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Why?

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The Buzz.

For the better part of a year now, the RE.net (I loathe that name, btw) has been all abuzz over this concept termed “web2.0.” On the other hand, for the better part of the same year, the underlying question has remained- why? Why am I blogging, what is the point of social media- why?Blogging, and other social media such as video, Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin have all been pressing in the face of those not only in real estate, but in all facets of business today- the “Why?” still remains as making the connection seems fruitless, but yet many in our profession have realized the short term sweet success of a new contact here and there, and a client once or twice, while others have tapped in to a longterm, more lucrative success story of using such media- but even then, many times it may appear it’s sheer luck, or is it? You beg the question, “Why?” are they successful?

Then & Now.

In real estate, for 100 years agents have been spoon-fed basic fundamentals of marketing and advertising. Few have questioned it because it seems to have worked for years, regardless of its corny nature. The simple, cookie-cutter approach to drawing business, although highly priced, seems to have an R.O.I. that is tangible to some degree, so it feels okay to get and stay on board until it doesn’t and suddenly we all ask the same question- “Why?”


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Well, maybe you feel the need to debate the merits of marketing and advertising, understanding generational marketing, the study of who responds to what and why, but those in the know do not. Those that spoon fed you that corny 1.0 marketing in the past cannot spoon feed you what is apparent today. Why? Because its not 100 years old. The fact is, it’s very young, and so is the demographic that built and designed it. It is that organic reality that leaves many to appear naive in balking it as the reality of this new emergence of consumer enters the marketplace with an entirely new perspective on how they wished to be reached, educated, and yes, sold.

Tomato versus Tomato.

I remember a spelling bee where I had to learn to spell ‘influenza’ and looking at my mother and asking why she called it the ‘flu.’ Maybe it was easier to spell, maybe folks were lazy, or maybe that was just the term most would recognize. I still call it the flu today, but am well aware of the actual defined medical term of the flu. I am also aware of the varied symptoms of having the flu, some may experience pain behind the eyes, others may not, but the underlying illness remains, the flu- you just don’t get hung up in the details, you simply drink lots of fluids, regulate the fever as best you can, sleep as much as possible and see a physician. One could add a new symptom to the flu and suddenly you have a new strain- physicians and the like will adapt treatments but few would debate the merits of whether you call it the flu or influenza.


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Think Different.

Folks may very well believe what they do in relation to real estate marketing is in fact marketing and advertising, but few really understand the key elements of even an actual post card. The color blue that was once popular in the 1990s is no longer the color that is modern today, but most actually do not get that it doesn’t really matter the shade of blue, but the color blue itself is the relevant factor- blue takes you off guard, relaxes you, calms you. If your goal is to excite the A.D.D side of a buyer and build enthusiasm and excitement over a product and demand action of the reader, red is maybe your answer. In fact, the psychology of color to some would seem so under the radar and so 1.0, but a truth is that color is the point and this fact will remain. All the words on a postcard matter not if you’ve not drawn the reader- it is the impact of the presentation and capturing the attention of the consumer to even get them to read the words on the card that are the goal. Some may call it over thinking something, but that’s because you’ve never thought to think about why 1.0 worked in the first place- that’s okay because you’ve been spoon fed by folks paid to do the thinking for you.


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Transcend.

Blending your approach to transcend is the step after understanding who you’re blending for. Boomers, X’ers, or millennials all have the same goal in mind when setting out to buy a home. The Why? factor is reaching a varied audience and still being successful in the delivery of your message. Using social media isn’t the the end, it’s another means to the sames ends. However, knowing who is in the social stream will simply tell you how to tailor your message in a way that has meaning to those in the stream. Grabbing their attention, holding them in place, while guiding them to a powerful landing statement which is your product.

Nuance.

Whether you get it or not we’re going to continue deeper and deeper into how we see other companies outside of real estate are using social methods of marketing and advertising and relate it back to our own profession. Anyone that reads me knows I do not buy into one method or the other, I actually prefer to blend them because I believe today that what is attractive to Generation Why? is equally attractive for different generations for different reasons. The fact is, what is new and fresh transcends all lines eventually if you have a clue where those lines are.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Chris Johnson

    February 14, 2008 at 7:51 am

    I’d tell you that this was an effing great post. But you know that. Already.

    Good ideas., man, good ideas.

  2. Benn Rosales

    February 14, 2008 at 9:41 am

    I’ll take that Chris, I’ll take it… thanks for looking out.

  3. Chris Johnson

    February 14, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Yeah yeah. Anyway, it’s a good primer and is among the best content on Realtor Agent Genius.

