If you’re a self storage marketer and you’re reading this, congratulations, you’re in the right place. You’ve probably at one point or another had an Eminem-lyric feeling while trying to justify your marketing efforts. You know what we’re talking about…palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy…we’ve all been there too. 

When marketing is a fancy game of guess and check, these conversations are difficult to endure. When marketing is backed by data, it’s like you cracked the secret code that no one told you existed. You know what’s working, and you know what isn’t, and as a result your budget is optimized. 

Lisa Ash, Senior Manager, Customer Success at G5, recently spoke at ISS with Gabriel Luna of Trojan Self Storage. Together, they walked us through what G5 is seeing in our data, and what Gabriel is experiencing in his marketing efforts, or has experienced as a marketer. In other words, they cracked the code. If you missed their session, no need to miss out. Keep reading to understand how the self storage customer journey has changed and why your marketing attribution needs to as well. 

We Know Renters

If that bold claim seems a little braggy…well, sorry. not sorry. It’s the truth. According to data from the Self Storage Demand Study (2020), self storage renters are trending younger. So, your marketing tactics need to follow suit in order to connect with their needs. Consider these statistics about the percent of households that are self storage renters by generations: 

  • Gen-Z: 28% of households
  • Millennials: 19% of households
  • Gen-X: 10% of households
  • Boomers: 5% of households
  • Greatest: 5% of households

Let’s give that some context, Millennials and Gen-Z are the two largest generations, ever. To be blunt, if you aren’t marketing with them in mind, you need to be.

How the Customer Journey is Changing

At G5+LL, we la-la-love data (#nerds). And we look to our data to understand what is changing in self storage customer journeys. Here are three things to keep in mind when considering the customer journey. 

#1 Research Happens Faster

Self storage renters are researching faster. In fact, according to G5 data, days from the first touch to inquiry decreased by 16% from 2019 to 2021. What do we mean by first touch to inquiry? Glad you asked. By first touch we mean the first time someone searched “self storage near me” and potentially clicked on your ad or website. By inquiry, we mean when they filled out a form on your website or placed a phone call to your property. On average the typical self storage renter researches for 10 days before reaching out by phone or your website. 

#2 Research Is Deeper

This is where things probably get complex. Research happens faster, AND self storage renters are researching deeper into the depths of your website. Meaning, they are doing their digital due diligence to determine if your property is the right place for their belongings. Is it a convenient location to get in and out of? Do other renters have positive experiences renting from your property? In fact, according to G5 data, we see them interacting digitally 6% more in 2021 than they were in 2019. As a result of all of the changes in the past two-ish years, a focus on creating intuitive digital experiences that empower researching renters to find the information they need at their own convenience has never been more important. 

#3 Digital Advertising Stabilized

Looking at our data, digital advertising engagement has stabilized after a dramatic increase in 2020. This is for a few reasons. First, occupancies (as you know) in self storage are high. With limited availability for new renters to find and rent a unit, individual properties digital engagement on all marketing fronts naturally stabilized. Second, depending on where your properties are located in the United States, and the time of year, things may be more “open” than they have in the past. Meaning, there may be a few more folks visiting your property in-person. 

Self Storage Marketing Attribution 

Here’s the deal, we’ve been talking a lot about how customer journeys have changed and how they are shifting. All of which is good, useful information, and a pleasant walk down marketing memory lane. However, your marketing needs to be changing with these changes in renter behavior, and, if it’s backed by predictive marketing technology, it can be. Watch this video to learn more about marketing attribution, and how predictive digital advertising technology makes sure you connect with the right move-in ready renters, at the right time.