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But… That’s SO Web 1.0!

January 30, 2008

Dan Green over at Bloodhound Blog understands marketing.  Well, I’m sure I’ll find some place and time to be a pain in the ass to him to, but he’s absolutely on the money with this post:

Click-throughs from a search engines are not “leads” and that’s why the NAR statistic is misleading.  Until a reader engages the author personally, the click-through is only that.

A Web site visitor that registers for free search, free reports, or free seminars is not your client.  He is a window-shopper taking home free samples.  He’s a client when he signs, and never before.

He goes on to vouch for the power of database marketing, good old fashioned email, that the Web 2.0 gurus have been telling us is dead as the proverbial doornail.  I think he’s exactly right.  Read the whole thing — it’ll be worth it.

Okay, maybe not exactly right.

I suppose if I had to pick a bone with him, it is that while he’s absolutely correct that a click is not a lead, and that a random visitor is not a client, he doesn’t soften the blow by pointing out that one should still care a great deal about generating that random traffic.  There is value in clicks, value in the random visitor.  Just not as much as some people think when they go on and on about “user experience” and “customer interaction” when they’re really talking about the random visitor.

After all, the random visitor could turn into a customer; the non-visitor never will.

Of course, you have to make the site enticing and provide value to the random visitor in the hopes that he will turn into a frequent visitor, then a regular visitor, then finally take that step and become a customer.  But first, you do have to get them to your site somehow.

I don’t think he’d disagree with me.

The real lesson from Dan’s post, I think, is to avoid getting caught up in the hype of the latest tech gimmickry.  Just because something is “old-school” doesn’t mean it’s ineffective.  Pursuing innovation for the sake of innovation is a pretty good way to lose a lot of time and money.  Connecting the marketing effort as directly as possible to the business model is a far better way.

If I were responsible for marketing for a local brokerage, I would take my entire paid search budget and spend it on doing live, in-person weekly seminars on the local real estate market instead.  The people most likely to list with me are those who already live in town.  Why not make a concerted effort to educate them on the topic they care about deeply: the value of their homes?

But Rob… that’s not even Web 1.0.  That’s like… Cro-Magnon marketing.

So?  Establishing your company, and your agents, as experts in the market conditions of your local market is a bad thing how?  Getting people to come to your office one evening to hear an objective lecture (free from all sales-pitches and smarmy sales tactics) on what’s going on nationally, regionally, and locally and meeting potential customers face to face is bad how?

It might be different for a large regional brokerage, or a national network, but the local broker will probably get more ROI on those evening lectures (cookies and soda aren’t that expensive, yo) than on any amount of money spent buying keywords on Google.


One Comment leave one →
  1. January 31, 2008 12:52 pm

    You’re right, Rob. I don’t disagree with you. And I have had my fair share of “random clicks” turn into clients.

    One not-so-obvious observation after several years of writing a Web site: leads from Google don’t have the same emotional investment in “me” as their loan officer as somebody in my database, or referred from my database.

    There’s a sense of “commodity” attached to me when I am sourced through search engines. And I’ll bet that people who telemarket for their business can probably understand (and articulate) that thought a lot better than I can as a belly-to-belly guy.

    Thanks for chiming in. Hope to see you in public sometime. 😉

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