcomes challenges of a narrow yet geographically diverse target market.

18 11 2011

SEM - Search Engine or Digital Marketing to reach tightly defined markets

Digital Marketing Challenges: When SEO is not enough.

The client recently took ownership of a mid-rise condominium in Little Tokyo, a Los Angeles, CA neighborhood.  The condos were to be sold to a very narrow target market consisting of 1st and 2nd generation families of Japanese or Korean descent in the 55+ age group.  It was immediately clear that a large pool of viable prospects would be required since closing ratios were expected to be below industry averages.

Determining where to find the target market required identification of Japanese communities or Japantowns around the world.  While there are three in California – San Francisco, San Jose, and Little Toyo in Los Angeles; there are others throughout the US, Europe, South America, and Asia.  Scattered around the globe, the shotgun approach of typical SEO would have only limited value.  A more focused approach would provide a more satisfactory return on investment.  Pay-per-click advertising was chosen as the most desirable solution.  The ability to geographically control the placement of ads assured penetration of the target market on a limited budget.

Selection of the search terms that would trigger ad presentation was the next challenge.  “Condo” is simply too broad a term.  Modifying it with a geographic descriptor like “Little Tokyo” would help, but there are “Little Tokyo’s” in numerous communities.  Furthermore, potential buyers might begin their search before settling on a specific community.  We needed to determine the types of searches that would lead people specifically to the Japanese community in Los Angeles.

An in-depth study of the community and the area surrounding the property revealed a wealth of information.  Little Tokyo is steeped in Japanese culture.  There are museums, centers, churches, parks, and artistic displays throughout the area.  Many are named for historically significant or high profile people of Japanese descent.  These names would be familiar to and searched for by our prospects and were thus included in the campaign.

Ad content proved to be equally challenging.  The focus had to be on something other than the actual property.  Placing oneself in the position of a prospective buyer, it was necessary to identify the benefits of a purchase.  What are the quality of life aspects of living in the heart of Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA?

Culture – Little Tokyo is an extremely social community with a large number of social groups that meet as often as every day to play games, to worship, to continue societal influences.  Instead of the individual, the family is the social center.  Thus, “Old word traditions in a modern community,” and “Share the new world with old friends and family,” provides an instant comfort level.

Digital marketing through Google AdWords

Digital Marketing Challenges – A case study

Amenities – Restaurants, museums, social clubs, parks to enjoy with friends and family.  A community within a community.  While thriving within a familiar society, residents will enjoy the benefits of the Los Angeles megalopolis and all it has to offer.  That provides assurance that they will “fit in” with a familiar and comfortable lifestyle.

Since the target communities are located around the world, separate campaigns had to be created for each time zone to maximize effectiveness.  This campaign includes only text ads.  By replacing underperforming search terms and ads, the success of the project has grown.  The client is receiving the steady flow of bona fide prospects.  Sales are exceeding established goals.




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