We’re very happy to be joined by Mandira Mehra, Chief Marketing Officer of MRI Software, to continue our Meet our Client Series. MRI Software is a leading provider of innovative real estate software applications and hosted solutions.
Working with the MRI team in both the UK and the US, we launched a new global website, implementing an international digital marketing strategy that will support the growth of MRI Software as it continues to scale its global presence.
We caught up with Mandira and asked her to share some news from MRI Software, what it’s like working with Moove and her role of Chief Marketing Officer.
Quick-Fire Questions: About MRI Software
Can you give us an introduction to MRI Software?
MRI Software is a global leader in software solutions for the commercial and residential real estate sectors.
We were founded 48 years ago and pioneered the industry for real estate software solutions. The market has changed a great deal in the intervening years and, today, we are seeing more investment than ever in “Proptech.” MRI also is in an era of unprecedented growth – both organic and inorganic.
What differentiates MRI in the market is our commitment to and belief that every organisation is unique and, therefore, a one-size-fits-all solution won’t suffice for any business. MRI’s comprehensive and flexible solutions built atop our open and connected platform meet the unique needs of real estate owners, operators, occupiers and investors around the globe. We give our clients the freedom to build the solution that’s right for their business, including applications developed by MRI, our partners, our clients or another third party.
How has MRl Software grown over the years and what markets are you currently operating in?
Headquartered in the US, we have a far-reaching worldwide footprint covering EMEA, the Americas and APAC, with offices in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Africa.
To give you some idea of our recent growth, I joined the company in 2016 and over the past couple of years we have more than doubled in size in terms of employees – we were around 600 employees when I joined and we’re now more than 1,200 employees. Our client base has also increased around three to four times since I joined too so we’ve really experienced phenomenal growth over quite a short period of time.
Whilst we’ve been a global company for over a couple decades now, we’ve really dramatically increased our footprint and we’ve grown in international markets including in the UK, South Africa and Asia Pacific. It has been fun to be a part of an organisation that has truly become a global business.
MRI Software has quite an aggressive mergers and acquisitions strategy and you’ve acquired many other businesses recently. Could you talk us through some of the implications that this has from a marketing and brand integration standpoint?
We’ve completed 16 acquisitions since I joined. In my career, I’ve been on both sides of M&A, which gave me good insight into what it’s like being part of the acquired company. But I had not experienced anywhere near this level and volume of acquisitions, which presents all sort of interesting challenges from a Marketing standpoint.
These acquisitions have substantially increased MRI’s global footprint and brought us into new sub-sectors of real estate. For example, in the US we moved into the public housing sector which was a new area for us and, through our UK acquisitions, we significantly grew in the corporate occupier, sales and lettings businesses. The resulting challenges from a Marketing standpoint vary from more complex problems like managing and integrating many different brands, building equity in new markets and enabling Sales teams to sell new solutions, to the more mundane but still important areas of creating business cards, updating collateral and rebranding office spaces.
More meaningfully, we’ve looked at and spent time on how we unify these businesses, how we go to market effectively with these combined businesses and how we ensure that we keep the value of the combined businesses. A prior boss of mine used to talk about the positive synergies of M&A in terms of a “1+1 = 3” equation, and we’ve worked hard to achieve that across all our growth.
From a digital strategy perspective the web platform has been absolutely key. Historically, our digital footprint had been very North America centric, but with our growth into new markets our website needed to speak to different sectors and we needed to align our geographic expansion with our new client and staff footprint. That’s where we were when we started working with Moove on our global web project; we needed a website that spoke to clients and prospects around the world from several different real estate sub-sectors.
There’s a tendency in tech companies to be very product centric, but as Marketers, we know that buyers think in terms of problems and solutions to those problems. So our content strategy is built around our buyers’ needs and this was one of the key themes of the web project as well – ensuring that we reflected our solution-centric approach in aspects such as the new navigation structure, for example.
After several months of work from both the Moove and MRI teams, I’m happy to say we now have a flexible and scalable, global web platform that serves as the digital foundation for all our Marketing initiatives.
MRI Software & Moove
We have worked together since 2018, what has your experience been of working with us?
It’s been terrific, a real partnership with true collaboration. We’ve really appreciated your ability and willingness to take on feedback and your willingness to find solutions to complex requirements. Your whole team are so easy to work with and easy to contact, and we’ve been really impressed with the speed at which you work and respond too!
