David Marine is the Chief Marketing Officer of real estate giant Coldwell Banker. He is in charge of creating a positive image for the brand and elevating its digital footprint. David also had an integral role in one of the highest rating real estate TV campaigns of all time, according to Ace Metrix.
We were honored to talk with him at the Inman conference in New York. In this interview segment, he discusses essential brand management concepts that every marketer should know.
“A company’s digital footprint is actually critical to the marketing of any company today. It covers the gamut of [how consumers see you. When we say] online, we typically think of computers, but, online covers everything from social media to phones, to tablets and PCs.” The digital footprint is actually the storefront that’s open 24-7, 365 days a year. It’s one of the first things that consumers will see.
Brands are a story told not just by its message, but also by its people. In this day and age, people need to realize that control of brands is relinquished to the people involved with the brand–employees, and consumers alike.
“So, we go into it and [don’t think that], ‘Hey, we're going to control this entire environment by ourselves.’ Instead, we use our digital platforms and websites to create engagement through content and video. We use them to convey the message that we want for our brand.
Ultimately, the consumer is going to have a say in it as well as our network of 92,000 agents across the globe.”
With good planning and creativity, both small operators and big ones can create a good brand message. So, unlike traditional advertising, which requires a big budget, the field is more even in the Digital space.
How to establish a small brand
If small operators want to establish a digital footprint for their brand, they need to look at the content they’re producing. And we don’t just mean things like blog posts. That’s not (just) what content means.
Look at your site and profiles and ask yourself:
● What is it saying?
● What are you trying to communicate?
● What are the impressions you want people to walk away with?
● Are all of your customers expecting the same thing?
Having a consistent message and making your brand stand out is really difficult in this day and age, but it’s critical to make sure that your brand is being heard.
Establishing a brand is hard, but the most difficult and essential thing in marketing is maintaining the brand.
“We all like to say, Well, I created it, and people just came and everything is great. But it's the idea of going in every single day and having a plan; having a strategy and editorial calendar about what you're going to create and when and how it fits. What are the shifts in the ebbs and flows of your business?
These are really the things that marketers and people who want to market themselves need to think about. It’s critical to make sure that your digital footprint doesn’t only exist today, but continues to grow in the future. There have to be planning to constantly engage people, no matter what time of the year.”
Contributing to the bottom line
With all that effort, research, and money spent, naturally, people are going to wonder what digital footprints are worth. Successful digital footprints increase traffic (whether that’s online or in real life), good engagements, and sales.
Keep in mind that measurements and goals have to be set ahead of time. There have to be plans in place and ways to know if your efforts are paying off.
One of the great things at Coldwell Banker, David mentions, is that they offer their agents their CBx suite. The app suite has a listing presentation on it and through that, the company is partnering with big data partners to use predictive analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. These features can help an agent create buyer profiles for a specific listing.
Buyer profiles is a presentation of what the target market is. These ensure that the message a brand will send out will reach the people they want to reach.
Digital is dynamic
Like marketing itself, digital marketing and advertising are very competitive. It’s very easy to get left behind in the dust or to pursue the wrong thing. So innovating and exploring new ventures is important, but make sure they fit into your business goals.
David has been fortunate enough to see a lot of new developments come through in the 17 years he has been with the company. They were the first national real estate brand with a website, the first to put listings online back in 1997, the first brand with an iPhone and Android application that included international property, the first partner with a YouTube video channel that you can search for video listings, and the first in a virtual world. There have been a lot of firsts. And they continue to keep pushing and looking for the next new thing that will bring them valuable customers.
There’s still a lot of changes and new things going on for the industry and marketing in general, so we’re glad to hear from one of the field’s leaders. Tune in to our next broadcasts for more lessons in real estate.