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2010-07-18 19:57:19

Marketing 101: Five Simple Steps to Getting Started


I’ve seen the recent posts regarding various marketing venues and thought I would add my two cents. RealTalk is a great place for this discussion BEFORE you reach for your wallet.
One marketing mistake many people make is throwing money at their marketing efforts and then sitting back and seeing what sticks. Not good. You might as well be sending out your assistant with a sandwich board.
Marketing without a plan is virtually worthless.
Today, real estate professionals have an incredible number of options: traditional marketing, Internet marketing, eMail, social media, brand marketing, farm mailings, listing syndication, signage and more.
Here are five steps to take when creating your marketing plan.
1.   Do your homework. While RealTalk is a nice sounding board, you must do your due diligence. Go to the company website, look at the services offered. Take a free trial if available WITHOUT having to use a credit card. Call current customers for feedback. Don’t rely on testimonials provided by the firm. Make sure to Google the company for any complaints and/or additional info.
2.  Take your time. Don’t buy anything on impulse. I wish I had a dollar for every dusty software box I’ve seen unopened the shelf. And, after working more a dozen C21 and NAR conventions, I’ve seen it all. The best software is the one you use. (I heard that somewhere). 
3.   Review your current marketing efforts. What has worked and what has not. If you don’t know, now is the time to start from scratch. You need to look for the right mix of all of your options, both traditional and cyber-based. 
4.   Implement a comprehensive tracking system. While some of your efforts like brand marketing campaigns -- bus benches, billboards, shopping carts, etc. – can’t really be tracked, that should be only a small part of your overall marketing budget, maybe 10%.

5.   Know your Return On Investment. Marketing shouldn’t cost, it should pay. Once you have your marketing plan in place, review it monthly to see your ROI on each item. Make tweaks as needed, but remember effective marketing needs to be done over and over. A consistent message is key to long-term success.
All of these tips need to be looked at when sitting down to create your marketing plan for 2011. Remember, this is only a beginning and these are just the fundamentals of creating your marketing plan.
And, by the way, you might want to get started soon. It’s already July.

Rich Hudson
is Owner of One-Stop Desktop. The company specializes in keyword-rich, highly localized copy for real estate websites, website review and analysis, marketing and public relations, online publishing, social media and more.

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