Our Mission

Learn who we are and how we serve our community


Meet our leaders, trustees and team


Developing the next generation of talent


Covering the latest news and trends in the marketplaces industry

Industry Insights

Check out wide-ranging resources that educate and inspire

Government Relations & Public Policy

Learn about the governmental initiatives we support


Connect with other professionals at a local, regional or national event

Virtual Series

Find webinars from industry experts on the latest topics and trends

Professional Development

Grow your skills online, in a class or at an event with expert guidance

Find Members

Access our Member Directory and connect with colleagues

ICSC Networking Platform

Get recommended matches for new business partners

Student Resources

Find tools to support your education and professional development

Become a Member

Learn about how to join ICSC and the benefits of membership

Renew Membership

Stay connected with ICSC and continue to receive membership benefits

Sponsored Content

Beyond Basics: How to Thrive in the Complex World of Digital Marketing

May 15, 2024


Many commercial real estate property marketers understand the idea of bringing together their marketing initiatives, tools and technologies into one integrated platform. When executed well, this synergy can improve visibility, boost executional efficiency, enhance the customer experience, maximize budgets and ultimately drive more traffic and leads. 

However, implementing the right strategy to achieve these goals is anything but simple. You need to not only identify the right tools and technologies but also ensure they work together to deliver a great experience to your team and customers and provide easy-to-access, data-driven insights to optimize performance and improve outcomes.

This article will identify the main challenges faced by CRE property marketers and explain how to successfully manage growing digital marketing complexity with an integrated approach.

Challenges in Commercial Real Estate Property Marketing

To develop an effective marketing approach, we must understand the challenges faced by CRE property marketers. Are any of these hurdles keeping you up at night?

  • maintaining consistent branding across a portfolio of properties
  • decentralized marketing decisionmaking
  • content delivery at scale
  • resource constraints: reduced budgets, smaller teams, fewer partners
  • rapidly changing trends, regulations and technologies
  • proliferation of marketing tools, platforms, systems and data

Despite big promises from agencies and marketing tech vendors to simply alleviate these pain points, many bright, shiny new tools and solutions don’t integrate well with your existing technologies. In the resulting hodgepodge, these tools often don’t play nicely together, so you end up spending more time coordinating the inefficient, poorly coordinated pieces instead of executing smoothly against your marketing plan. 

CRE property marketers need to think beyond basics to strategically consolidate approaches and platforms to support a consistent, compelling brand experience and to scale this experience across a geographically distributed portfolio of properties and locations.

A Strong Digital Marketing Operation Is Table Stakes

Managing various digital marketing platforms and keeping up with a plethora of growing marketing tactics requires considerable time, effort and investment. But not keeping up isn’t an option.

It’s time to reevaluate your digital marketing approach and the pieces necessary for best-in-class execution. Here are the must-have platforms and services CRE property marketers can’t afford to ignore:

An Easily Customizable, Highly Engaging Website

A user-friendly website is your digital marketing foundation. Your site must provide an outstanding user experience and be search engine optimized, or SEO, while staying secure and compliant with ever-changing regulations related to the Americans with Disabilities Act, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and data-privacy regulations. It should also be flexible and scalable so your internal teams can keep content fresh.

Enhanced SEO and Paid Search

While ongoing organic search optimization is essential, your search engine marketing strategy should also include paid search to supercharge your efforts. Paid search can help you get found by customers with high interest or purchase intent, gain local market share, strengthen online visibility and keep customers informed of company news and updates.

Local Listings Management

With search engine algorithm changes happening constantly, search-friendly local listings for each of your locations are more important than ever. An effective listings management plan including up-to-date, consistent information about things like hours and location addresses across online directories can help you gain visibility, improve SEO performance and minimize customer confusion.

Highly Targeted Digital Advertising

With third-party cookies soon being phased out, marketers are now faced with retooling tracking and targeting approaches and prioritizing use of their own customer data. Leveraging this information and utilizing new targeting methods will help you better deliver the right message to the right people at the right time and place with minimal waste.

SMS and MMS Programs

SMS text messaging and multimedia text messaging programs are important tactics for CRE property marketers. They provide immediate reach allowing for speedy communication of important, timely messages and alerts. They help build stronger customer relationships through personalized communication and improve engagement with multimedia content like images and videos.

