Posted by . In topics: Advertising · Marketing · Radio · The Economy

Wendy Harris, Team Harris Realty

2009 was a great year for Wendy Harris, of Team Harris Realty, despite the horrible macro environment for realty businesses.  While many of her peers reacted to the real estate downturn by reducing or eliminating mass-marketing, Wendy moved in the opposite direction with spectacular results.

Wendy recently wrote to share her story: “Thanks to Cumulus radio, I outsold every resale Real Estate agent in Fayetteville and continue to increase my business!”

Wendy took advantage of radio’s unique ability to deeply inform potential clients as part of the mass-reach/high-frequency branding process.  She differentiates her business with a unique listing proposition:  a guarantee to sell the house at a specified price by a specified deadline and backs her guarantee by agreeing to buy the home if she doesn’t hit her goals.  By breaking this concept down into several explanatory radio commercials she quickly communicated this program to anxious sellers.  “The phones started ringing the first week I started.” Read more »

Posted by . In topics: Advertising · Marketing

For every charming gecko, memorable slogan, or unforgettable jingle, thousands of businesses advertise very effectively by being authentic, direct, and adhering to a couple of simple ideas.  You don’t have to be a creative genius to use advertising effectively!  Here’s the first in a series of simple tips to help you decide what to say, how to say it, and where you should say it.  Focus on these practices and you’ll be off to a great start.
Do: Commit to your advertising or don’t do it at all. Advertising is very similar to exercise (for someone who has been out of shape for a while).  You generally don’t see a lot of results at the start, just like you don’t see results after your first trips to the gym.   In fact, the early experience may seem a little painful.  But ad campaigns, just like your body, have to undergo a significant period of base-building —  slowly, steadily building muscle and cardiovascular capacity (in the case of ads, awareness and familiarity) before you start to see obvious benefits.  But just because you don’t see them, it doesn’t mean these benefits aren’t accruing!  Once you’ve built that base, the results come faster and with less onerous effort.  Eventually you’ll be looking forward to more.  As most people who go through the process, and make exercise (and advertising) a regular part of their lives, will attest, the early sweat yields tangible benefits: it makes you look better, feel better, and live less stressfully.  The same applies to advertising: once your base is built, steady advertising (consistent exposure and a consistent message) will yield stead results.
Don’t: Change your approach or worse, give up, after a few weeks (or even months) because you don’t see results. As long as you’re achieving decent frequency, and your message differentiates your brand in a relevant way, you will be building a base, just like with exercise.  Once you do start to see results, don’t stop working.  Just like at the gym, you can dial down the intensity a little, but when you stop building the muscle and cardio of your brand, you’ll quickly fall ‘out of shape’ and be right back where you started – and having to go through that whole miserable ramp-up period again!

For every charming gecko, memorable slogan, or unforgettable jingle, thousands of businesses advertise very effectively by being authentic, direct, and adhering to a couple of simple ideas.  You don’t have to be a creative genius to use advertising effectively!  Here’s the first in a series of simple tips to help you decide what to say, how to say it, and where you should say it.  Focus on these practices and you’ll be off to a great start. Read more »

Posted by . In topics: Advertising · Digital Marketing · Local Search/Google · Marketing

Every month, our team of marketing, operations, and strategy professionals put their heads together to answer a reader’s question about growing his/her small business. You can click here to submit your own question, and please feel free to join this discussion by adding your comments below

Rachel H., Stamford CT

Q: My staff and I put a lot of time into our website – it has a fantastic design, includes video testimonials, detailed pages about all of the services we provide, and have a very good page of Frequently Asked Questions.  It’s so much better than our competitors’ sites that several are even starting to copy us.  I get a lot of positive feedback from customers about the site so I know it does what we want it to do.  The problem is that it doesn’t generate a lot of traffic.  But the traffic it does get results in an email to us about 20% of the time, which I understand is a very high converting level.  I have our www address on our direct mail pieces and very large print in the occasional newspaper ads that we run. I’ve had web programmers offer to do things (that I don’t fully understand) to make it show up more often in Yahoo and Google, but the bids are pretty expensive and I just don’t know if they will work.  What do you recommend? Read more »