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Business Marketing

Does your marketing measure up?

Measuring your marketing mix.

Like you, I’m a marketer, the difference being I’m hired to market for others.  So, imagine me going to a client, and saying: 

 “Hey, I have a great idea!  Let’s spend tons of time, personnel resources & money. 
But, I have no idea what to measure or what we get in return!”
 
 

Quantifying marketing can be difficult.  And, what exactly should you measure?  

If you sold, let’s say … wine, it would be pretty easy.  Throw a promotion code out there, track the number of responses and compare the number of sales that week against a week without the promotion code.  As an agent, your measurements are a little more complex.  (After this, I couldn’t resist that analogy) 

Measuring response isn’t everything.

Measuring response to a specific activity (i.e., hits to your blog, number of clicks from an online listing, responses to a direct mail campaign, replies to your monthly enewsletter) are probably a typical part your measures, and necessary in measuring the ongoing value of each specific marketing activity.  But, these measurements don’t address the larger issue: 

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Are my efforts building my personal brand?   

It’s important to understand how your marketing efforts improve client loyalty and your reputation in your market.  And you can’t get to that type of marketing ROI counting blog hits. 

 As an agent, is it productive to ask how much business was generated by a single campaign effort? (read: single – not the integrated efforts)  Maybe not, unless there is a direct opportunistic relationship between a campaign and a specific client segment.  The wine seller can easily measure the effect of a single promotion, but being a service provider an agent can’t always approach measuring ROI the same way.  

Um, ok.  How do I measure that? 

Ask.  After you’ve spent a meaningful amount of time on your personal brand-building activities, conduct surveys to your previous clients, as well as the market at large.  Of course, this should be done by a third party, or anonymously online.   

Survey your clients. 

1.  Would they stake their personal or professional reputation by recommending you to others?  This is the single most reliable measure of your personal brand equity.  This is something big companies call the “net promoter” score (see last weeks’ post). 

2. Are they willing to pay a premium price for your services next time they are in need?  Would they choose you over an agent that’s willing to cut their commission? 

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3. What about you is meaningfully or materially different from your competitors?  This is an important metric because it measures the success of your marketing in terms of how two goals have been achieved:  your fit to a client’s needs, and the perceived differentiation of you as a brand versus your competitors.  

Survey the marketplace.

You may want to filter out respondents that have bought or sold a home in the last couple years.  And, some demographic info would be helpful to determine if their response is relevant, i.e. age, marital status, income range, intent to purchase a home in the next 3 years, previous homeowner – whatever fits your key client demographic. 

Awareness:
1.Who is the top real estate agent in the market?  Unaided, top of mind awareness (first recall) 

Accessibility
2. Where would you go to find that top real estate agent (Google, web site, blog, newspaper, etc.) 

Perceived points of difference
3. How do you think that agent is better suited/more talented than others? (looking to measure the meaningful difference) 

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Now what? 

First, a nice note to your previous clients that said they would refer business you way should open the door to referrals. 

Next, take a good, unbiased look at the results from the marketplace.  Check out your competitors that were named as the area’s top agents, review their activities and compare to your own.   What are they doing that you’re not?  

It’s data.  It’s not personal. 

Finally, don’t be upset if information collected in the survey doesn’t jive with your own beliefs.  For example, if a meaningful number of respondents fitting your ideal client profile with the intention to buy a home in the next couple of years provide the following information:

  • They never read real estate blogs
  • They would not turn to a blog to vet a potential agent
  • They don’t use Twitter or Facebook 

The data are the data.  I’m not saying quit those efforts.  I am saying if your particular market doesn’t embrace them, make certain your time spent on such efforts is proportional. 

Read that last paragraph again.

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Written By

Brandie is an unapologetically candid marketing professional who was recently mentioned on BusinessWeek as a Top Young Female Entrepreneur. She recently co-founded consulting firm MarketingTBD. She's held senior level positions with GE and Fidelity, as well as with entrepreneurial start-ups. Raised by a real estate Broker, Brandie is passionate about real estate and is an avid investor. Follow her on Twitter.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Dena Davis

    January 29, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    So true, so true. It takes so much time to stay on top of the technology and blogging. But really– referrals are king.

  2. Paula Henry

    January 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Brandie – you hit upon something I have begun questioning – does the average person understand a blog or Twitter. I am redesigning my blog to look a bit more like a website. Statistics tell me people don’t know where to go once they land on the page they hit because of their search.

    I need to make it asier for them to find the information they are looking for.

  3. Paul Rosado

    January 30, 2009 at 9:09 am

    You’re right in so many ways! Brand building is important, but relationships keep clients coming back. I work for 100’s of realtors developing direct mail postcards to help with their farming, but when it comes down to it, in todays market, realtors are a dime a dozen. You need to stand out, and the best way to do it is to develop a trusting relationship with buyers and sellers. Keepem’ coming back and stay fresh in their memories.

  4. Brandie Young

    January 30, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Dena – thanks for taking the time to comment! It does take a lot of time to keep up with everything, doesn’t it! We all need to make certain we are using our time wisely. Yes! Referrals are king! Hopefully the efforts pay off over time … we just need to make certain we know that they are, rather than assume…

    Paula – nice to hear from you. Great to hear you are “questioning” and adjusting efforts accordingly. You hit on a fantastic point – make it easy for the user. If it’s hard to find what they need on your site/blog, they could get the impression you are not easy to work with. Good analogy: you never see a dirty or dented UPS truck. Why? Because if it was dirty or damaged, that could be how they treat your packages. It’s a small thing that leaves a big impression (ha! From now on you will always notice the UPS trucks!)

    Hi Paul – thanks for the feedback! Great point. Top of mind is very important as is creating the right impression!

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