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How One Company Conquered Video




I had the opportunity to speak at one of my local boards this week at their RPAC Fundraiser. I sat next to one of principals from Coldwell Banker Premier Real Estate in Berlin, Connecticut. Bob Fiorito has created some create videos for his company and his agents. You can see them on Youtube Channell called Youtube.comcbpremoves. I asked him how the process happened and he was very willing to share. A shout out to Bob, thank you. He hired a local video company called Mazzarella  Brothers and they came in with a green screen, and charged each agent $300 for a 45 second video they can use . . . everywhere. At first everyone was squeamish about the cost, but Bob reasoned, “my sales associates pay for ads all the time that are seen once. If they really added up all the money they spent they would see this was a great return on their investment.”

The video company took scripts from everyone and rewrote them. Everyone was nervous about getting in front of the camera, but then out came the teleprompter, and everyone revived!

What convinced them to make this big investment was that video is where everything is going. And . . .people like to do business with peopel they like. And if you see and them on video they may just like you a little bit more!

They also did interviews with their agents and will their vendors and affiliates as well. Check them out!

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  1. Joe Zekas

    September 27, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Judging from the view counts on YouTube, these videos were a waste of money.

    No surprise – who wants to watch a talking business card?

    For what I think is a far more effective Realtor use of video, see the channel we just created for a local Realtor:

  2. Vincent Socci

    September 27, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Thanks for sharing the article, Amy! Congratulations to the CB Premier team in Berlin for the great videos… very impressive!

  3. Glenn in Naples

    September 27, 2009 at 8:11 am

    IMHO – videos will be used more extensively in the future as the fear of the camera becomes less or people are forced in the video world.

  4. Fred Romano

    September 28, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Seriously now… these are some lame videos. What a waste of marketing money. I can’t imagine any buyer or seller being interested in this.

  5. Bob

    September 28, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    “And if you see and them on video they may just like you a little bit more!”

    How is anyone going to see them?

  6. houseyourmom

    September 29, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Conquered Video?

    Coldwell Banker’s approach, while more progressive than most was likely a wasted effort. Fred’s right, these are lame. And Bob’s right. How is anyone gonna see these things?

    What Coldwell Banker should do is this:

    1. Work out a deal with Flip or Vado so that their agents could by cameras at a discount.

    2. Help each of their agents set up a Youtube account and understand how to upload videos from their cameras and do some very basic editing using Youtube’s built in features.

    3. Assign each agent a theme to video around. Examples: Neighborhood Driving Videos, Interviews With Home Sellers, Interviews With Home Buyers, Featured Businesses, etc.

    4. Give each company agent a Video Blog page featuring a youtube gallery similar to the approach on display over at PropertunityKnocks.Com.

    5. Make sure effective lead capture elements are built into these video blog pages.

    6. Promote the overall video blog site to the public via a massive Facebook ads campaign.

    The result?

    Coldwell Banker does something that would accomplish a lot more for their agents (and the company as a whole) then working out some sleazy affiliate relationship with a vendor and taking a little something more from their agents.

    Sorry for being skeptical here. But doesn’t it seem more like CB conquered their agents wallets here a little more effectively than they did video?

  7. houseyourmom

    September 29, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Just wanted to apologize for the last part of that comment. Not fair to assume their was an affiliate relationship. Instead, I should have given Mr. Fiorito props for at least giving it a go…

  8. Amy Chorew

    September 29, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks for all you comments – wow some quite emotional. If you read my post closely, you will see that I didn’t say the videos had losts of views or that they were “amazing.” All I am saying it that they are trying. they learned from their first try. I did get a response from Coldwell Banker that I want to share:

    Hi Amy. I came across your blog post about “how one company conquered video” and wanted to reach out to you about what Coldwell Banker is doing nationally. You featured one of our local companies but as a brand CB has made a huge push in online video with the creation of our YouTube channel called Coldwell Banker On Location (

    We launched it in May and thru our intranet site agents/brokers can upload video listings, agent videos, community videos and more and populate our mapping feature on our the Youtube channel. In the first 4 months, we’ve had nearly half a million visits to the channel making it the most visited real estate channel on Youtube. Also our agents have uploaded over 4,000 video listings and nearly 5,000 total videos to the channel.

