Online real estate marketing. Isn’t it obvious?

2 minute read

Every now and then, the internet just starts to seem too damn complicated.

You’ve got XML, search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing, pay per click, pay per action, PPM, social media, semantic web, viral, web2.0, web3.0 and even some talk of web4.0.

Oh wait; Web4.0 is already dead.

For people like real estate agents and professional communicators, people like me, sometimes you just want to go out back and put a bullet in your head rather than have to keep up with all this stuff.

(Then again, there are plenty of people who don’t keep up with it but feel very happy to spout off about it anyway. Maybe I could learn from them. Maybe I already have.)

That’s why I was so relieved to read this post on online and offline marketing, by Jack Trout. The gist of it is that a marketing strategy should above all be obvious and easy to understand.

That simplicity is one reason good online marketing strategies work so well.

It’s not as easy as just coming up with something obvious. Sometimes, it’s hard to get others to adopt your obvious online real estate marketing ideas because they don’t seem clever or surprising enough.

Trout writes that, in these situations, he gives his “evident speech”, which goes like this: “You’re right, it is evident. But if it’s evident to you it will also be evident to your customers, which is why it will work.”

According to Trout, the handbook for the Obvious Movement is only 40 pages long and was published back in 1916–about 90 years ago. It’s a slender book titled Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Businessman.

I managed to find a free download of Obvious Adams online, from the US Library of Congress. Beware. It’s a scan of the original and weighs in at 1.4 MB. Do not try this on a dial-up connection

Read it, and see what obvious ideas occur to you.

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  • Trevor Weeding
    Posted April 21, 2008 at 12:25 pm 0Likes

    It seems that any inovations in media or graphic design tend to be overdone or overused when they are first introduced.

    I’m sure we all have fond(?) memories of PowerPoint presentations from the 1990’s that went on forever and had copy flying across the screen for all directions, fades out and in, etc.

    In Newspaperland, it was the availability of full colour process printing that launched a similar frenzy of over-use. In some newspapers, the trend continues, but, thanksfully, we are slowly realising that colour is their to add impact and that the ad design and copy need to be right first and foremost.

    The web is suffering from an overdoes of creativity thanks to the ease of using the technology. If i get one more pop-up ad when I’m trying to read a news site………………………………………………

    But, before anyone starts building a website or a newspaper ad or ANY form of communication with the outside world, the strategy has to be right. It makes sense that a simple, effective strategy should be the base of any communication program.

    Then we forget all of that and get clever with the technology, huh? (bring up slide that says “Thank You for listening”, dissolve to black, fade music….)

  • Dave Platter
    Posted April 21, 2008 at 12:31 pm 0Likes

    Great points, Trevor. If you want to see, um, creativity, run amok, check out Telstra’s China site:

    Just a warning: keep your medications nearby as it may spark a seizure.

    It is true that Chinese web surfers seem to prefer to have as much info and links as possible on one page, so there are some cultural differences here. I’m sure no one would make a site for Western users like this. But I could be wrong.


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