The Moove team is extremely knowledgeable, not just with WordPress but across digital marketing, SEO and global strategy. I’ve worked with many agencies over the years and you’re really un-matched!
The relationship and the project have been very well-managed; it was a massive global initiative and you delivered both on time and on budget, something that I don’t take lightly! It’s been a pleasure to work with you; we’re very happy with the results of our global web project and we’re looking forward to our continued partnership.
What was the reason that you chose Moove Agency to work on your websites?
You caught our attention with the Qube Global Software website relaunch, which took place just a few months after MRI’s acquisition of Qube. The performance gains achieved with the re-launch were very impressive, including results such as a 350% increase in enquiries via the website. You demonstrated that you could deliver a complex, multi-site project, and our new Marketing team members from Qube raved about the great partnership and collaboration with Moove.
We then met in person when you and Ilona visited our Atlanta offices, and it was clear from that first meeting that we would be able to work well together, that you were down to earth, client-focussed and the kind of people that we would enjoy working with.
We launched a brand new multisite for MRI Software. How has the new site impacted the business, and do you have any early results to share?
The website has generated great results including:
102% increase in qualified leads
16% decrease in bounce rate
47% increase in sessions per user
73% increase in session duration
25% increase in pages per session
Before we started the project, the US site was on the first page of Google in the US for our brand terms but not ranking in other countries. Now we have all 9 regional sites ranking on the first page of Google for 73% of our monitored terms. That’s a huge improvement in visibility – we all know the value of being on page 1 on Google!
Your Role as Chief Marketing Officer
You’ve been working in Marketing for many years – what do you like most about Digital Marketing?
There are many aspects of digital marketing that appeal to me. I like the measurability of digital marketing and the speed to implement – where you can put things out there, try and test and you can see immediately if they are working or not. I also really like the connection that digital creates between brands and their clients and prospective clients; you can really have a 1-to-1 connection or dialogue with your target customer in a way that is not possible in traditional “broadcast” marketing mediums.
How do you prioritise which new features to develop on the website?
Our digital projects are aligned with the business strategy. As the business enters new markets and geographies this creates a need for the digital platform to reflect, support and enable where the business is going.
In terms of specific feature improvements, we prioritise them based on their impact on conversions and engagement. We’re always looking for ways to improve the user experience and drive a richer user experience that results in a higher volume of qualified leads.
Do you see any challenges ahead in 2019 for Digital Marketers?
We’re all focussed on the changes in privacy regulations; we’ve seen the implementation of GDPR in Europe and we’re anticipating new privacy legislation here in the US in California. As a consumer, I absolutely think these changes are right and important as I will have more control over my own data. As a marketer, I recognise that this presents new challenges. Overall, I think it’s a good and necessary correction that will ultimately force us to be better marketers. People that want to engage with us will reach out and give us permission to have a dialogue with them, and I think this will inevitably lead to smaller but more engaged databases of people, which is a good thing as communication becomes both more targeted and more meaningful.
Secondly, there’s been a significant rise in review and aggregation sites which are displacing vendors in search results. These come in many forms such as ‘pay to play’ whereby we are seeing enhanced reviews that are ranking in Google and pushing out solution providers. I believe this is an unintended consequence of Google’s prioritisation of customer review, and I hope that Google will look to correct it soon. It can be frustrating as a business when you’re putting out meaningful content that should rank well and yet there are other players that are manipulating the model and taking too much market share from actual solution providers. It can also be frustrating from a consumer perspective, especially in this era of ‘fake news’ when you don’t know what you can trust online and which sources are valid.
Lastly, there are so many new and emerging technologies such as predictive and artificial intelligence and they bring with them a lot of fantastic innovation which is great. We’re seeing lots of new tools emerge but there’s also a lot of hype to sort through which can be challenging as we try to find what’s actually meaningful for our business.
What are your favourite sources of information that help you stay on top of the latest marketing trends?
I try to attend one or two CMO or Marketing best practices events a year. I really enjoy hearing from other marketers and learning from case studies and success stories.
And finally, what’s next for MRI Software?
We will continue to advance our mission of giving organisations the freedom to transform the way communities live, work and play through innovative real estate software solutions.
From a marketing standpoint, we will continue to get this message out to the world, to generate qualified leads for our sales team and to provide the tools that equip them to effectively win business.
Thanks, Mandira! Here’s to our continued partnership and an exciting year ahead!
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