    We’re pleased to see what Bob is doing in CT because it matches our national initiative. Not sure if there’s a bigger story here that interests you but just wanted to pass that along.

  9. houseyourmom

    September 30, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Cool Amy. Just hooked Coldwell up with a featured collection page at PropertunityKnocks.Com:

    Coldwell should consider building their own similar video gallery page and routing the leads generated off of it to agents who produce video?

  10. David Marine - Coldwell Banker

    September 30, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Thanks Amy for sharing in these comments what the Coldwell Banker brand is doing from a national level and @houseyourmom I appreciate your insights. It’s ironic that you mention the Flip Cam because we actually did just cut a deal with Flip to provide discount codes to all our agents across the country to get Flip Cams.

    We’re also providing training on producing video listings, agent videos and community videos. All these videos can be uploaded through our intranet site and displayed on our national YouTube page as well as be featured on the appropriate listing or agent page on

    A lot of the comments have referenced the content or style of the video, so while initially we were focusing on getting videos onto our site the push is now getting the RIGHT type of videos on our site. There’s a learning curve as you can imagine but we feel we’re headed in the right direction as a brand and to give our agents a unique marketing platform.

  11. David Marine - Coldwell Banker

    September 30, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I forgot to add the fact that from each agent video and listing video on our YouTube channel we drive visitors to view more details or contact an agent on to help drive leads back to agents who produce the videos.

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Business Marketing

No-reply emails don’t help customers, they’ve run their course

(MARKETING) No-reply emails may serve a company well, but the customers can become frustrated with the loss of a quick and easy way to get help.



no-reply mail boxes

Let me tell you a modern-day horror story.

You finally decide to purchase the item that’s been sitting in your cart all week, but when you receive your confirmation email you realize there’s a mistake on the order. Maybe you ordered the wrong size item, maybe your old address is listed as the shipping location, or maybe you just have buyer’s remorse. Either way, you’ve got to contact customer service.

Your next mission is to find contact information or a support line where you can get the issue resolved. You scroll to the bottom of the email and look around for a place to contact the company, but all you find is some copyright junk and an unsubscribe option. Tempting, but it won’t solve your problem. Your last hope is to reply to the confirmation email, so you hit that trusty reply arrow and…nothing. It’s a no-reply email. Cue the high-pitched screams.

Customers should not have to sort through your website and emails with a microscope to find contact information or a customer service line. With high customer expectations and fierce ecommerce competition, business owners can’t afford to use no-reply emails anymore.

Intended or not, no-reply emails send your customer the message that you really don’t want to hear from them. In an age when you can DM major airlines on Twitter and expect a response, this is just not going to fly anymore.

Fixing this issue doesn’t need to be a huge burden on your company. A simple solution is to create a persona for your email marketing or customer service emails, it could be member of your team or even a company mascot. Rather than using you can use and make that email a place where your email list can respond to questions and communicate concerns. Remember, the whole point of email marketing is to create a conversation with your customers.

Another great strategy for avoiding a million customer service emails where you don’t want them? Include customer service contact info in your emails. Place a thoughtful message near the bottom of your template letting people know where they can go if they’re having an issue with the product or service. This simple change will save you, your customers, and your team so much time in the long-run.

Your goal as a business owner is to build a trusting relationship between you and your customers, so leave the no reply emails behind. They’re annoying and they might even get you marked as spam.

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Business Marketing

Influencer marketing isn’t new, it’s actually centuries old

(MARKETING) You may roll your eyes at sexy strangers hawking snake oil on social media, but influencer marketing is nothing new…



Influencer marketing people taking video on a smart phone to record dances.

Influencer marketing is now one of those buzzword phrases that you can’t go a few days without hearing. In fact, it’s become such a popular term that it was officially added to the English Dictionary in 2019.

While this is a recent change, the concept of an influencer is nothing new. For years, people have looked to friends and family (as well as high-profile people like celebrities) to be influenced (intentionally or unintentionally) about what to buy, what to do, and where to go.

Social Media Today notes that influencers date back centuries.

