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Are you a Lion in the jungle of today’s technology?

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So here I am part of this amazing group of Genius Realtors thinking…..How did I get here?? <pinch….OUCH!> A year ago I found myself doing what every other “normal” Realtor in the nation is doing.Real Estate Jungle

  • Direct mailings to my “sphere of influence
  • Monthly brochures that cost an arm and a leg
  • Cold calling (no….I never did that)
  • Thousands of letters to expired listings
  • Paying a lot of money for a static website with no presence
  • FSBO door knocking
  • Spending thousands of dollars on local newspaper ads
  • Bus benches
  • Magnetic calendars
  • Victoria Secret gift cards (just seeing if you were paying attention)

And all that for what? Was I seeing results? Was I selling listings? Was I doing a service to my clients? The answer is a big fat NO!

So what makes us Geniuses?? Is it that we are incredibly smart and good looking? (well…maybe that too). Or is it that we are taking advantage of the Web2.o tools that are in front of us?

Greg Swan, is trying out video interviews and did one with one of my favorite people, a non-Realtor that knows a lot about real estate – Jeff Turner from Real Estate Shows. Greg says the following in the interview:

“In the jungle where you are right now…..it is about how you take advantage of the opportunities that you have, anticipating that the world could be radically different 12 months from now”.

We ARE in a jungle and some of us are taking advantage of those incredible tools, some are hiding behind the bushes waiting for the tools to either come to them or to go away. Do you realize that by reading this post you are already ahead of the game? Many people that went to the NAR Convention in Vegas describe the majority of the attendants as being lost and overwhelmed by the amount of options that are out there.

How could people walk out of Seth Godin’s keynote speech before the Q & A segment? I would have had a list of questions longer than my 10 year old’s Christmas wish list!

We blog, we research, we use Trulia, MySpace, Yahoo, Real Estate Shows, YouTube, Facebook, MyBlogLog, Active Rain, Google Video, LinkedIn, Craigslist, podcasts, Twitter, Utters, Jotts…….yada yada yada ……the list in endless.

The reality is that some of these will come and go. We, on the other hand, Genius Real Estate Agents, are here to stay!

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors Miamism.com, PrimeMiamiBeach.com, and MiamismPix.com and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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56 Comments

56 Comments

  1. Mariana

    November 20, 2007 at 10:00 am

    Super rockin’ 1st post, here Ines! You hit the nail on the head regarding the use of technology.

    I often say that this new Web 2.0 doesn’t bring me more LEADS. It brings me more CLIENTS… No cold calling … just folks who know all about me before they contact me. THAT is awesome.

  2. Ann Cummings

    November 20, 2007 at 10:24 am

    “In the jungle, the mighty jungle…”

    This post is pure INES!! I love the ‘old stuff’ list – still doing some of that myself, but I dropped much of it some time ago. I really love a lot of the techie tools out there for us now. And you’re right, some will fade away, but much will not. Those who embrace it will soar and those who don’t, well……

    I like people who contact me regarding real estate feeling like they already know me – that’s a really great feeling and an ENORMOUS business booster for sure!

    Great first post!!

  3. Ines

    November 20, 2007 at 10:34 am

    Mariana – you’re not kidding about “rocking”! : ) WE do get clients not “leads” and we will always be ready to attack any changes in technology…because we bring value to the table.

    Ann- we still have to do some “old stuff”, but it stays in the back burner instead of becoming the focus.

    People do know us through our blogs….what could be better?

  4. Teresa Boardman

    November 20, 2007 at 11:37 am

    I tried being normal once. It gave me a headache so I stopped.

  5. Ines

    November 20, 2007 at 11:41 am

    Teresa….and it’s so darn boring!

  6. Laurie Manny

    November 20, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    What is normal? And whos normal yours or mine, lol.

    a line from a song: Free your mind……the rest will follow…….

  7. Ines

    November 20, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    Geesh Laurie, now I’ll be singing that all day!

  8. monika

    November 20, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    Ines…I love it! I was at NAR and so many people were clueless and running scared at the same time.
    This morning I taught a web 2.0 class…no one in my class had ever blogged and no one had ever heard of web 2.0 but when they left they left excited. We’ll see what changes they make…if any.

  9. rudy

    November 20, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    i always knew you were a genius ines 🙂

  10. ines

    November 20, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Moni – you saw that too, huh? It’s amazing to think that the Internet scares so many – how they stay in business is beyond me.

