Real Estate Marketing -- Integrate Your Efforts For Maximum Response
Integrated marketing sounds pretty scientific. Maybe that?s why up-and-coming marketers get a glazed look in their eyes when the subject is mentioned.
Truth is, integrated marketing is easy to understand. It can also do wonders for your real estate marketing program as a whole. My goal with this article is to take you beyond understanding integrated marketing and well on your way to practicing it.
What is Integrated Marketing?
Here?s a definition I found on the Internet: "Integrated Marketing: The practice of blending different elements of the communication mix in mutually reinforcing ways."
Fair enough. But let?s simplify it even more. Integrated marketing is when different marketing channels (print, web, email, etc.) work together to achieve a common goal. The "work together" part of that sentence is critical, and it prompts me to come up with a definition of my own.
"Integrated" is past tense. It suggests something that has happened once and will not happen again. It?s not forward-thinking.
So let's call it "cooperative marketing."
Here?s the key principle of cooperative marketing: The individual parts cooperate to achieve more than they?re capable of achieving on their own. In other words, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Cooperative Marketing in Action:
Let?s say you?re an agent targeting buyers. The goal of your direct marketing campaign is to generate phone calls and emails from prospective clients. (An excellent goal, by the way, since surveys have shown that most people go with the first real estate professional they call).
To persuade your recipients to contact you, you?ve decided to offer a free home-buyer?s kit. Here?s how cooperative marketing might help you achieve your objective:
You send a direct mail postcard to your farm area. The postcard highlights the free (and valuable) home-buyer?s kit you?ve created. It provides clear instructions on how to obtain the guide.
The postcard also has a thumbnail image of the information kit?s cover (a further enticement) and directs the reader to a page of your website where they can view an excerpt of the info kit.
They read the excerpt and like what they see (because, of course, you?ve chosen the two best pages for the excerpt). To get the free kit, all they have to do is call or email you ... which, hopefully, they do.
Better still, the information kit functions as a high-value business card, because you were wise enough to include your contact information in it. And if the recipient passes the kit along to friends, you?ve just extended your marketing reach and your potential ROI, without any extra effort.
Now that?s cooperative marketing.
On its own, a marketing postcard cannot convey much information. But when it entices the reader with a promise of value, and then points the reader to a website where that value can be gained in full, the postcard enjoys a whole new level of effectiveness. Cooperative marketing has been achieved.
On its own, a website can contain a lot of valuable information. But your prospects will never know it?s there, aside from stumbling across it. The marketing postcard puts the website in front of them and gives them a specific reason to go there. Cooperative marketing has been achieved.
Lastly, don?t mistake the word "cooperative" with "dependent." The postcard doesn?t necessarily depend on the website for success -- nor the opposite. Each channel is capable of generating responses on its own. They?re just capable of a lot more when they cooperate.
Direct marketing (and marketing in general) is rarely a one-shot deal. The whole is more powerful than the individual parts. The parts cooperate to achieve the common goal.
Integrated marketing is cooperative marketing.
About the Author: Brandon Cornett has worked as a marketing manager for a direct mail company serving the real estate industry since 1986. He now dedicates his time to helping real estate professionals improve their marketing. His "Modern Guide to Real Estate Marketing" and his free newsletter are available at: http://www.ArmingYourFarming.com