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Media Match: Make all Your Ad Media Work Together

October 29 2012

All too often, I see REALTORS® with totally different ads in different media for the same property — there's no consistency in the wording, design, or branding from one ad to the next. The imagery is ordinary, showing the front of a house with nothing memorable to attract prospective buyers. Each ad has to start from scratch with the audience rather than having an accumulative effect, recognizable by prospective buyers to get the best results.

When it comes to strategizing their ad campaigns, advertising experts talk about "reach and frequency," aimed at as many OTS (opportunities to see) as possible for the best possible outcome.

REALTORS®, take note! Instead of creating a rushed, amateurish ad just so you can get it online as fast as possible, devote the time necessary to put together a powerful advertising campaign. Taking the time to create quality and consistency in your advertising will help you harvest the synergistic effect of all your media employed to complement each other. Your ads will no longer work in isolation.

Once you understand how campaign advertising taps into your prospects' conscious and subconscious minds to give your properties "top-of-mind awareness," you will see how obvious and simple it is — and how amazingly powerful.


realtormag media matchIn an advertising agency, the "media planner" selects the type of media in which the ad will appear by establishing how many potential prospects that particular media will reach.

REALTORS® can think of themselves as their own media planner. For example, if an advertising agency is looking to reach and influence doctors, they might advertise in a medical journal, knowing that this medium will reach the specific audience they are after. For real estate, there are luxury property Internet sites designed to attract people who have the buying power for those types of properties.

Real estate professionals are actually very fortunate because many times there are real estate-specific sections in newspapers, magazines, and standalone media. Certain magazines are designed to reach affluent readers; those, therefore, would be a good media choice for high-end properties.

Frequency and OTS

A media planner will gauge how many times a prospective buyer might see the same ad and the same message. A good campaign will reach as many of the right prospects as many times as possible to give them the most OTS.

Why is this important? Over the years, research has shown us that people need to see the same ad and the same messaging at least three times before they will react to it. That's why a carefully planned campaign will give prospects the opportunity to see the same ad (and react to the same message) as many times as possible.

Media Mix Advertising Campaign

Media mix is the combination of different media working with and complementing each other, giving your prospective buyers as many opportunities as possible to see a memorable, positive message that will remain in their minds. When that message is identical across different media — such as print, Web, and social media — each time the buyer sees it, their brain remembers and ties them together, giving a powerful cumulative effect to the advertising.

Imagine you're sitting at home watching television and a TV ad comes on about a four-wheel drive vehicle. If the car manufacturer and its advertising agency determined that their prime market age is 38 years old (that's the who part of "HOODOO"), then they will go to the modeling agency and book a 38-year-old, put them behind the wheel of a vehicle, and away they go, driving on the beach or rough terrain, enjoying themselves (that's the do part of "HOODOO").

Then, the ad will be repeated time and time again — there's your frequency.



Say you're out driving your car and a radio commercial comes on. You notice that the commercial is playing the same audio as the TV commercial you saw the night before showing the 38-year-old model driving and enjoying the vehicle. Next, you pick up a newspaper, magazine, or a direct piece of mail. You notice an ad that looks familiar — yes, it's the main visual from that same TV commercial. The minute you see the ad, your brain will bring up the TV commercial and the radio commercial. See how the media works together?

Can you identify with this example I've laid out? I'm sure you can because we see these media mix campaigns every day of our lives, selling us every imaginable product and service, from cars and carpets to cornflakes.

Now think about this: Instead of showing the visual from the TV commercial the night before, the ad in the newspaper or magazine shows the same vehicle with a front-on shot displaying the engine. Do you think it would work as effectively? I'm sure your answer will be no — it just doesn't make sense because there is no match for the brain to recognize. Yes, the ad and photograph are still aimed at selling the same vehicle. However, the print ad is now talking to a completely different audience that is more technically minded and interested in specifications. Sadly, this means that all the money invested in the TV commercial and radio commercial has now gone straight down the drain in relation to the print advertisement because there is no visual or thematic recall for the perspective buyer. Does that make sense?

Real estate professionals have a great opportunity with the high number of media mix campaigns available for their industry. Most professional campaigns selling products or services on a day-to-day basis will normally have a mix of three or four media maximum. How many media types do REALTORS® have at their disposal? Let's have a look at a potential media list:

  • Various Internet sites: MLS, brokerage Web site, individual Web, Craigslist, blog, other listing sites, etc.
  • E-mail
  • E-newsletter
  • Flyer
  • Newspaper ad
  • Real estate magazine
  • Window display
  • Photos and signboards
  • Social media
  • TV and radio

The list goes on... How many is that? 10, 12, 15 or more! Imagine the advertising power if you can harness all of those media to work with and complement each other, giving a huge amount of OTS to your campaign.

Start out by providing a memorable advertising message that shows a clear picture of what living in that property will do for your prospects. Then, every time the prospective buyer sees the message, it will be matched with what is already in their brain. They will become more familiar with the message, immediately giving your property top-of-mind awareness.

Now you can harness the power of a media mix advertising campaign with every property you list and win every listing when sellers recognize you as the advertising expert in their area.

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