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Is Print Dead? [Dear Ginny, WTH?]

“Dear Ginny, WTH?” which is like a “Dear Abby” column for real estate objections. If you have a tough client or a marketing problem, “Dear Ginny, WTH?” is for you. Questions can be funny, they can be serious, it doesn’t matter, just ask!

Dear Ginny WTH,

Recently for several reasons I have taken all my advertising dollars from traditional media and been putting all my effort into online marketing, mostly social media. I spend a good two to three hours per day writing my blog, posting to Facebook, commenting on other web site articles, scouring for articles on the web to post on Twitter, re-tweeting and the like. It seems like I spend a lot of time on my social media without reaping much benefit. I know it takes invested time to be successful, but I’m not seeing the returns I expected. What do you think of social media as a method to get real estate business?

Brenda, real estate agent and social media junkie

Dear Brenda,

I have to give you two technical fouls here. One is for breaking the 360-degree marketing rule and the other is for breaking inline media strategies rule.

The concept of 360 degree marketing says that within a full spectrum of communications opportunities available one must participate in multiple degrees in order to successfully communicate. Plus to this, synergy is created when you combine elements to craft a sum total.

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Remember the old adage it takes seven times to see a message before it actually makes an impression that sticks. I would go further and say that the message needs to approach your audience from different angles, for disruption purposes if for nothing else.

So yes, with all this new media popping onto the scene it starts to get crowded in the spectrum and unclear as to where to place your shrinking ad dollars, time and effort (and don’t forget that your time is your money) but think realistically. Stopping the spending of time and money on traditional marketing, i.e. newspaper advertising, direct mail and other such marketing methods is a mistake. You have to continue to invest in marketing methods that match up to your consumers, which leads me to my next foul.

The inline media strategy says that you have to be “inline” with your clients. In other words not specifically offline or online, but marketing efforts that are inline with consumer behavior and expectations. Go with consumer behavior.

Consumer behavior now? All I can say is go local and be real. Social networking supports this but so does advertising in the local print pub. Overdoing it in one area will just give you a headache bigger than Morgan State in the first round.

Are your clients still looking at the newspaper? Are they still reading their so-called snail mail? Do they still pull flyers from yards signs? I would say that the answer is yes. It is necessary to combine campaigns and cross promote.

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Look at what media your buying and selling clients are consuming. Are your clients on Facebook and Twitter? Do you promote your blog? What’s the effort for the return? Yes, it takes time in all marketing efforts and I’m not saying you should invest time into social networking online, just remember to spend a “portion” of your total marketing time and dollars on it.

You have one media budget that hasn’t increased but yet you have all these new media in which to market. Ginny says to apply the same good marketing rules with new media as old media: are you where your consumer is?

You’re not trying to impress other real estate agents across the globe, you’re looking for buyers and sellers in your target market area. Where are those people?

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Ginny is a 360 degree marketing specialist with over a decade of experience in real estate-related fields. She’s held senior level marketing positions at Alain Pinel Realtors and Prudential California, Nevada and Texas Realty. She left the corporate world in 2007 to start her own marketing communications company, Cain Communications. She markets to segments that matter using media that matters. Follow her on Twitter @ginnycain.


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