Online marketing has many manifestations and untold definitions, ranging from a precise set of terms and deliverable services to an ever-changing (and increasingly expensive) collection of features.
But online marketing is meaningless without a personalized, targeted campaign that resonates with individuals on an emotional level, where the words register as points of clarity and trust, and the images and design – the whole identity and look-and-feel of a site – communicate a message of distinction.
Put a different way, online marketing is nothing of the sort without that personal connection, where a business professional can express their strengths, highlight their successes and attract new clients. That principle is the difference between achievement and anonymity, and credibility and illegitimacy.
Everything, and here I appeal to real estate professionals (more about below) in major cities like Manhattan and Miami, depends on this union between marketing and technological innovation; the broadcast of a singular voice of influence and importance requires the interactive style and customized approach of experts, period.
As the President of StormRE, where I counsel and devise marketing strategies for high-end residential real estate agents, there is an overriding theme to my work that also applies to executives in any industry. That rule, as described above, involves the intelligent use of new tools to create an online experience of unmistakable quality, on behalf of a professional of undeniable talent.
Accomplishing that goal requires collaboration and a shared purpose about the use of online marketing. For, if we are to move beyond the static and generic interpretation of this concept – if we are to embrace three-dimensional imaging to showcase a property, or stage a virtual walk-through of a residence – then we must abandon the cut-and-paste approach of communications in general and individual promotions in particular.
Again, I offer these words from experience with the understanding that, in hyper-competitive industries and cities, personalization is essential and inseparable from professional success.
For example: The real estate agent who has a distinguished career, for someone who exudes charisma and captivates an audience, that individual must have an online corollary that is powerful and convincingly their own. That, and that alone, is the critical variable concerning online marketing and the ability to convert code into an intelligible language of persuasion, education and empowerment.
Remember, too, that technology is a resource, not a solution. Meaning: Technology can aid this undertaking – it can expedite messaging and accelerate the exchange of ideas – but it is not a replacement for personalized branding.
Character Counts: Conveying a Message of Clarity for Business Success
Executives in other businesses can emulate these tactics – indeed, they have every reason to do so – because the best brands are the most personal, in the loyalty they command, the word-of-mouth marketing they elicit and the sales they generate. Creating that sense of intimacy is an investment in providing a quality good or service, complemented by superb messaging and innovative technology.
This assignment also includes a series of acts of omission, the avoidance of using generic content and dated software to launch an online extension of someone's quite personal beliefs and actions. In other words, if companies want to have this bond with the public – an invaluable asset of integrity and incalculable prestige – then they must perform the necessary work of assembling and debuting an online marketing campaign of unrivaled significance.
Real estate agents appreciate this emphasis on character because their success depends on the sincerity of their statements and the effectiveness of their marketing. They must personalize everything, or they will be unable to accomplish anything.
My advice to all companies is the same as my counsel to all real estate agents: Know who you are, so you can describe what you believe, for the good of those who need what you do.
Let your personality guide you, while your online marketing strengthens you. The combination of the two represents the seamless integration of storytelling, which is the foundation of communications, and sales – with the signature style only experts can fulfill.
Those rewards can accrue to any business, and benefit any executive, provided the messaging is sound, the technology is right, the design is sensational and the end-result is remarkable.
Odd Einar is the President of StormRE, an award-winning real estate marketing firm.