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What Realtors can learn from this genius marketing campaign concept

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Viral marketing campaign concept

McDonald’s is the subject of an ad concept coming from the Miami Ad School in Berlin in which students have designed a Facebook app called Burger Roulette which offers to help users select the perfect burger corresponding with their mouth size with results shared on Facebook, then mobile voucher integration brings the ad campaign back to the point of sale.

What is genius about this concept is not only the design but the use of multiple media. Where Facebook apps typically fall short is the shine wearing off and use declining, so this concept takes that into account and keeps interest piqued by offering mobile vouchers. Vouchers, of course, bring in more business as users often travel to the retailer with company, thus making a sale they might not otherwise have made.

Realtors, listen up

This campaign concept has several teachable moments for Realtors.

  • First, the design is clean, simple and brand appropriate. Often, a broker’s brand is youthful but marketing is outdated or vice versa. Realtors should observe modern graphic design tenets while remaining consistent with their brand message and consistent with the target demographic.
  • Secondly, the concept involves Facebook in a meaningful way. The app is fun, theoretically useful, and sharable. Realtors have a challenge in the Facebook marketing world to do more than offer a Facebook Page that has regurgitated market updates. Pitting two interior designs together in a hot or not vote scenario is a fun way real estate can get involved (although it’s been done before). Another option would be interactive local data graphs- get creative and be meaningful.
  • Third, the ad campaign is customized to the user. Brokerages are guilty of attempting a one-size-fits-all approach to web marketing which consumers are being groomed to criticize. If a team specializes in new construction, marketing (especially something as specialized as a Facebook app) should reflect that specialty rather than a generalized approach. Consumers are expecting laser focus because that’s what they’re looking for, so a cardiologist would not likely market himself as a “doctor.”
  • Fourth, the genius of the campaign is the use of multiple platforms in a seamless way. Real estate is guilty of blatantly attempting to garner as much prospect information as possible. We say guilty because brokers often have “fill out this ridiculously long form and maybe I’ll give you a market report or spam your inbox” forms. This campaign naturally and subtly garners Facebook information (thus a wealth of demographic data from age, sex, ethnicity, marital status, employer, etc) by users having to agree to terms prior to using the app, and obtains users’ phone numbers in order to receive free coupons. With one click on Facebook and a cell phone number, a retailer has a dramatic amount of information with very little effort or commitment from users. Be respectful of users’ time if you want their information and be legitimate with this process.

The lessons that can be learned are many, but simply put, real estate marketing in its current state is fragmented and rarely effective when it comes to multimedia campaigns. Clean design that is modern and consistent with the target demo and brand identity, along with customizable, meaningful destinations that respect a user’s time will go considerably further than boring, outdated forms required for users to obtain useless regurgitated information.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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51 Comments

51 Comments

  1. Sig

    June 6, 2011 at 6:48 am

    GOOD article. Where do we find a company or individual who creates a web site based on this strategy and actually knows real estate?

    • Lani Rosales

      June 6, 2011 at 8:22 pm

      There is a lot of great talent out there and several should be interviewed. I'm pretty sure all you have to do is tweet that you're looking and they'll come to you 🙂

  2. Brad Jenkins

    June 6, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I totally and completely disagree with most of what has been written, and I will tell you why. 15k hits on YouTube world wide in just under a month is not what I would consider a great success story, at least not by McDonalds' standards. On a local level yes, but worldwide, no way. What tracking method is in place to show the actual conversion of those 15k hits that go to face book and actually receive a burger coupon? A lot of work involved to get a free dollar hamburger.

    Attempting to make the connection to real estate agents and brokers is not really hitting home. In essence what you are saying to agents and brokers is regardless of the fact we are in the deepest depression ever in the history of this country, you suggest that agents and brokers pass taking on clients that may not be buying or selling in their part of town or an agent that has sold a lot of condos should not take on a client that is selling a SFH? Right. Pretty easy to sit back on the sidelines and tell others how they should conduct their business when your family is not the one that has to eat.

    Internet marketing for real estate is mainly pushed and trumpeted by those who are making a profit from it. But most people who secure the services of a real estate agent do it through personal contact or from a referral. Consumers wish to work with someone that there is an established relationship with, either directly or indirectly. It allows the consumer to in some way, hold someone accountable for the agent's performance.

    Quite frankly, most of the agents out there are not nearly educated enough to begin to grasp this marketing concept. And more importantly, they probably don't really care either.

    On a grammatical note, the use of first and third requires a second, not secondly.

    • Lani Rosales

      June 6, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      Brad, the article above notes that it is NOT a McDonald's ad, rather a student project for a campaign concept. Realtors can learn a lot from the idea of specializing and being in touch with consumer expectations.

  3. Brad Jenkins

    June 19, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Just out of curiosity, were you ever a real estate agent? Have you ever had to market and successfully sell a home as a Realtor (R)? Have you ever gone on a listing appointment? How many closings have you attended? How many buyer profiles have you developed? I find it rather difficult to take marketing advice about real estate from someone that is not in the real estate business as a Realtor (R).

