Effective Advertising Should Focus on Generating Traffic
If you don’t want any of your advertising dollars to go to waste, you need to understand that effective advertising, especially in today’s market, must have a singular goal — to generate traffic.
Now, advertising isn't the only way to achieve this goal. A balanced marketing program that includes such elements as highly-targeted print advertising and targeted media, like radio and cable television, can generate traffic as well.
In fact, to be effective, all of your advertising and marketing efforts should work seamlessly with a well-strategized public relations outreach program that should probably include working with real estate brokers, depending upon your market.
Onsite and Offsite Promotions Generate Traffic
One of the best ways to generate qualified traffic in this housing downturn is through special events involving onsite or offsite promotion.
Also, don’t forget the role of the Internet. Studies have shown that 80% of purchasers start their home search on the Internet.
You Must Have a ‘Call to Action’
During the last peak in the housing cycle, institutional advertising was de rigueur. Often called “image” advertising, institution advertising did not promote a specific call to action. It relied on just sharing a vision.
That might have worked when the market was strong and just about everyone was buying homes, but today, the wisdom of an old Japanese proverb is more apropos — “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”
Today, we must include a call to action in every ad — or else we risk wasting our precious ad dollars.
“You must be proactive with your advertising dollars, as few as they may be,” says Richard Elkman, of Group Two Advertising in Philadelphia, an advertising and marketing firm for new-home builders. “If you don’t have a message and don’t differentiate your company, then your competition is going to get your sales.”
With print advertising, that means builders should do more than convey information. People want a good story that they can evaluate on their own. Give it to them — with a twist.
One way to teach adults about the value of your home is by employing self-discovery through involvement. Don’t bore them by telling them too much and giving away the ending of your story.
Hold a little back to let them discover what they need and want — and definitely make your call to action a part of the story.
Remember that an ad is not designed to sell anything. It’s there to create a climate where the sale can be made. So, use your story to highlight the emotional deficits your target market is experiencing and show them how they, by taking the next step and buying your home, can fill those emotional holes.
Entice them with appeals involving culture, convenience, romance, recreation, long- and short-term investment, status and prestige, security and privacy and, of course, family and lifestyle. But remember, the sale only starts with emotion. It also must appeal to reason and logic, so be sure to make your appeal easy to understand — and difficult to misinterpret.
Try to appeal to all the senses — and don’t lecture.
Don’t Scrimp on Color
Now is not the time to scrimp on images or color. If you are not using images, and in particular, color images in your ads, you aren’t getting the best use of your ad dollars.
A four-color ad is expensive, true, but it also has 80% more chance of getting read. Even a two-color ad is 38% percent more likely to be read than its black and white counterpart.
Utilize imagery and symbolic language that appeal to all learning styles — auditory, visual and kinesthetic.
When you stop using advertising to make sales, but instead use it to generate traffic, you’ll find that you are not wasting your ad dollars.
Gian Hasbrock, MIRM, is president of WOWISM, a real estate marketing consulting firm specializing in education, training, motivation, research and accountability. Hasbrock is also an NAHB Master Instructor, the author of the courses, “Built to Sell” and “Multicultural Sales,” and the co-author of the courses, “Effective Marketing on a Shoestring Budget” and “Understanding Housing Markets and Consumers.” For more information, e-mail Hasbrock, call him at 252-207-9000 or visit www.WOWism.com.
This article originally appeared on the NAHB Sales and Marketing Channel.
Tax Credit Web Site Looks at Opportunity of a Lifetime
Builders and other industry professionals can help spur home sales by referring prospective first-time home buyers to www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com. The NAHB Web site provides detailed information on the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time home buyers included in the economic stimulus legislation signed into law by President Obama.
Consumers can use the Web site to find information on the tax credit – including a detailed question and answer section. It also includes information about other housing-related and small business measures in the legislation and a number of home-buying resources for consumers.
Spanish Version Also Available Online
A Spanish version of this increasingly popular Web site is also available to provide detailed information on the tax credit to Spanish-speaking first-time home buyers.
Industry professionals are encouraged to highlight either tax credit Web site when marketing to their potential first-time home buyer market.
‘ValueMatch Selling for Home Builders’ Available at BuilderBooks.com
“ValueMatch Selling for Home Builders,” available through BuilderBooks.com, presents a selling process that focuses on selling feelings and appealing to prospective buyers’ emotional need to buy a new home in today’s market rather than product.
Learn how to build rapport with prospective home buyers, meet their needs, make powerful presentations that are focused on their values and go for the close.
To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.
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