Tips For Marketing Agencies: Six Road-Tested Tips for Driving a Marketing Department

Marketing agencies worldwide can appreciate a well-driven marketing team. Read Drew Neisser’s article where marketing leaders share insights into what they feel makes their team so successful.

Drew Neisser | February 15, 2017 | AdAge

Word-of-mouth is the holy grail of marketing. Think about the last time someone made a recommendation to you, be it a restaurant, a cold remedy, or a local tailor. Chances are, you followed through and were pleasantly surprised. Because you trusted the person’s opinion, their recommendation was guaranteed to carry a certain level of quality.

The same can be said for advice from the winners of each year’s CMO Club Awards. When one of these marketing leaders gives insights into their work, you know they’re road-tested. So, today, enjoy the travel tips of Ann Davids, SVP and CMO of auto and life insurance company Direct General Insurance. As a recent Corporate Social Responsibility Award winner, Davids has a few tricks up her sleeve as to how to drive marketing down new roads, from customer service to employee buy-in. Take notes, and follow her lead. Read more

SEO Concepts

Why You Shouldn’t Base Your Content Marketing Strategy On Visitors Alone

Jason DeMers | February 10, 2017 | Forbes

Any marketer can tell you that it’s not enough to say you have a good campaign running; you have to prove it. The obvious place to look is your overall return on investment (ROI), but in content marketing, ROI is a complicated value that comprises dozens of individual variables, and some benefits that aren’t easily quantifiable, such as brand recognition. That’s why many content marketers drill down to individual metrics, like site visitors, to gauge the effectiveness of a campaign.

On the surface, visitor counts seem like a good point to measure—it tells you how many new people you’re attracting to your website, which is one of content marketing’s main goals—but is this really the  metric we should be measuring? Read more

Four Things You Can Learn About Real Estate Marketing From Bon Jovi

Being an exec in an advertising agency can sometimes be a curse. When you go home at night you can’t just “shut it off”… you see marketing and branding everywhere. But on the positive side, that means inspiration can come from just about anywhere at any time. I’m an avid music lover and concertgoer and as all my colleagues know, my favorite band is Bon Jovi. So out of professional curiosity and personal interest, I follow the band’s marketing efforts and they’re doing a lot of things right. Here are four things I learned from Bon Jovi that you can apply to your real estate marketing.

Know Your Target Audience

Early on, way back in the ‘80s, Bon Jovi realized it appealed more to women than the typical male dominated rock crowd. Jon’s good looks and power ballads made the ladies swoon. Fast forward to today and of the thousands of fans at a Bon Jovi concert, most are women. A smart marketer, Jon capitalized on his popularity with the female audience almost from the start. He knows his best…assets…and how to use them.

How is this relevant to real estate marketing? You need to know who your target audience is and how to connect with them. Like for Bon Jovi, the target audience for most homebuilders is women age 35 to 54. They tend to be the ones out looking for a new home initially. So ask yourself—are you advertising where they are? For instance, a significant percentage of “soccer moms” are on Facebook, bragging about their kids and sharing family photos. Buying paid advertising on this social medium gives you the opportunity to pinpoint exactly who you want to reach. And make sure your message resonates with your audience, as well. Talk about what is important and enticing to them, not what is important to you.

Embrace Technology

In the ‘80s at the start of Bon Jovi’s mega popularity, music videos were the new thing. The band embraced this visual medium, giving viewers at home a glimpse of their stage presence and highlighting Jon’s charisma. Being a staple on MTV contributed to the group’s early success. Now, you can follow Bon Jovi on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and see their videos on Tidal, YouTube and Vevo. You can even download the Bon Jovi app to stay up-to-date on all things Jovi related.

As a marketer, you have a variety of new technologies and media vehicles available to you that your ‘80s self couldn’t even imagine. Use them. Bring your homes to life with virtual reality. Showcase your models with 360-degree video. Capture the magnitude of your neighborhoods with drone footage. Post and share photos on Instagram. Pin decorating ideas on Pinterest boards. Be creative. Today’s real estate marketing tools go way beyond still shots of model homes and allow you to emotionally connect with home shoppers in ways you never could before.