Scalable Content Delivery

While some marketers are using influencers as part of their marketing strategies, this is hard to scale across multiple locations. However, with the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence, savvy marketers are beginning to use virtual influencers to scale their content marketing across locations. When deployed on a website, these virtual spokespeople increase engagement and make every site an interesting destination for the latest updates and news.

Integrated Marketing Hub

Well-integrated, multichannel marketing is important to unlock better efficiency, execution and performance. By using a centralized online hub to manage marketing communications across all touchpoints — including website, email, SMS/MMS, mobile apps and social media — CRE property marketers can deliver seamless user experiences that will maximize limited resources, create better customer experiences and improve marketing outcomes.

The Right Partner

Hiring multiple agencies and martech vendors may seem like the right thing to do, but it only increases complexity and frustration. Working with the right agency partner can make your life easier through coordinated execution, seamless integration of programs and a comprehensive, consolidated view of marketing performance.

Rise Above the Ordinary to Better CRE Property Marketing with Pylot Powered by Imaginuity

To harmoniously orchestrate all your digital marketing parts, consider an easy-to-use, integrated platform. But should you buy and integrate different software from various vendors or build an all-in-one system from scratch? Should you run and manage the platform in-house or hire a digital marketing agency to build the system and manage it on your behalf?

Deliver a Cohesive Brand Experience Without Reinventing the Wheel or Breaking the Bank

You can get the best of all worlds with Pylot, an industry-leading digital marketing platform powered by Imaginuity, an expert in CRE marketing for over 20 years. Pylot is an innovative, one-stop marketing ecosystem specifically designed for CRE property management companies. With Pylot and Imaginuity, you can:

  • develop and manage a scalable, beautifully designed, fully featured and secure website
  • execute integrated marketing programs and collect data to optimize campaigns in real time, all in one place
  • ensure consistent branding across multiple properties and communication channels
  • realize execution efficiencies that produce better results with limited resources
  • keep up with rapidly changing trends, technologies and regulations
  • deliver content at scale

Instead of spending hours cobbling together disparate tools and solutions — and hoping the integrations will work — Pylot allows you to take a simple approach to building your marketing technology stack while managing complexity and keeping total cost of ownership low.

“With Imaginuity’s Pylot platform, we streamlined our operations by combining three platforms into one, making management a breeze. Now, we seamlessly oversee 22 centers while ensuring a consistent brand experience across the board. The platform’s user-friendly interface empowers our teams to excel, boosting efficiency. And, with top-notch support from the Imaginuity team, assistance is always prompt and delivered with a smile!”

—Robyn Marano, Director of Marketing, Regency Centers


Scale Website Content, Too, with AI-Created Virtual Influencers

Once your site is live with marketing programs up and running, you need to think about content delivery. Customers are online 24/7 looking for information and ideas to address their needs. The challenge for marketers managing multiple locations is how to scale content delivery, keep it fresh and drive website engagement.

By taking advantage of emerging generative-AI capabilities, Imaginuity recently released Cindy, an industry first virtual shopper. Created specifically for JLL, Cindy embodies multi-ethnic characteristics designed to resonate across geographically dispersed locations. Cindy is easily integrated with the Pylot platform, and her unique personality helps make JLL shopping center websites a go-to resource for fashion and trend information.

“Managing content across dozens of shopping center websites while keeping it fresh and engaging can be a challenge. Some of our centers use local influencers, but that approach doesn’t scale. As a marketing technology leader, we were very excited when Imaginuity and The Dealey Group brought us the idea of a virtual influencer. Using generative AI technology to elevate the idea of influencers and scale content delivery across shopping centers was a big idea. And we could not be happier with the results. Although she has only been ‘live’ for a few months, on the shopping center websites where Cindy appears, user sessions have increased by 500%, new site visitors by 1,000% and page views by nearly 500%. We look forward to seeing where Cindy and Imaginuity takes us next.”

—Ashlyn Booth, Executive Vice President and Director of Property Marketing, JLL


Advance CRE Property Marketing with Innovative Technology and Imaginative Thinking

The Pylot platform accelerates better marketing execution and improves the customer experience.

After launching your website, you can then easily manage your entire online presence, deliver content in interesting ways and drive traffic to your properties through SEO, targeted emails and location-based campaigns, all from one hub.

The Pylot platform combines the latest digital marketing technology with the leadership expertise and thinking of Imaginuity, a groundbreaking marketing agency CRE companies have trusted for over two decades.

Learn more and contact us to find out how Imaginuity’s Pylot digital marketing platform can take your marketing from basic to transformative today.