Trulia gears up for $45M national marketing campaign, names first CMO

Rival Zillow to up marketing spend to $65M this year

As Trulia gears up to launch its first-ever national marketing campaign, the San Francisco-based firm has brought on Silicon Valley marketing vet Kira Wampler as its first chief marketing officer.

Trulia CEO Pete Flint announced the firm’s plans for a $45 million national marketing campaign Thursday in conjunction with its fourth-quarter and full-year 2013 earnings report.

Screen shot of Trulia's revamped website introduced on Thursday.
Screen shot of Trulia's revamped website introduced on Thursday.

Wampler, who joined Trulia as CMO in November after a two-year stint as vice president of marketing at the photography tech company Lytro Inc., will lead all consumer product and marketing efforts at the company in addition to overseeing the launch of the national campaign.

The campaign, which will include TV, Web, mobile and radio advertising, is set to launch sometime in late March, Trulia spokesman Ken Shuman told Inman News.

Kira Wampler

Kira Wampler

“We’ve built a fantastic real estate search experience for buyers and sellers,” said Trulia CEO Pete Flint in a statement. “After thorough research and testing, we feel confident that we can extend our brand, drive even higher levels of engagement and deliver a more compelling ROI to our subscribers through a national marketing campaign.”

The campaign will be designed to reach consumers ready to make a move and build awareness of the Trulia brand, Flint told investors on an earnings call Thursday.

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“Our marketing campaign will be principally focused on these transaction-ready consumers and will be designed with two goals in mind: one, to drive awareness of Trulia [from] active home movers, and two, to make Trulia the primary and preferred app in the category,” Flint said.

With the campaign, Trulia will be playing catch-up in that arena to larger rival Zillow, which doubled its marketing spend in 2013 with a $40 million campaign that included its first-ever national TV commercial. The firm plans to up its marketing spend across multiple channels in 2014 to $65 million, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff told investors during an earnings call Wednesday.

While Zillow’s hefty marketing spend in 2013 — which also targeted “transaction-ready” consumers — contributed to the company’s $12.5 million net loss for the year, Rascoff told investors that it was a success and prompted the company to come back bigger in 2014.

The 2013 campaign helped Zillow grow its year-over-year overall traffic by nearly 60 percent in 2013, and home-shopper traffic and contacts to agents by 80 and 70 percent, respectively, Rascoff said.

Trulia’s campaign may help it chip into the lead in Web market share that Zillow secured over its top two competitors over the course of 2013.

Last year, Zillow grew its Web market share over Trulia and realtor.com by 4.79 percentage points and 4.99 percentage points, respectively, according to Experian Marketing Services data. In December, Zillow captured 15.29 percent of all real estate-related traffic from desktop computers; Trulia captured 8.33 percent; and realtor.com captured 7.22 percent, Experian data showed.

In conjunction with its earnings release, Trulia introduced a new look for the desktop version of its website. The revamp features a more image-dominated design and links to connect consumers with agents, local market info and a rent-or-buy calculator.

Trulia also noted that it has engaged the global ad agency Draftfcb to help develop the national campaign.


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