    Rudy – YOU ROCK!!

  11. Daniel Rothamel

    November 20, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    I am a Zebra with the heart of a Lion.

    As Lions, we should be aware of our pride (I know, bad pun) both literally and figuratively. One of the core underlying principles of Web 2.0 is the creation of relationships and community. We must also be aware that while we do a lot of talking amongst ourselves, talking out is equally as important. That is what I love about my fellow AgentGeniuses!

  12. ines

    November 20, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    Daniel – and a great Zebra at that!

    Pride can get in the way of anything – didn’t HUBRIS bring down Julius Caesar?

    I totally agree that community and relationships are key to what we do and although we are talking amongst ourselves, the consumer is also reading and learning. I’m glad to be a part of AG.

  13. Mariana

    November 20, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    I am completely normal. So there. (https://youtube.com/watch?v=tVzAnm9QYtc)

  14. ines

    November 20, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    Mariana – thanks for the laugh – now I’ll have that visual in my head and I’ll crack up all by myself.

  15. Laurie Manny

    November 20, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Mariana, Now that is what I call spitting nails! LOL

  16. Wade Young

    December 1, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    I wrote a blog entitled “How to turn FSBOs into listings.” You can find it at:

    https://blog.mariah.com/2007/11/how-to-convert-fsbos-into-listings/

    It details a strategy of providing FSBO tips to FSBOs so that they later think of you when they wind up listing. It’s worth reading if you have spent time knocking on FSBO doors.

  17. ines

    December 1, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    Wade – I love links when they pertain to the article at hand. Can you tell me how your FSBO tips relate to web2.0 technology?

  18. Wade Young

    December 1, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    One of your bullet points was FSBO door knocking. Since you’ve spent time doing that, I thought that you might be interested in my strategy. Just trying to be helpful.

  19. Ines

    December 1, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    I’m just giving you a hard time Wade – you make good points in your blog, but the whole idea here is how we do things differently.

    How would you have felt if an agent offered to include your FSBO listing on their website or their on-line marketing?

  20. Wade Young

    December 1, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Yes, things are done differently now — yet of course to be proven if it is effective. When I have asked people point blank if they make real money from efforts like blogging, the answer is no or they skirt the question. One of the top posters on Active Rain wrote in his blog that he only got three deals from all of his blogging efforts. He would have done much better using the old strategies. Whether or not these Web 2.0 tactics are effective is highly questionable until someone steps up and starts giving numbers.

    I read a post today about a woman who is doing direct mail to get reverse mortgages. She gave out real numbers — mail this many cards, get this response rate, get this many loans done. I know people who have built big businesses based on the old strategies. I have yet to meet someone build a big business based on the new strategies.

    Your post says that one year ago you were knocking on FSBO doors. My point being that the old strategies work if done properly. Perhaps there are new ways to implement the old strategies until the new strategies prove themselves successful.

  21. Ines

    December 1, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    Wade, where have you been? If you would have asked me the same question 7 months ago when I was only blogging on Active Rain and not seeing any results, I would have agreed with you. The ROI on the blog was not paying off and that’s why I had to reassess what I was doing and what changes I needed to make.

    I realized that I was not blogging for my audience, that I had not narrowed down who my customers were and that I was writing posts for other agents.

    I think everyone here in Agent Genius is seeing results. 80% of my business is coming from blogging. Just this week I signed 3 listing agreements from my blog. One of them a FSBO who called me on the blog and did not want to deal with the pushy agents that had dropped off information for him and called him constantly to try to get his listing.

    No cold-calling here, no FSBO strategies and no newspaper ads. Our customers are getting results and we are getting business from our blog.

  22. Ines

    December 1, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    Oh – and I am sure that the rest of my Agent Genius colleagues will jump in here to tell us their results.

    Do you think we blog just because it’s fun? I think most of us are too busy to blog just because we like to.

  23. Benjamin Bach

    December 1, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    I wrote 3 deals this week from people I’ve met off of my blog. One of them is buying his 2nd property through me, the other two are both buying other property this month as well.
    The relationships I’ve formed with people I’ve met on my blog are real, and they’re profitable for all parties involved!

