With the holidays upon us, now would be an excellent time to review your marketing plan for this past year and set in motion your plan for 2008. Take advantage of this slow period to examine and assess your marketing efforts to date. Because of lack of focus or results, is your marketing plan overdue for an extreme makeover or a subtle tweak? Review the questions below:
1. Are You Guilty of Complete Omission of Any Branding Elements: Too many real estate professionals fail to understand the importance of core branding elements i.e. logo, tag-line, and unique positioning statement. Branding elements provide a visual identity which helps your target audience connect with your core values and your services. Your brand should help differentiate you in your market.
2. Marketing to an Undefined Market: Find your target audience and gear your marketing plan and message to that audience. Attempts to appeal to everyone will fail. Not having a clear marketing message that speaks to everyone will end up speaking to no one. Plus it confuses the consumer and will easily miss any chance of hitting your target market entirely.
3. Inconsistency in Your Brand and Marketing Efforts: You need to have the same look and feel of your brand image across all of your media including your online presence, mailers, listing presentations, property fliers and all other aspects of your marketing plan.
4. Lack of Marketing Diversification: Marketing in print or on the Internet alone will reach only a portion of your potential customers. Plan to market creatively through a cross-section of media channels so your potential customers become familiar with your brand and your services at different times and in different places.
5. Not Focusing on Repeat Business: Repeat business typically makes up 80 percent of customers in most businesses. Too often marketing campaigns are heavily focused on bringing in new customers and not building relationships with current ones.
6. Bad Timing: Time your marketing campaigns to coincide with traditional up-tempo seasonal sales (example: early spring through mid- summer) or an upcoming events (i.e. new company relocating hundreds of new employees to your area) that will attract new business. Advance preparation is critical to your success.
7. Donâ€™t Over-hype Your Service: For the consumer, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Too much hype will turn people away. Keep your marketing message simple and direct.
8. Donâ€™t Forget – Slow and Steady Wins the Race: If you blow your entire marketing budget on a particular campaign, then what will you do next? Marketing means building your brand image and reputation via multiple impressions over an extended period of time.
9. Failure to Capture Feedback: Create your personal focus groups for feedback on your campaign and test your marketing ideas. Don’t launch your campaign without obtaining feedback first.
10. Making a Change for the Sake of Change: Just because you are tired of your marketing plan doesn’t mean it isn’t working. Too many real estate professionals make changes because they think they have too. Often a tried and true formula will keep working. Remember- always measure for ROI and refine when change is driven by lack of success.
By addressing and avoiding these critical mistakes, you and your marketing plan will be positioned to enjoy greater success.