I recently did a podcast about when the bubble was going to burst and how to best position your business to take advantage of a downturning market. The two questions I kept getting were: “How can I position my business to take advantage of a turning market?” and “Should I be advertising and marketing online or offline?”

  • As soon as a product or category becomes commoditized, it leads to price suppression.
  • Most marketers believe that the first place to start when thinking about advertising and marketing is the media -- online or offline. This is a mistake.
  • Marketing is the act of getting impressions, and advertising is the art of getting people to take action.

I recently did a podcast about when the bubble was going to burst and how to best position your business to take advantage of a downturning market.

The two questions I kept getting were: “How can I position my business to take advantage of a turning market?” and “Should I be advertising and marketing online or offline?”

My answer was this: “Determine your unique value proposition, and then share it with the market.”

In the world of real estate, the vast majority of real estate agents all look the same and sound the same and then wonder why prospects see real estate agents as a commodity.

As soon as a product or category becomes commoditized, it leads to price suppression. If you don’t want to be a commodity, you have to be unique.

Most marketers believe that the first place to start when thinking about advertising and marketing is the media — online or offline.

This is a mistake.

The first place you should start is your message — your unique value proposition.

It’s what makes your business stand out in a crowd. Instead of attempting to be known for everything, you’re known for something very specific.

From experience I know that, for radio advertising to work, you have to have “direct response” copy. You can’t air ads and say “I’m the top agent …” Or “I’ve sold a billion dollars …” Or “I’m a really good guy …”

That’s boring and vanilla, and it’s missing a call to action. This applies to running any kind of advertising.

If your advertising doesn’t contain an offer or explain your unique value proposition, it is marketing. Marketing is the act of getting impressions, and advertising is the art of getting people to take action.

3 foundations of any marketing plan

  • Message
  • Market
  • Media

The message is your unique value proposition.

The market is either a geographic area or demographic you’re targeting.

The media is the distribution method.

Most marketers will obsess over which media to use but fail to spend any real time focusing on the market and messaging. What about you?

The conversation is most people’s head goes something like this:

“I need more deals, so maybe I should send out some mailers, buy some Facebook ads or do radio.” Stop!

Here’s today’s nugget: Your message must be crystal clear and finely crafted before you even begin to consider the media you’ll use to communicate it.

Your quick-start exercise 1

Get a notepad and a pen, and answer the following questions:

  • What is unique about my product?
  • What is unique about my delivery?
  • What is unique about my service?
  • What industry norms does my company bend or break?
  • What is unique about my personality?
  • What is my story?
  • Who or what are my “enemies”?
  • What is unique about my best customers?
  • Do you see a common word in those questions?

Your first priority as a marketer is to get laser-focused on what sets you apart.

If you cannot come up with very clear answers to those questions, you’re going to need to make some changes to your business — period.

Take a long hard look at your answers, and then ask yourself:

  • How can I incorporate this uniqueness into my marketing?
  • How can exploit it?
  • How can I use it in every marketing piece I produce?”

Then do it. Take action. Implement today.

Toby Salgado is the host and managing director of Super Agents Live (podcast) and Real Estate Radio Experts (radio agency). Follow him on Twitter.

Email Toby Salgado

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