  24. Benjamin Bach

    December 1, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    “If you would have asked me the same question 7 months ago when I was only blogging on Active Rain and not seeing any results, I would have agreed with you. The ROI on the blog was not paying off and that’s why I had to reassess what I was doing and what changes I needed to make.

    I realized that I was not blogging for my audience, that I had not narrowed down who my customers were and that I was writing posts for other agents.”

    WOW – thats a powerful statement.

    Have you read Good to Great? Jim Collins talks about the Flywheel concept… it may take hundreds of turns of the wheel with no movement to get the flywheel to take off. While it looks like there are no results, they are right under the surface.

  25. Ines

    December 1, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Benjamin – I love when people recommend books – I will definitely take it on. And you may be right…..I might have been planting seeds at that time. But the truth is that I did some real soul searching and real business scrutiny at that time.

  26. Wade Young

    December 1, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    If there were true geniuses here, none of us would be here. So we’re all here to learn, first of all me. Where have I been? Not blogging; that’s for sure. Perhaps I am not up to speed. I appreciate your forthright numbers. I want to hear more of it. If what you say is true, I’m wrong. I encourage (and I mean this sincerely) for your colleagues to share their own testimonials. I need to hear that Web 2.0 works. I know traditional strategies work, but does blogging work, for example?

    And yes, people blog because it’s “fun.” People also run for Student Class President even though it yields no girls or money. They do it out of some sort of internal need. People do blog for self-fulfillment. I know about those cats. Who blogs for business? Indeed that is the question. I am short on mouth and long on ears, so I will await your colleagues’ response.

  27. Shailes Ghimire

    December 1, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    Wade,

    I just read through your comments and I know exactly what you’re talking about. In fact I wrote a post on this very blog a few weeks ago wondering about Social Media Production Efficiency (SMPE) Ratio or ROI as you may call it.

    In Q3 of this year I generated 25% of my INCOME from blogging and the use of social media. However, that is only one quarter. This quarter has been slower, but the mortgage business is slow across the board. However, I do get quite a bit of applications from blogging and all of them are now in my drip campaign. I have one hot lead right now from Canada – that is promising and once that comes through the numbers will be off the charts. I hope to generate at least 40% of my business from blogging in 2008. I don’t believe that is unrealistic.

    I think blogging in Real Estate is young yet and developing. We’re still refining our strategies to make it work better. Someone will hit the jackpot and will hopefully share the story. Quite honestly – I hope to be that guy in due time.

  28. Ines

    December 1, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    Wade – it’s not easy and it doesn’t happen overnight. Blogging is not for everyone and for me it’s taken a lot of reading, studying, modifying….and can guarantee there is more to learn and more changes to come.

    I’ve been sharing as I go along – in Active Rain and now here. The beauty of this medium is that the more you give and put yourself out there, the more you get back. I do warn you about feeling vulnerable at times, but that’s part of it.

    Shailesh – thanks for the back-up….I am only beginning to know peole here.

  29. Mariana

    December 2, 2007 at 12:16 am

    Wade – There is a business model for everyone, but times are a’changing and people want to be more involved in the “conversation of real estate” than merely SOLD a house.
    Web 2.0 is offering that conversation and empowering the consumers … Something that many old-schoolers are afraid of. Like giving consumers what they actually WANT will make our profession disappear? (To that I say, “Ha!”)
    No, I am not implying that YOU are afraid of the change toward consumer empowerment in real estate, just that the professionals who choose to be a part of this whole Web 2.0 thing EMBRACE this change.
    My Numbers:
    About 80% of our business comes from the internet. Of that, a large chunk of that is because of our blogging (in one form or another). These numbers are rough, as blogging has only been a part of our business for a little over a year. However, here is our data since March 2007:
    • 12 Listings Taken
    • 10 Buyers
    I used the following criteria to come up with these numbers:
    1.People who FOUND us from our Blog (Active Rain and our Other Blog), or
    2.People who were referred to us because their agent found us from our Blog (Active Rain) or
    3.People who were “on the fence” about whether they should use us to list and/or buy, but decided to use us after we sent them to our Blog.

    What’s more, because of my Blogging, I rank top of Google Page #1 for MANY search terms that bring me an average of 5-8 GOOD leads a week. Effective Blogging = Awesome SEO.
    To me, blogging is a VERY viable business tool. I am an avid time-blocker, and so I measured the ROI from the time I spent chasing FSBO’s and Expireds vs. the time I spent blogging. Results? ROI is MUCH better with blogging. And I actually LIKE it.
    However, like I started this comment… There is a business model for everyone, and blogging is not always the answer for every agent.

