This striking headline comes from the excellent book “What Would Google Do?” by Jeff Jarvis.
It speaks to the reality facing most company’s marketing departments and advertising agencies – the hey day of mass market advertising typified by saturation campaigns on the 3 main media of TV, radio and print are over and replacing it is the era of the ploriferation of niche markets each appealing to a unique targeted group of individuals.
This new landscape which is the web; is where people’s attention is going and with it should be, those companies wanting to talk to these highly targeted audience groups. The trouble is the uptake is slow and the creativity (of targeting) poor.
The latest figures released by the NZ Interactive Advertising Bureau showed that in the 1st 3 months of 2009 $49.26m was spent online an 8% increase on last year. Now put this in the context of the advertising world at large which is being pummelled by the dual impact of the great recession and fast declining readership / viewership.
This makes the online story all the more relevant, especially when you see that the latest data from newspapers showed that they suffering as the largest casualty in the advertising war with an 8% fall.
When it comes to real estate – this industry still seems hell bent on hanging on to newspaper advertising as the lion’s share of spend.
It is only now really taking babys steps towards online for marketing properties, a cautious estimate would put total real estate advertising spend online at around $8m per annum, which would amount to not much more than 7% of the total spend. This despite the fact that 80% of buyers use the web as the #1 source of property information.
The web is the powerhouse of lead generation for real estate. The famous quote from Sami Inkinen highlighted last year is worth repeating:
“I can’t find a single large real estate brokerage firm in 2007 that says print advertising really works….but I can easily name dozens who still spend the majority of their ad budgets on newspapers. It’s like a chain smoker battling lung cancer, while still smoking two packs a day.”
This quote is very reflective of a quote from Jeff Jarvis’s book:
“Advertisers, addicted to one-stop shopping, still spend huge budgets on TV that are way out of proportion to the time the audience spends there versus the time we now spend on the internet. That can’t last forever. Soon, agencies will have to work for a living. Instead of reflexivily buying slots on primetime TV, they will need to put together networks of smaller media with smaller audiences that add up to a critical mass, This approach is harder but more targeted and more efficient. Why advertise diapers on a show I watch – next to my teenage kids – when instead Pamapers can now advertise on mommy blogs?”
How the behaviour of the real estate industry mirrors the approach of advertisers!
I still remain staggered by how easily real estate agents gravitate in a classic reflex manner to print media for advertising listings with no objective data that says this property was seen by x number of people over the parts y number of days.
Compare this to the data on a listing on realestate.co.nz – and as an example have a look at this one – it has been on the market more than a month and in recent weeks has been seen by around 50 people a week, but over the past 10 days when as part of premium featured listings the property has been viewed on average just over 100 times per day. This high profile featuring costs far less than the price of a half page advert for 1 day in newspapers or magazines – our offer is for 14 days – 24 hrs per day!
Could you ask the property magazine or a weekend paper to be able to demonstrate such performance? – you could ask! – but would they be able to provide such information – no!
All they can tell you is that the paper (in total) is read by over x thousand people – that statistics being from a survey undertaken by a research sample some 9 months ago!
It is time for the real estate industry at large to wake up to the power of the web to radically change the landscape of property advertising, especially as it is often the seller of the properrty that actuall pays for that full page advert in the property paper section having been recommended by the selling agent!