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Business Marketing

Jack of all trades vs. specialized expert – which are you?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) It may feel tough to decide if you want to be a jack of all trades or have an area of expertise at work. There are reasons to decide either route.

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When mulling over your career trajectory, you might ask yourself if you should be a jack of all trades or a specific expert. Well, it’s important to think about where you started. When you were eight years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? Teacher? Doctor? Lawyer? Video Game Developer? Those are common answers when you are eight years old as they are based on professionals that you probably interact with regularly (ok, maybe not lawyers but you may have watched LA Law, Law & Order or Suits and maybe played some video games – nod to Atari, Nintendo and Sega).

We eventually chose what areas of work to gain skills in and/or what major to pursue in college. To shed some light on what has changed in the last couple of decades:

Business, Engineering, Healthcare and Technology job titles have grown immensely in the last 20 years. For example, here are 9 job titles that didn’t exist 20 years ago in Business:

  1. Online Community Manager
  2. Virtual Assistant
  3. Digital Marketing Expert
  4. SEO Specialist
  5. App Developer
  6. Web Analyst
  7. Blogger
  8. Social Media Manager
  9. UX Designer

We know that job opportunities have grown to include new technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, consumer-generated content, instant gratification, gig economy and freelance, as well as many super-secret products and services that may be focused on the B2B market, government and/or military that we average consumers may not know about.

According to the 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics after doing a survey of baby boomers, the average number of jobs in a lifetime is 12. That number is likely on the rise with generations after the Baby Boomers. Many people are moving away from hometowns and cousins they have grown up with.

The Balance Careers suggests that our careers and number of jobs we hold also vary throughout our lifetimes and our race is even a factor. “A worker’s age impacted the number of jobs that they held in any period. Workers held an average of 5.7 jobs during the six-year period when they were 18 to 24 years old. However, the number of jobs held declined with age. Workers had an average of 4.5 jobs when they were 25 to 34 years old, and 2.9 jobs when they were 35 to 44 years old. During the most established phase of many workers’ careers, ages 45 to 52, they held only an average of 1.9 jobs.”

In order to decide what you want to be, may we suggest asking yourself these questions:

  • Should you work to be an expert or a jack of all trades?
  • Where are you are at in your career and how have your skills progressed?
  • Are you happy focusing in on one area or do you find yourself bored easily?
  • What are your largest priorities today (Work? Family? Health? Caring for an aging parent or young children?)

If you take the Gallup CliftonStrengths test and are able to read the details about your top five strengths, Gallup suggests that it’s better to double down and grown your strengths versus trying to overcompensate on your weaknesses.

The thing is, usually if you work at a startup, small business or new division, you are often wearing many hats and it can force you to be a jack of all trades. If you are at a larger organization which equals more resources, there may be clearer lines of your job roles and responsibilities versus “the other departments”. This is where it seems there are skills that none of us can avoid. According to LinkedIn Learning, the top five soft skills in demand in 2020 are:

  1. Creativity
  2. Persuasion
  3. Collaboration
  4. Adaptability
  5. Emotional Intelligence

The top 10 hard skills are:

  1. Blockchain
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. Analytical Reasoning
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. UX Design
  6. Business Analysis
  7. Affiliate Marketing
  8. Sales
  9. Scientific Computing
  10. Video Production

There will be some folks that dive deep into certain areas that are super fascinating to them and they want to know everything about – as well as the excitement of becoming an “expert”. There are some folks that like to constantly evolve and try new things but not dig too deep and have a brief awareness of more areas. It looks safe to say that we all need to be flexible and adaptable.

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Business Marketing

Video is necessary for your marketing strategy

(BUSINESS MARKETING) As technology and social media move forward, so do marketing opportunities. Now is the time for video content social media marketing!

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video content

As an entrepreneur, you’ve surely heard the phrase “pivot to video” countless times over the last few years. It’s the path a lot of media companies are on, but even brands that aren’t directly talking about this pivot have increased their video production. This shift stems in part from studies showing users spend more time on pages featuring video content. Social media has also played a significant role, and recently, new social platforms have made the pivot to video even more important.

Snapchat and TikTok are leading the social video sector as emerging social media platforms, but the audiences for these platforms skew especially young. The content on these platforms also tends toward the meme-worthy and entertaining, raising the question: are these platforms a good use of your time and resources? The answer depends on your industry, but whatever your field, you can certainly learn from the pros dominating these new platforms.

The promotional angle

One of the primary ways that businesses use video content across platforms is by creating promotional content, which range widely in style, cost, and content, but there are a few strategies that can really help a promotional video succeed.

First, a great promotional video hooks the viewer within the first few seconds. Social media has shrunk everyone’s attention span, so even if your video is on a longer form platform, the beginning has to be powerful. Having a strong start also means that your video will be more flexible, allowing it to gain traction across different platforms.