  30. Wade Young

    December 2, 2007 at 12:57 am

    Thank you all for real numbers. I asked and I received. After hearing your numbers and comments, I hold out hope.

    Mariana-
    You are right about blogging and SEO. That is the real value as I see it — the link love and the exchange between colleagues. Most blogs are dull, but I have learned as well, so sitting through the dull has been worth it. Getting the link love is a big benefit to being involved in blogs.

    As Shailes has said, there is a jackpot yet to be hit. I think that there is something to blogging. I think that there needs to be a better platform than blogger or wordpress. The blogs are a bit cumbersome to get around in, particularly for the consumer. Until a more user-friendly platform emerges, I suspect that no one will hit the jackpot.

  31. Laurie Manny

    December 2, 2007 at 1:44 am

    Wade,

    I listed 3 properties this last week, all short sales. I have a double end offer in on one of them, buyer was a referral client. I referred out 9 buyers and am working with 3 of my own. I have another dozen or more buyers to refer out and a shortage of competent agents to refer them to and 5 more buyer leads came in today. All but one of the listings came straight from my blog, the other from a past client referral. Do I think blogging works? You bet I do!

  32. Ines

    December 2, 2007 at 7:02 am

    Mariana and Laurie – thanks for bringing your stats out here. I think there are many out there that are hesitant and may not see the light at the end of the tunnel and it helps to hear success stories.

    Wade, I also recommend that you talk to some successful Bloggers in the loan industry like Brian Brady and the X-broker…..their business models are completely different, but their numbers will astound you. There are plenty out there that are getting great results.

  33. john harper

    December 2, 2007 at 9:05 am

    Blogging has evolved from fun and interesting to challenging, hard work, interesting and fun.

    I follow over 70 blogs to keep abreast of what is happening in real estate, business, technology and communities we serve. This alone takes 1 to 2 hours a day depending on the amount of comments I leave.

    There is no shortage of ideas or topics, just time to post on 6 blogs I write for.

    Evolving technology represents another challenge. Two Web 2.0 assets I am now incorporating into our marketing efforts are Utterz and Spresent (www.xxxx.com for each) This is the first listing we are using Utterz on. The incorporation of client and neighbor interviews into the listing has received many favorable comments.

    Spresent is presenting me with a few challenges. Mainly, synchronizing an audio track hosted elsewhere with the flash presentation.

    We, generally, receive 2 to 3 leads a day from our site that incorporates direct response marketing. The blog represents 70% of our traffic (organic search). We are recognized as leaders and innovators in our markets with the use of technology in real estate.

    Our online marketing efforts are beyond what anyone else in the area is doing by a factor of 3 or more. I spend 5 to 7 hours a day on a computer to make it happen.

    I don’t know how solo agents do it all, but my hat is off to them. We just merged our team with another very successful team to position ourselves for more international real estate transactions and to increase our business focus locally.

    Things change – change or die.

  34. John Harper

    December 2, 2007 at 9:10 am

    Looks like I screwed up the link and I can’t seem top edit the comment to correct it so here it is:

    https://www.theharperteam.com/blog/our-team/fantastic-family-home-ideal-for-entertaining/

  35. Ines

    December 2, 2007 at 9:24 am

    John – I just checked out your utterz and real estate shows and I have to commend you for your creativity. We may have the tools within our reach, but it’s how we use them to our favor that really matters.

    The home owners’ interview and neighbor interview is a fantastic idea.

  36. Benn Rosales

    December 2, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Wade, my stats from blogging this year is 3.2 million in additional sales. I’ve been blogging since March.

    2.0 is not the only answer, it’s a re-application of old standards with new methodologies. I do not believe that the 2.0 approach actually totally is the one way to do all things. I think you have to balance new with old. Your mailers today aughta look and sound like your blog or 2.0 site- modern. I think the willingness to let a buyer or seller walk because you’re willing to simply answer a direct question is an honest approach to business in general- you’re not being a corny canned salesman only telling someone what they want to hear.

    We’re absolutely not geniuses here, you’re right, the point of ag is to learn and what we’re debating here are variable approaches to the same goal. We’ve vetted out a lot of things that are wastes of time, and brought about new ideas for the future- I am really glad we have people like you that make us take a second look- it’s how we grow.

