Make your Marketing Messages Short. And Memorable.
While strolling the streets of Seattle the other day, I (almost literally) fell over a sign on the sidewalk, pictured to the right.
Three words, and two arrows. That’s all it was. On a “sandwich board” positioned in the sidewalk. Hence my near literal fall over that sign — its placement, combined with Facebooking while walking, nearly caused a spill of epic proportions.
Alas, my cat-like reflexes avoided a sprawl across the sidewalk and I stood there contemplating the sign.
Hungry, and thirsty, I got the message loud and clear. The food joint to my right served beer. The place to the left, did not.
So I turned right. It was the veritable “no brainer.”
Now being in a new (to me) area of Seattle, I had no idea if the place I was going into was any good. But I knew that they had beer, and that the other place did not. And I knew that at the end of a 10 mile walk, a beer tastes really good, even if it is pouring rain and you’re soaked to the bone.
This three-word marketing masterpiece did its job. It directed me to where I needed (OK, wanted) to be.
Isn’t that what any marketing message should do? Inform you, help you make a decision, and point you in the right direction?
Your marketing messaging doesn’t have to be lengthy, or complicated, or fancy, or printed in full-bleed 256 color glossy photos on quality card stock to be effective. It needs to make a point. One point. It needs to be simple and easy to understand. It needs to be placed in the right place, at the right time.
Beer, this way. No beer that way. That’s a pretty simple message, placed right where the hungry / thirsty consumer will see it, and be able to act on it.
That for sale sign planted in the front of your listing? That’s a marketing message in the right place. But does it say the right thing? Maybe that QR code says the right thing, but how many people stopping by your sign have the right app to scan that code, or even know they need an app?
What does that for sale sign say about the property? My guess is it says more about you than it says about the property.
How about that fancy postcard you just mailed out to your farm area? Is it about YOU, or about homes that have been sold in the neighborhood? (Note: while it may sound sad, it’s true — people don’t care about you. They want info. Info like homes that have recently sold, not info about all your website has to offer.)
What about your business card? That’s a marketing piece. My boss just handed me an agent’s card and said, “Can you figure out where this guy works, and send him this?”
Figure out where this guy works? I’m holding a business card, doesn’t it tell me where the guy works?
Nope. There is no location named on the card. No address. There are three phone numbers, all with different area codes. There’s a URL. And a couple of names. But I’m holding a real estate agent’s card in my hand, and I’m going to have to find a device with an Internet connection to figure out where this agent actually conducts business.
That’s an ineffective marketing message.
Real estate sales is jam-packed with marketing opportunities and messages. You need to make the most out of each and every one. I think that generally speaking real estate pros tend to over-think, and under-analyze their marketing messages. Sometimes, less is more. Virtually always it’s the message itself, not the method of delivery, that is most important. Yet the Interwebs are full of agents asking about the cheapest way to send postcards, questions about whether or not billboards or bus benches are effective marketing vehicles, or referral requests for printers, flyer-makers and mailers.
How come no one is asking, “Is this marketing message effective?” Next time you’re pondering a marketing piece, think of the sign I almost tripped over. Three words and two arrows did the job, and did it well. Can you simplify your marketing messages to make them more effective?