AM builds forward-looking, sustainable communities in the famously green tech hub of Amsterdam. They set high standards when it comes to urban development and have a mission focused on five core themes: Healthy Urban Living & Working, city and area creator, inclusivity, daring sustainability, and happy life.
AM is not only a developer. They transform unused urban areas into popular, rejuvenated districts. An important pillar in the publicity for such communities is AM’s use of digital magazines. They drive enthusiasm and inspire potential occupants.
We interviewed Mark Keuter and Lex Willemars of AM to hear more about their spectacular digital magazines.
Lex: “In terms of statistics, we pay particular attention to how many people view the magazines and their behavior when they read the magazines. We see that the average reading time for a single magazine is 15 minutes, with approximately 90% of visitors reading through to the last page. This is wonderful to see!"
Mark: I’m the e-Business Manager, and over the past 15 years I supervised the entire switch from print to digital. Digitization has become a big part of our sales strategy, and together with Lex, I ensure that it’s implemented properly within the organization.
Lex: I’m the e-Business Consultant at AM and have been here for about two years. I support our digital marketing and sales efforts, and I am deeply involved with the digital magazines we create.
Lex: Previously, we used printed brochures. The problem with print was that it was difficult to estimate how many print runs we would need.
Mark: In the end, we made hundreds of copies for each issue. This, of course, was very costly. Another disadvantage was that we could not measure anything, so we had very minimal insights into our magazine’s success. Finally, we obviously couldn’t edit a brochure once it was printed. This became a big problem for us.
We often printed a large number of brochures, which showcased all the houses for sale. Then, within a week, we’d sell half of those. With a digital brochure, you’re able to retroactively remove the houses that have been sold, but in print that’s impossible.
Mark: When we first spoke with Foleon, our web presence was already central to our business, so we were interested in digitizing our communication even further. It felt good right away, although we struggled for a while with the question of how we could best use digital magazines within AM. We received a lot of help from Foleon. Especially with the first publication.
Lex: In the past, we also tried to make a magazine ourselves in the form of a website, but then we decided that we could use a professional platform for this. That's how we found Foleon.
Lex: The process from conception to publishing is much shorter, and the time saved is very valuable to us. During the sales portion of our projects, we’re on a tight timeline, with a lot of pressure to finish within that window. Since switching to Foleon, we can complete everything within a day and go live the next day.
In addition, we can edit our publications at any time. Suppose we want to add another background video. We now have a way to not only accomplish that but to do so quickly.
Speaking of videos, they’re a valuable addition to our toolset in and of themselves. Our projects are all about creating ambiance, and video is a very powerful tool for accomplishing this. This is not possible with print brochures, but it is with digital publications.
Lex: We are now coming to the point where we want to start using the data we’ve gathered to optimize our publications, but we’re still in the early stages of that. We really use the magazines to give people their last push towards a purchase.
In terms of statistics, we pay particular attention to how many people view the magazines and their behavior when they read the magazines. We see that the reading time is on average 15 minutes, with approximately 90% reading through to the last page. This is just wonderful!
Lex: When something goes wrong, I don’t hesitate to contact the Foleon support team. Tickets are always handled quickly, allowing us to get back to work and to complete everything by our deadlines.
Lex: For us, background video is the most valuable feature because we have to bring spaces to life, where nothing has been built yet. Everything revolves around creating an upscale, exciting ambiance, which piques the interest of our target audience. We are increasingly using other tools for visualization, such as 360-degree videos that can be opened in our brochures.
Mark: The video function is also very well integrated, which makes the brochures stunning and gives them a seamless feel.
Lex: We see that people read for an average of 15 minutes and that 80 to 90% browse through to the last page. For us, it is very interesting to see how many people read overall and what they are interested in. This helps us to gather valuable insights into the leads we gather.
Lex: Take, for example, our project in Badhoevedorp, where at first there was nothing at all. The publication makes it possible to bring our plans to life in a spectacular way and to inspire people to sign up for the soon-to-be-finished dwellings. By working on certain projects with different editions, we can keep interested parties involved in projects and go far beyond just a sales brochure.
We can now send out a brochure several times, sharing information about the neighborhood, the costs of the various houses, etc. I can also imagine that in the future, we will be experimenting with highlighting less in-demand homes, but the market is too good for that at the moment.
Mark: By using digital publications, we are forced to look at a project very differently. We think about much more than sales alone and work as a media company by working with interactive magazines instead of traditional brochures. This makes it much more fun and interesting for the target group to read.
Lex: We have an occupant who shares her experiences as a blogger. Also, we let the architect explain his vision of the style of the project. If anyone can talk passionately about a project, it’s the person who designed it.
Lex: We do not get direct reader reactions, but the results we see in the data do indicate that they find the publications interesting.
Mark: We receive a lot of positive feedback within the real estate market, such as: “You guys at AM found a very clever solution to share your message!”
Mark: We’re driving the move to digitization throughout our organization. There are a lot of opportunities to create similar magazines and brochures.
Lex: We now have a full-time regional marketer who specializes in creating ambiance within the areas where we operate. For example, if you come to the area of the project Cruquiuswerf now, there is nothing at all It’s a desolate area. It’s up to us to use our digital publications to show how beautiful the area will become.
Because we are creating more and more publications and templates, we are increasingly able to reuse existing content, which saves us time and money.
Mark: First of all, I’d say to them: go do it! You should not only see it as cost-saving but in particular as a means to create new opportunities to communicate with your target group.
Lex: In retrospect, we are pleased that we have worked with various agencies, each of which has given a different feel to our publications. We have learned a lot from this in the past two years. Also, it’s good to keep in mind that you tell a story with digital publications. So you have to use a logical narrative and structure. Do not focus directly on conversion but inspiration. If you do that, the conversion comes naturally.