Marketing

Zillow ratcheting up marketing spend

Big 3 portals spent $145 million on marketing last year

Last year Zillow spent $75 million to raise the profile of its brand with consumers. This year, it will spend even more, CEO Spencer Rascoff says.

Discussing the company’s acquisition of Trulia on a conference call with investors this morning, Rascoff wouldn’t provide exact numbers on this year’s marketing spend.

But he said Zillow Group — the new entity formed to house Trulia and Zillow’s consumer and business divisions — will not only ratchet up spending devoted to Zillow, but also continue to market Trulia and its two other consumer brands, StreetEasy and HotPads.

Now that real estate has just two portal kingpins — Zillow Group and realtor.com operator Move Inc.’s new owner, News Corp. — consumer marketing will arguably play an even bigger role in the battle for consumer mindshare than it did last year when Zillow, Trulia and Move spent an estimated $145 million on their campaigns combined (Trulia spent $45 million).


Zillow targeted first-time homebuyers with its “What If” national TV spot it launched in September.

But 2015 kicks off with a lot less clarity around portal consumer marketing spend than last year when Zillow, Trulia and Move shot out of the gates with announcements of massive consumer marketing budgets and released new national TV spots throughout the year.

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News Corp., like Zillow Group, has not provided many details on its consumer marketing play in 2015.

The media giant has plans to tout realtor.com, but News Corp.’s execs have said they will wait to turn on the marketing gas until they finish revamping the brand’s messaging and refining its products.

One thing is clear, however. The National Association of Realtors — which owns the realtor.com website address and trademark, which it licenses to Move — will continue to provide marketing support for the portal.

NAR’s latest national TV ad, which aired during the Grammy Awards, featured realtor.com.

Last summer, NAR began touting the portal to a degree it never had before, launching a $35 million “Real People” campaign. Realtor.com featured prominently in NAR’s latest national TV spot, which aired this month during the Grammy Awards.

Questions or comments? Email paul@inman.com.