  37. Ines

    December 2, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    Benn – I think you would agree that we all have different reasons to blog, although ultimately we have the same goal.

    I started blogging because the traditional methods were not getting us results. We were spending more and more on marketing and seeing less and less sales. Could we attribute this to the slowing down of the market? Absolutely!

    But as our markets change, so should our strategies. What makes us geniuses here is not our IQ or what we do for a living, it’s the concept of being able to scrutinize our business models and make changes accordingly. Changes that will benefit us as well as our customers.

  38. Benn Rosales

    December 2, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Could not have said it better myself…

  39. Jonathan Dalton

    December 3, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    One buyer strictly off the blog. Another listing strictly off the blog. How many others have been influenced but not necessarily off the blog directly is hard to say.

    Google love is easy to document

  40. Jeff Turner

    December 12, 2007 at 9:00 am

    Ines… I’m late to this party, but I’m glad I came. Most of the new “tools” we all talk about as being the new Web 2.0 will indeed come and go. It’s not the tools that make the difference. It’s the person behind the tools. It’s the need to learn and grow that lives behind the tools. It’s the desire to build relationships in the most effective ways that will end up winning in the long run. This has always been the case and always will be. Great first post here!

  41. Ines

    December 12, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Jeff – better late than never!…coming from “tool boy turner” himself who has the perfect balance of using technology and creating relationships, means A LOT!!

    I can speak for myself when I say that I have a lot to learn, but we have to be open to all those changes and we need to stay on top of technology (so please don’t stop sharing all those great new gadgets with the less geeky types like myself)

  42. Ryan Hukill

    February 6, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Ines, I missed this one the first time around, and have been MIA from AG for some time now, mostly due to all the new business web 2.0 is bringing me. You made some great points here that I often ponder myself. It’s amazing how many agents are just afraid to even TRY to adapt. Their loss, our gain!

  43. Ines

    February 7, 2008 at 8:30 am

    Ryan – nice to have you come by and glad to hear you are getting lots of business – and you can say that again…..”our gain”.

  44. Brian Requarth

    February 7, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Ines, this is an awesome blog post with outstanding comments. I am scheduled to put on several presentations in March and this summer about the benefits of real estate blogging for local NAHREP (National Association of Hispanic Real Estate) chapters and this blog post is a gold mine of information to help communicate what blogging is all about. Saludos!

  45. Ines

    February 7, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Hi Brian – I’m going to have to get it together and find out more about NAHREP (Brian Brady was the first one to mention it and then Diane Aurit). Gracias por tu visita.

  46. Brian Requarth

    February 7, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    You should check out their website http://www.NAHREP.org (we designed it). I just signed an agreement with them to integrate their member base (14,000) in our Hispanic real estate portal, VivaReal.us. Basically all their members will have their own profile and blog (Acitve Rain style). Also, on VivaReal.us we are going to be featuring a few nationally recognized bloggers (bilingual). The bilingual blogging platform will go live in mid April. I will keep you posted as I think you are a good fit for our real estate section https://www.vivareal.us/guias/comprar/.

  47. Ines

    February 7, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Brian – thanks for the site and I remember looking at vivareal back when I wrote this post https://agentgenius.com/?p=477
    Definitely keep me posted!

  48. John Lockwood

    February 8, 2008 at 9:08 am

    I try to strike a balance between being a luddite and being a cheerleader.

  49. Ines

    February 8, 2008 at 9:18 am

    John – balance is always good, but I am confident that once you start seeing the results, your “luddite tendencies” will disappear

  50. John Lockwood

    February 8, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Yes, that must be it.

  51. Robin

    June 12, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    ““In the jungle where you are right now…..it is about how you take advantage of the opportunities that you have, anticipating that the world could be radically different 12 months from now”.

    This post was written in November. Just 8 short months agao. With the DOJ v. NAR settlement, Google’s advances, Trulia’s gain of market share, who knows where we will end up. To survive in the jungle you need survival skills.

  52. Holly White

    June 13, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    @Robin – and how you get those skills is by utilizing the tools that we have right here. I am realizing more and more that being a part of the real estate blogosphere is more valuable than getting a PhD.

