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 Often, a broker’s brand is youthful but marketing is outdated or vice versa.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

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.

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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 noreply@company.com you can use john@company.com 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…

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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.

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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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