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.
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.
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 www.stevens-tate.com to view recent work or call (630) 627-5200 to see if Stevens & Tate is a fit for your new agency partner.
With 20 years of advertising and PR experience, Debbie Szwast understands the multifaceted nature of marketing. A true believer in the art of communication, she acquired an MBA in marketing and a Master’s degree in writing. Today, she calls on the knowledge she has gained over the past two decades to formulate big-picture strategies and execute comprehensive marketing plans for clients across the country.