Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s use of social media marketing as both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) strategies is the focus of a case study developed by the Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario.

Since launching in 2008, the Realogy Holdings Corp. franchisor has signed up brokerages representing more than 8,000 sales associates in 26 states and Canada. President and CEO Sherry Chris attributes Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s success "in large part to the company’s strategic and mindful approach to targeting both consumers and the real estate industry as a whole."

"When we launched Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, few businesses were leveraging the tremendous power of social media to drive brand awareness, develop business opportunities and fuel growth," Chris said in a statement. "Our success underscores the value of using new media channels to engage with customers, business partners and members of the real estate industry."

As an alumna of the Richard Ivey School of Business, Chris said she was "honored to share the knowledge our company has acquired" and that the case study will encourage other companies to look outside traditional business practices.

According to a summary of the 12-page case study, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate "has grown rapidly and has experienced tremendous success with its B2B social media efforts. Now, several years after the formation of the company, the president and chief executive officer must decide how to leverage what she has learned from the B2B effort to create a B2C social media program."

The case study is described as suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate marketing courses, exploring:

  • the implications and potential value of leveraging an existing brand for a new business opportunity.
  • issues and opportunities surrounding a franchise business model.
  • differences between a consumer and trade social media strategy.
  • the development of a social media strategy and tactical plan, including resource requirements and appropriate success metrics.
  • international expansion and its impact on new media marketing like social media.

Author Raymond Pirouz teaches marketing at the Richard Ivey School of Business and he is the author of three books. Pirouz has also taught at UCLA Extension, the Art Center College of Design, the Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine and the Master of Digital Experience Innovation (MDEI) program at the University of Waterloo-Stratford.

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