This is the perfect time to take a look at your advertising and make any necessary changes to your overall marketing strategy. A significant portion of the overall cost to run your business is marketing and advertising expenses, therefore it is crucial that these dollars are spent wisely and are in line with the current trends in the marketplace and consumer buying habits. With thousands of ideas out there for advertising and marketing concepts it is often hard to decide what will be effective and what will fall flat.

This is the perfect time to take a look at your advertising and make any necessary changes to your overall marketing strategy. A significant portion of the overall cost to run your business is marketing and advertising expenses, therefore it is crucial that these dollars are spent wisely and are in line with the current trends in the marketplace and consumer buying habits. With thousands of ideas out there for advertising and marketing concepts it is often hard to decide what will be effective and what will fall flat. But regardless of the size of your marketing budget, the secret to marketing success is developing a well-thought-out plan and an effective system for implementing it. The following are a few pointers for creating a successful marketing program that is cost effective and will save you time.

1. Create an emotional appeal.

Connect with your audience by using your hobbies, interests or simply your own personal style to create an emotional appeal in your marketing pieces. The human element has proven to be very powerful in marketing pieces, especially the pieces that are marketing you.

2. Be consistent and frequent.

Out of sight often means out of mind. A good marketing program is well thought out in advance with specific mailings or marketing activities scheduled throughout the entire year. Our top producers make it a point to be in contact with their market at least 24 times a year.

3. Leverage your materials.

Every marketing piece should ideally have more than one use. For example, resize the ad you just developed to use as a flyer or mailer.

4. Give your marketing pieces a shelf life.

Make your marketing pieces something worth holding on to. A football schedule, a local dining guide with names and phone numbers of nearby restaurants, or a magnetic grocery list pad are just a few ideas that your customers will be sure to hold on to.

5. Put your picture on everything.

When you put your smiling face on all of your marketing materials, it’s like knocking on every door in town. It is also important to remember to update your picture at least every two years.

6. The bolder, the better!

As a rule of thumb, use a minimum of two colors in your marketing pieces. The more colors you use, the greater impact to the reader’s eye.

7. “Just Sold” vs. “Just Listed” cards.

Both are powerful direct mail pieces, however according to several top producers, “Just Sold” pieces get almost twice the response of “Just Listed” cards.

8. Establish a “look.”

Use consistent color schemes and format your ads so that they have the same “look.” Don’t change the ad every week. Rather, change the content while maintaining the same overall format so your clients will begin to immediately recognize your ads.

9. Don’t give too much away.

Don’t let your ads tell the whole story. This will encourage your customers to call you for the rest of the details. Often saying less is more when it comes to advertising and a well-designed ad will speak volumes about a property, even without including a lot of verbiage.

Howard Brinton is a real estate sales motivational speaker and the founder and CEO of Star Power Systems, a sales training organization that offers tapes, books, videos, conferences and a club that distributes selling techniques from the nation’s top producers.

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