Audience matters

What you’re promoting – what your business does and who it serves – plays a critical role in what kinds of video content you make and what platforms you use. TikTok is a lot of fun, and it’s playing a growing role in business, but if your entire audience is age 30 and up, there’s not much point in trying to master the form and build a viewership there. You need a sufficient youth-heavy market to make TikTok a worthwhile investment, but Snapchat, which also serves a youth-heavy market, might be a different story.

Even if you don’t intend to make heavy use of Snapchat, the platform recently made a big splash in the video sector by opening up its story tools to other platforms. That means businesses will be able to use Snapchat’s tools on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, where they may already have an audience. It will also make crossover content easier, allowing you to maintain consistent branding across all platforms. You may never download Snapchat proper, but you may soon be using their tools.

It’s all about strategy

However you choose to approach video content, the fact is that today video is a necessary part of your content marketing strategy. In part this is because, while blogs aren’t going anywhere, and short-form social media is definitely ascendant, both make use of video, but that’s not the only reason. Video is so powerful because it’s deeply personal. It makes your audience feel that much more closely connected with you and your brand, and that alone is enough to change buying patterns.

Another key advantage of video is that, consumers genuinely enjoy well-made videos. Unlike blogs, which most users will typically only seek out if they need information, there are brands out there who are known for their video content. They’ve found a way to hook viewers and make them feel like they have two products: entertainment and whatever it is they actually sell. You, too, can do this with enough creativity and today’s social media tools.

It’s critical that you don’t let your brand fall behind on video right now, because if you even stop for breath, you will be left behind. As TikTok and Snapchat have made clear, video doesn’t stop for anyone. At this point, video isn’t the future of social media or ecommerce – it’s the present.

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Business Marketing

How a Facebook boycott ended up benefitting Snapchat and Pinterest

(MARKETING) Businesses are pulling ad spends from Facebook following “Stop Hate for Profit” social media campaign, and Snapchat and Pinterest are profiting from it.

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Phone in hand open to social media, coffee held in other hand.

In June, the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign demanded social media companies be held accountable for hate speech on their platforms and prioritize people over profit. As part of the campaign, advertisers were called to boycott Facebook in July. More than 1,000 businesses, nonprofits, and other consumers supported the movement.

But, did this movement actually do any damage to Facebook, and who, if any, benefited from their missing revenue profits?

According to The Information, “what was likely crumbs falling from the table for Facebook appears to have been a feast for its smaller rivals, Snap and Pinterest.” They reported that data from Mediaocean, an ad-tech firm, showed Snap reaped the biggest benefit of the 2 social media platforms during the ad pause. Snapchat’s app saw advertisers spending more than double from July through September compared to the same time last year. And, although not as drastic, Pinterest also saw an increase of 40% in ad sales.

As a result, Facebook said its year-over-year ad revenue growth was only up 10 percent during the first 3 weeks of July. But, the company expects its ad revenue to continue that growth rate in Q3. And, some people think that Facebook is benefitting from the boycott. Claudia Page, senior vice president, product and operations at Vivendi-owned video platform Dailymotion said, “All the boycott did was open the marketplace so SMBs could spend more heavily. It freed-up inventory.”

Even CNBC reported that Wedbush analysts said in a note that Facebook will see “minimal financial impact from the boycotts.” They said about $100 million of “near term revenue is at risk.” And for Facebook, this represents less than 1% of the growth in Q3. However, despite what analysts say, there is still a chance for both Snapchat and Pinterest to hold their ground.

Yesterday, Snap reported their surprising Q3 results. Compared to the prior year, Snap’s revenue increased to $679 million, up 52% from 2019. Its net loss decreased from $227 million to $200 million compared to last year. Daily active users increased 18% year-over-year to 249 million. Also, Snap’s stock price soared more than 22% in after-hours trading. Take that Facebook!

In a prepared statement, Chief Business Officer Jeremi Gorman said, “As brands and other organizations used this period of uncertainty as an opportunity to evaluate their advertising spend, we saw many brands look to align their marketing efforts with platforms who share their corporate values.” As in, hint, hint, Facebook’s summer boycott did positively affect their amazing Q3 results.

So, Snapchat and Pinterest have benefited from the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Snapchat’s results show promising optimism that maybe Pinterest might fare as well. But, of course, Facebook doesn’t think they will benefit much longer. Back in July, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told his employees, “[his] guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.”

Facebook isn’t worried, but I guess we will see soon enough. Pinterest is set to report its Q3 results on October 28th and Facebook on the 29th.

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