One of the first “influencer” collaborations dates back to 1760, when a potter by the name Wedgwood made a tea set for the Queen of England,” writes Brooks. “Since the monarchy were the influencers of their time, his forward-thinking decision to market his brand as Royal-approved afforded it the luxury status the brand still enjoys today”

Now, influencers are known as people blowing up your Instagram feed with recommendations of what to wear and stomach flattening teas to buy. Influencers are basically anyone who has the ability to cultivate a following and, from there, give advice on how followers should spend their money.

After the 1760 tea set influencer, influencers were found in the forms of fashion icons (like Coco Chanel in the 1920s, and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), celebrity endorsements (for example, all of the money Nike made in the ‘80s after signing Michael Jordan to be their spokesperson – I wonder if Hanes is raking in the same bucks as Nike…), TV stars endorsing products (like Jennifer Aniston when she was at the height of “The Rachel” cut and became the face of L’Oreal Elvive; now she’s the face of Aveeno).

Then in the mid-2000s, blogs became a space where “everyday” people could use their voice with influence. This trend has continued and has shifted into social media, usually with a blog counterpart.

Now, blogging and influencing is an industry in and of itself with influencer marketing being a key form of comms. According to the HypeAuditor report, the influencer industry will be worth $22 billion by 2025. Where can I sign up?

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Business Marketing

The use of offline marketing can still be advantageous in a digital world

(BUSINESS) Offline marketing is usually skipped over nowadays for the sparkly, shining ‘digital’ marketing strategies, but don’t forget the roots.



offline marketing billboard

Everywhere you look, people want to talk about digital marketing. In fact, if you don’t have a digital marketing strategy in today’s business world, you’re not going to last long. But just because digital marketing is popular, don’t assume that offline marketing no longer yields value.

When used together, these strategies can produce significant returns.

“Some people will argue that traditional marketing is dead, but there are several benefits to including offline advertising in your overall marketing campaign,” sales expert Larry Myler admits. “Combining both offline and online campaigns can help boost your brand’s visibility, and help it stand out amongst competitors who may be busy flooding the digital space.”

How do you use offline marketing in a manner that’s both cost-effective and high in exposure? While your business will dictate how you should proceed, here are a few offline marketing methods that still return considerable value in today’s marketplace.

1. Yard signs

When most people think about yard signs, their minds immediately go to political signs that you see posted everywhere during campaign season. However, yard signs have a lot more utility and value beyond campaigning. They’re actually an extremely cost-effective form of offline advertising.

The great thing about yard signs is that you can print your own custom designs for just dollars and, when properly stored, they last for years. They’re also free to place, assuming you have access to property where it’s legal to advertise. This makes them a practical addition to a low-budget marketing campaign.

2. Billboards

The fact that you notice billboards when driving down an interstate or highway is a testament to the reality that other people are also being exposed to these valuable advertisements. If you’ve never considered implementing billboards into your marketing strategy, now’s a good time to think about it.

With billboard advertising, you have to be really careful with design, structure, and execution. “Considering we’re on the move when we read billboards, we don’t have a lot of time to take them in. Six seconds has been touted as the industry average for reading a billboard,” copywriter Paul Suggett explains. “So, around six words is all you should use to get the message across.”

3. Promotional giveaways

It’s the tangible nature of physical marketing that makes it so valuable. Yard signs and billboards are great, but make sure you’re also taking advantage of promotional giveaways as a way of getting something into the hands of your customers.

Promotional giveaways, no matter how simple, generally produce a healthy return on investment. They increase brand awareness and recall, while giving customers positive associations with your brand. (Who doesn’t love getting something for free?)

4. Local event sponsorships

One aspect of offline marketing businesses frequently forget about is local event sponsorships. These sponsorships are usually cost-effective and tend to offer great returns in terms of audience engagement.

Local event sponsorships can usually be found simply by checking the calendar of events in your city. Any time there’s a public event, farmer’s market, parade, sporting event, concert, or fundraiser, there’s an opportunity for you to get your name out there. Look for events where you feel like your target audience is most likely to attend.

Offline marketing is anything but dead.

If your goal is to stand out in a crowded marketplace where all your competitors are investing heavily in social media, SEO, PPC advertising, and blogging, then it’s certainly worth supplementing your existing digital strategy with traditional offline marketing methods that reach your audience at multiple touchpoints.

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