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What Realtors can learn from this genius marketing campaign concept

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 Often, a broker’s brand is youthful but marketing is outdated or vice versa.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.

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  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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