    I have personally found that consumer expectations in real estate are not difficult to understand, they want an agent that is trustworthy, is honest and has integrity. They also want someone that has a solid foundation of real estate knowledge and life experience. Further, consumers look for superior skills in the areas of negotiating, marketing and communication.

    You said, "Realtors can learn a lot from the idea of specializing and being in touch with consumer expectations."

    What is your basis for this statement?

    What scientific research studies have you completed or have you read that supports your assertion? Or is this just your opinion? If it is, what is your experience to be considered an expert in this area?

    What consumer expectations as related to real estate have you uncovered that are not being met by today's Realtors (R)? And where/how have you obtained this data?

    You said, "Brad, the article above notes that it is NOT a McDonald’s ad, rather a student project for a campaign concept"

    I did comprehend that, but it still does not change my mind that it is a flawed attempt to cross it over to real estate by someone that has never sold a home as a Realtor (R).

    Sorry, but in my opinion, your article and follow-up assertions lack validity. What I see in today's market, an agent that only does one type of listing will more then likely be going around hungry.

    And on a side note, your true association with AG should be disclosed at the end of each article you author. My research shows you have a greater connection to AG then just as a contributing writer.

    Thank you

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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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Business Marketing

Cooler temps mean restaurants have to get creative to survive

(BUSINESS MARKETING) In the midst of a pandemic and with winter approaching, restaurants are starting to find creative and sustainable ways to keep customers coming in… and warm.

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Outdoor eating at restaurants grows in popularity.

Over the last decade we have seen a change in the approach to clientele experiences in the restaurant business. It’s no longer just about how good your food is, although that is still key. Now you have to give your customers an experience to remember. There are now restaurants that feed you in the dark, and others who require you to check all your clothes at the door. Each of these provides an experience to remember alongside food that ranges from good to exquisite, depending on your taste.

Now, however, the global pandemic has rearranged how we think about dining. We can no longer just shove people into a building and create a delectable meal. If you’ve relied mostly on people coming into your restaurant, you may struggle to survive now.

The new rules of keeping clients safe means setting things up outside is the easiest means of keeping large numbers of them from crowding inside. Because of this, weather has become a key influence in a company’s daily income. Tents that were a gimmick before, only needed by presumptuous millennials, are now a requirement to keep afloat. People are rushing to make their yards into lawns that bring some in some fancy feeling.

The ties to the sun in some areas are so strong that cloudy days have been shown to drop attendance as much as 14% for the day. This will become the more apparent the colder it gets. For me, I always mention hibernation weight in the winter, when all I want to do is curl up and eat at home. Down here in Texas we are already finding cooler weather, drops into the 70s even in August and September. We are all assuming a cold winter ahead. So, a bit of foresight is finding a means of keeping your guests warm for the winter ahead.

San Francisco restaurants have started with heat lamps during their cooler evenings. Fiberglass igloos have also been added to outdoor seating as a means of temperature control. A few places down in the Lonestar state keep roaring fires going for their outdoor activities. While others actually keep you running in between beverages by encouraging volleyball matches. This is the new future ahead of us, and being memorable is the way to go.

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Business Marketing

Healthcare during pandemic goes virtual, looks to stay that way

(BUSINESS NEWS) Employment-based health insurance has already been through the ringer with COVID-19, but company healthcare options are adapting for long term.

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Stethoscope with laptop, showing healthcare going virtual.

Changes in employment-based health insurance may end up costing employers more, but will provide crucial benefits to workers responding to the healthcare challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent survey by the Business Group on Health, a member-driven advocacy organization that helps large employers navigate providing health insurance to their employees, businesses will increase access to telehealth, mental health resources, and on-site clinics in the upcoming year.

Besides the obvious impacts of the coronavirus itself, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have also rippled out to affect other aspects of public health and how we engage with medical care. With so many people staying home to reduce their in-person contacts, there has been a significant increase in the use of telehealth services such as virtual doctor’s visits. According to the survey from Business Group on Health, whose members include 74 Fortune 100 companies, more than half of large employers will offer more options for virtual healthcare in the upcoming year than in the past.

The pandemic, resulting economic fallout, and dramatic changes to our lives have inevitably exacerbated peoples’ anxieties and feelings of hopelessness. As we move into cold weather, with no end in sight to the need to socially distance, this promises to be a particularly dreary, lonely winter. Mental health support will be more necessary than ever. In 2019, 73% of large employers provided virtual mental health services. That number will increase to 91% next year, with 45% of large employers also expanding their mental health care provider networks, making it easier for employees to find the right the therapist or other mental health service provider, and making it easier to access those services from home, virtually.

In addition, there will be a 20% increase in employers offering virtual emotional well-being services. Altogether, 9 out of 10 of the employers surveyed will provide online mental health resources, which, besides virtual appointments, could also include apps, webinars, and educational videos.

There has also been a slight increase the availability of on-site clinics that provide coronavirus testing and other basic health services. This also included an expansion of resources for prenatal care, weight management, and chronic health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

These improvement won’t come free of charge. While deductibles will remain about the same, premiums and out-of-pocket costs will increase about 5%. In most cases, employers will handle these costs, rather than passing them on to employees.

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