There’s No Place Like Home – Navigating the Power of Tech in the World of Oz

May 12, 2023

“There’s no place like home” is a feeling we all strive to create as homebuilder marketers, service providers, and marketers of real estate. Builders design a sense of place that fosters their brand and community locations, while marketers and service providers bolt on to add in their products and communications to weave a full circle offering and experience. Information is deep and varied and technology pushes brands to be innovative in how they are received, let alone seen. A media buy, or a “magic bullet” sales incentive does not guarantee sales success. It’s a blink of an eye in most cases. What we do know is consumers can get lost on the “yellow brick road” in their journey to finding that special place to claim and call “home”. There are a lot of distractions!

So how do we nurture a path that is true and real? We are hearing about all of this “Chat GPT” and “AI” everything looming across the headlines and the media. This causes a sense of FOMO for some and a sense of nail-biting fear around how and where to start adding more technology in the marketing experience. The first thing that everyone needs to understand is that technology moves faster than the average consumer is ready for, and that adoption periods take time, reflection and learning. Early adopters of new technological advancements aren’t necessarily “winning,” just eager to test and open to trying new things.

So, let’s talk Chat GPT (AI). Right now, it’s a “got your attention” phrase. Bottom line, not everyone knows what to do with it, or how it will enhance your experience. It’s a program that is learning how to respond to inquiries. It manages a ton of inputs to try to either output answers or help write content based on a series of such inputs. It is computing answers or “outputs” which tends to be black and white. There are many ways it can “compute” a healthy response. It can help write computer programs, compose music and answers to tests, write lyrics and summarize content. The program, however, misses the points of human conversation. If it’s missing inputs of data, it might mis-summarize, and it misses the sense of emotion. Chat GPT generalizes content to sound good, but does it emotionally feel good? That is the question! It also can create biased information based on lacking database details and can be used to create harmful diagnosis of problems from tech to medicine. Bottom line, it has more learning to do. So, when considering how to generate content from an infant bot, be sure to consider how much merit vs playfulness you expect out of it. Do we think it will get there? It will absolutely try. In the meantime, while we wait for technology to get “smarter”, consider where you can play with Chat GTP. For example, we recently heard a builder used it to come up with new community name suggestions. You may even consider street names, paint colors or design package themes. These are tedious tasks that typically call on the old-fashioned thesaurus regardless, and Chat GPT loves this type of knowledge database for these tasks! There are plenty of interesting ways of seeing how a bot might play with your phrasing, spin your words, or come up with bot-organic content, so there is no harm in having fun – just think twice before you let it define or represent your brand’s detailed message.

We also see technology compliment other technology. For example, chat bots on builder websites can formulate fairly accurate answers based on how much information is fed to the bot. This can work in conjunction with info and insights from your dataset before an OSC can even reach a prospect in some cases. It’s aided information that simply doesn’t beat human insights just yet!

Let’s continue down the yellow brick road of new customer experiences with AI photography. This is another place in homebuilding we are hearing builders might consider formatting new content. Again, you must consider how “real” you want your marketing to be. This can be a consideration when using stock imagery as well. There are picture perfect, glowing skin tones, and perfectly paired scenes to choose from. Consider what your buyer wants to see and who your buyer is. Also reflect on what your brand stands for. There are always cheap and fast solutions, and creative, authentic, and strategic decisions to create the best marketing visuals. If you can “auto-generate” something that feels real and matches your brand emotion, then consider testing AI for cost efficiencies. There is no harm in a trial run of anything!

Regardless of your tech output, consider this checklist for the future:

1) Is your budget in jeopardy to try something that is faster and cheaper?
2) Must you gain efficiency over authenticity?
3) Understand “What” you like about adding a bot and AI and how it will impact your business (both the pros and the cons).
4) How will you manage it or manage others trying to use it?
5) Does it support or weaken your brand? Watch the output for brand tone and voice compensation.
6) Quality always wins. Make this a rule with all your VizTech and MarTech!

Regardless of how you side or how you test it out, always keep the customer at the front of the trail with your brand in close pursuit. We harness technology to tell a better story and replace very specific assets with virtual experiences. Just be aware of the pros and cons and how your marketing team will continue to manage the outputs and receipt of your message and appearance in the marketplace. There’s no place like home, but today’s technological advancements like to test how we get there!

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