Stay Relevant

Bon Jovi’s fans have aged along with the group. While the band still plays the classic hits in concert, they churn out new “albums” and songs that reflect the times and attitudes of today’s listeners. They rely what they know works but continue to change to stay current with what’s trending. Lyrics that related to teenagers in the ‘80s won’t resonate with middle-aged housewives now.

For real estate marketing, be open to new ideas and avenues to get your message out. Print media—newspapers, direct mail, inserts—still have a place but mobile and social are where you need to be to be seen. The online world brings creative challenges. You only have a few seconds to make an impact and viewers are bombarded with competing images all over the screen. Don’t try to give all the details in a small space. Entice the viewer to click to learn more. Then grab and keep their attention with an engaging, user-friendly website. Your home designs are different than they were 30 years ago. You’re advertising efforts should be, too.

Your Brand Has Value Beyond The Home

Bon Jovi branding now extends well beyond the music business. Several categories—from a male clothing line to pasta sauce, a football franchise to charity endeavors—have emerged that capitalize on the popularity of the group’s namesake and front man. They are not all directly tied to Bon Jovi the band’s brand, but they are indirectly associated with the Jovi name and therefore are recognizable with consumers in the target audience.

In real estate marketing, this often occurs with mortgage companies that are associated with national homebuilder and carry a similar moniker. It also can occur with sub categories of your company, such as remodeling or commercial arm. What’s most important to remember is that you want all branding associated with your core brand to portray the same level of quality and values.

As a Chicago-area advertising agency, Stevens & Tate consults with not only real estate companies but also businesses in a variety of industries to develop marketing strategies that can propel their growth. If you are considering an agency review, visit to view recent work or call (630) 627-5200 to see if Stevens & Tate is a fit for your new agency partner.


Knowing Your Audience Helps You To Increase Engagement With Your Content

Renee Yeager | Entrepreneur | January 20, 2017

It is important to know who your audience is so you can use your content to increase engagement with them. When I was working at a dotcom startup, my company was so sure we had our target audience pegged down that we drew a wall-sized portrait of a representative individual — a skateboarding male, 18-35 years old, who prefers to wear backwards hats and skater gear. All of our marketing efforts were tailored to serving this demographic, and more specifically, this person that was literally looking down at us every day.

Business was good, too. Our strategy was working. So when we partnered with a data collection company to do some simple research, we did a double take at their reports after a few months. Our audience was actually soccer moms, age 25-40, riding around in minivans with their kids. Read more

5 storytelling triggers that spur your readers to take action

Jennifer Spencer | Marketing Land | January 31, 2017

Every day, countless numbers of potential customers are walking away from buying, clicking, opting in and so on because the content creator wasted an attempt to win over their minds.

When you miss an opportunity to capture someone’s mind with your content, chances are, turning that new viewer into a return visitor are slim to none — much less trying to get them to buy something. We are creatures chained to psychological triggers. Marketing is a mind game.

So how do you win at marketing? You win at marketing by capturing someone’s mind. How is this done? The simplest way is through the use of storytelling.

I’m going to show you five things you should always remember in order to write actionable content every time. Read more

3 Reasons Email Campaigns Remain the Best Marketing Tool

Amy Osmond Cook | January 31, 2017 | Entrepreneur

I used to think that email marketing’s days were numbered. But, as a recent study from marketing technology pioneer Zeta Global and market research firm The Relevancy Group found, there’s even more value for email marketing today than in years past. Why? Mobile trends have brought new life and relevance to the dated technology.

With more and more consumers going mobile, they’re now staying connected to their personal inboxes 24/7, wherever they go. This e-commerce study, surveying 1,000 U.S. adults, found that email marketing’s value in the mobile era can be broken down to three major factors:

1. Everybody loves a bargain.

Read more

growth driven design process

Discovering The Growth-Driven Design Process

Building a new website is a big under taking for any sized business. You want to make sure that your website looks and feels the way that you imagined it would, while also having incredible content that attracts customers and keeps them coming back for more. There is no magic, one-size fits all approach to web design, but the Growth Driven Design process is a new development method that may benefit you. Read more