Hard copy creates long-term awareness for home builder

BGC Home turns to traditional publishing to build its position as an educator and complement its digital marketing

Marketing has moved well away from print media in the last decade. Yet builder, BGC Home, has launched its own title to raise long-term awareness of its group of companies in residential building, supplies and services. 

BGC Home  first came out in March this year, followed by a second edition in July and is expected to be quarterly. The magazine name is the same as the main showroom and umbrella company, which was recently renamed BGC Home. Under the umbrella are 11 companies and home brands, seven offering residential building companies, supplier companies and three offering loan, conveyancing and real estate services. 

“We have a heavy online push, which gives quick messaging and is acquisition-based, whereas the magazine is for long-term brand building,” BCG group marketing and public relations manager, Shelby Moore, told CMO. “Magazines are kept for a long time and this one is not the cookie-cutter type.

“While digital is efficient because it reaches people wherever they are, print is more credible and gives us the ability to market to potential brand advocates. We don’t do renovations but people doing renos are welcome to come through our showroom for ideas and they could become an advocate.” 

Moore said BGC's marketing spend on the traditional custom publication is minimal compared with 60 per cent spent on digital and another 30-35 per cent on television, radio and podcasts. Content is put together in-house by an internal team, which hands it over to Creative.adm to design the pages. And the bonus is the magazine gives Moore about six months’ worth of social and other digital media content. 

The magazine is pitched at women, 24 to 55 years old, who make up 60 to 70 per cent of BGC’s first contacts.

“We can reach women through digital but people often access social media when they’re doing something else, they’re not immersed in what they’re looking at. They don’t always take the time to read the first line, or even see more than the brand colours,” Moore commented.  

With a print run of 5000, hundreds of copies are picked up at the BGC Home showroom each week by the 500 to 800 customers walking through. The magazine is also being dropped at showrooms of BGC's home building brands, external suppliers and places where people take time out to relax, such as cafes, hair and beauty salons.  

“If you have stopped for a coffee or are waiting for an appointment or are at home, you tend to read and absorb more,” Moore commented. 

With such a portfolio of in-house brands, plus external supply partners promoted in the magazine and local businesses featured in editorial, there is a cooperative advertising market for the magazine before going to the wider market. Each group brands makes a monthly marketing contribution but also pays for their own ads in the magazine. The ads do need to be sold and a balance between editorial and advertising needs to be maintained. 

Moore was not sure they could sell the right balance of ads to editorial the second time but was delighted the second edition, at 188 pages, is bigger than the first.

With a big segment of BGC’s market being first-home buyers, the magazine was intended to initially launch at the end of 2020 to promote the mid-year opening of the company's new BGC Home showroom. This houses seven residential building brands and hubs for home styling, home building and finance, providing an abundance of ideas and products to offer in print.  

“We’re positioning ourselves as an educator, and the magazine helps us own that space,” said Moore. “Authenticity is increasingly demanded these days and the magazine gives us space and time to share information and ideas.”  

Read more: Oracle, Home Builders Plan B2B Exchange

The magazine has a local West Australian focus, and editorial covers BGC’s community connections such as sport and customers’ home-building and styling experiences. The second issue follows the popular sustainable theme, aligning to BGC's aims for sustainability whenever possible. All the firm’s homes are double brick and rate six stars from a possible 10 on the National Housing Energy Rating Scheme. 

The magazine’s success is being measured by the rate at which copies disappear and how much traffic is driven to online or social media. Complementary support for the magazine is being driven via Pinterest, social media especially Instagram and website blogs.

Read more: Wisdom Homes' digital experience

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