  53. ines

    June 13, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Robin – nice observation! Things have certainly changed in 8 months – also look at Twitter and all the new tools out there and where we stand as agents as opposed to 8 months ago. I can tell you that our own business has come a long way – survival skills and hitting the virtual pavement!

    Holly – the tools offered by the RE blogosphere are priceless. The best part is that people are so willing to share what works…it’s not such a rough jungle after all.

  54. Susan

    June 28, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    >>>>@Robin – and how you get those skills is by utilizing the tools that we have right here. I am realizing more and more that being a part of the real estate blogosphere is more valuable than getting a PhD.<<<<<

    Holly, you got that right. There is a ton of knowledge here and people willing to share. My problem is finding the time!

  55. ines

    June 28, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Susan – Rick and I were discussing the other day that the knowledge I’ve acquired in the past 2 years on-line is like getting a degree. Time is a nice challenge (for everyone) – you are not alone.

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Business Marketing

Marketing amidst uncertainty: 3 considerations

(BUSINESS MARKETING) As the end of the COVID tunnel begins to brighten, marketing strategies may shift yet again – here are three thoughts to ponder going into the future.

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Open business sign being held by business owner for marketing purposes.

The past year has been challenging for businesses, as operations of all sizes and types and around the country have had to modify their marketing practices in order to address the sales barriers created by the pandemic. That being said, things are beginning to look up again and cities are reopening to business as usual.

As a result, companies are looking ahead to Q3 with the awareness they need to pivot their marketing practices yet again. The only question is, how?

Pandemic Pivot 1.0: Q3 2020

When the pandemic disrupted global markets a year ago, companies looked for new ways to reach their clients where they were: At home, even in the case of B2B sales. This was the first major pivot, back when store shelves were empty care of panic shopping, and everyone still thought they would only be home for a few weeks.

How did this transition work? By building out more extensive websites, taking phone orders, and crafting targeted advertising, most companies actually survived the crisis. Some even came out ahead. With this second pivot, however, these companies will have to use what they knew before the pandemic, while making savvy predictions about how a year-long crisis may have changed customer behavior.

Think Brick And Mortar

As much as online businesses played a key role in the pandemic sales landscape, as the months wore on, people became increasingly loyal to local, brick and mortar businesses. As people return to their neighborhood for longer in-person adventures, brands should work on marketing strategies to further increase foot traffic. That may mean continuing to promote in-store safety measures, building a welcoming online presence, and developing community partnerships to benefit from other stores’ customer engagement efforts.

Reach Customers With PPC

Obviously brick and mortar marketing campaigns won’t go far for all-online businesses, but with people staying at home less, online shops may have a harder time driving sales. Luckily, they have other tools at their disposal. That includes PPC marketing, one of the most effective, trackable advertising strategies.

While almost every business already uses some degree of PPC marketing because of its overall value, but one reason it’s such a valuable tool for businesses trying to navigate the changing marketplace is how easy it is to modify. In fact, best practice is to adjust your PPC campaign weekly based on various indicators, which is what made it a powerful tool during the pandemic as well. Now, instead of using a COVID dashboard to track the impact of regulations on ad-driven sales, however, companies can use PPC marketing to see how their advertising efforts are holding up to customers’ rapidly changing shopping habits.

It’s All About The Platforms

When planning an ad campaign, what you say is often not as important as where you say it – a modern twist on “the medium is the message.” Right now, that means paying attention to the many newer platforms carrying innovative ad content, so experiment with placing ads on platforms like TikTok, Reddit, and NextDoor and see what happens.

One advantage of marketing via smaller platforms is that they tend to be less expensive than hubs like Facebook. That being said, they are all seeing substantial traffic, and most saw significant growth during the pandemic. If they don’t yield much in the way of results, losses will be minimal, but given the topical and local targeting various platforms allow for, above and beyond standard PPC targeting, they could be just what your brand needs as it navigates the next set of marketplace transitions.

The last year has been unpredictable for businesses, but Q3 2021 may be the most uncertain yet as everyone attempts to make sense of what normal means now. The phrase “new normal,” overused and awkward as it is, gets to the heart of it: we can pretend we’re returning to our pre-pandemic lives, but very little about the world before us is familiar, so marketing needs a “new normal,” too.

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Business Marketing

Advertising overload: Let’s break it down

(BUSINESS MARKETING) A new study finds that frequent ads are actually more detrimental to a brand’s image than that same brand advertising near offensive content.

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Advertising spread across many billboards in a city square.

If you haven’t noticed, ads are becoming extremely common in places that are extremely hard to ignore—your Instagram feed, for example. Advertising has certainly undergone some scrutiny for things like inappropriate placement and messaging over the years, but it turns out that sheer ad exhaustion is actually more likely to turn people off of associated brands than the aforementioned offensive content.

Marketing Dive published a report on the phenomenon last Tuesday. The report claims that, of all people surveyed, 32% of consumers said that they viewed current social media advertising to be “excessive”; only 10% said that they found advertisements to be “memorable”.

In that same group, 52% of consumers said that excessive ads were likely to affect negatively their perception of a brand, while only 32% said the same of ads appearing next to offensive or inappropriate content.

“Brand safety has become a hot item for many companies as they look to avoid associations with harmful content, but that’s not as significant a concern for consumers, who show an aversion to ad overload in larger numbers,” writes Peter Adams, author of the Marketing Dive report.

This reaction speaks to the sheer pervasiveness of ads in the current market. Certainly, many people are spending more time on their phones—specifically on social media—as a result of the pandemic. However, with 31% and 27% of surveyed people saying they found website ads either “distracting” or “intrusive”, respectively, the “why” doesn’t matter as much as the reaction itself.

It’s worth pointing out that solid ad blockers do exist for desktop website traffic, and most major browsers offer a “reader mode” feature (or add-on) that allows users to read through things like articles and the like without having to worry about dynamic ads distracting them or slowing down their page. This becomes a much more significant issue on mobile devices, especially when ads are so persistent that they impact one’s ability to read content.

Like most industries, advertisers have faced unique challenges during the pandemic. If there’s one major takeaway from the report, it’s this: Ads have to change—largely in terms of their frequency—if brands want to maintain customer retention and loyalty.

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Business Marketing

7 simple tips to boost your customer loyalty online

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Without a brick-and-mortar store, building rapport and customer loyalty can be a challenge, but you can still build customer loyalty online.

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Man and woman at kitchen table online shopping on laptop together, boosting customer loyalty.

With many businesses – both big and small – operating online, there are less opportunities for building those face-to-face relationships that exist in brick and mortar stores. According to smallbizgenius, 65% of the company’s revenue comes from existing customers.

It’s important to keep in mind the different tactics at your disposal for increasing customer loyalty. Noupe recently released a list of actionable tips for increasing this loyalty. Let’s examine these ideas and expand on the best.

  1. Keep your promises – Stay true to what you’ve agreed to, obviously contractually, but stay true to your company values as well. Even if you feel you’ve built a good loyalty where there is room to take a step back, don’t rest on your laurels and be sure to remain consistent. If you’ve provided a good experience, keep that going. The only change that should happen is in it getting better.
  2. Stay in communication – In addition to the ever-so-vital social media platforms, consider creating an email newsletter to stay in touch with your customers. Finding ways to have them keep you in mind should be at the front of your mind. By reaching out and being friendly, this will help retain their business.
  3. Be flexible with payments – No, don’t sell yourself short, but consider installment plans for pricier items or services. This will help customers feel more at ease when their wallet’s health is at stake.
  4. Reward programs – Consider allowing customers to accrue loyalty points in exchange for a freebie. The old punch card method is still an incredibly popular concept, and is a great way to keep people coming back. The cost associated with giving something away for free will be minimal in comparison to loyalty you receive in order for the customer to get to that point. Make sure that what a customer is putting in is about equal to what they’re getting out of it (i.e. don’t have a customer spend $100 in order to get $1 off their next purchase). If all of this proves successful, this can eventually be expanded by creating VIP levels.
  5. Prioritize customer service – A first impression is everything. By prioritizing customer service, you can help shape the narrative of the customer and how they view your business. This splinters off into them giving good word of mouth recommendations to friends and family. Be sure to keep positive customer service as the forefront of your mind, as giving a bad review is just as easy – or even easier – as giving a good review.
  6. Value feedback – Allow customers a space to provide their feedback, either on your website or on social media. Find out what brought them to you and gage how their experience was. Be sure to thank them for their feedback and take it into consideration. Feedback – both good and bad – can be vital in helping shape a business.
  7. Avoid laziness – Stay sharp at all times. Don’t treat all customers as nothing but currency. Include personalized touches wherever you can. This will make all of the difference.

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