Top-of-Mind Awareness, and its Importance to Real Estate Agents
What is the ultimate goal of marketing? (No cheating by looking at … well, the title of this article.)
A lot of people don’t understand marketing as a discipline, service, or career. One of the reasons the definition is so nebulous is because people don’t understand what the ultimate goal of marketing even is.
So what is the ultimate goal of marketing? For a real estate agent, or anyone else?
Is it to make a sale? Kind of, yes. But that’s not it.
Is the point of marketing to generate leads? The contact info of interested people that the sales team can reach out to in search of sales? Leads are amazing, but lead-generation is actually a separate skillset. It doesn’t get at the ultimate goal of marketing.
Let me put an end to the suspense. The point of marketing is to create top of mind awareness.
Why is top-of-mind awareness so important? Becoming “top-of-mind” is the more important marketing goal compared to making sales or generating leads because if you achieve top-of-mind awareness, it becomes much easier to make sales or generate leads. People come to you; they wouldn’t even think of choosing another real estate agent.
To demonstrate, let us do a thought experiment. Try to follow the instructions below, in bold, without pausing or thinking about it too much…
Quick! Think of a fast-food restaurant!
What brand did you think of? I’m going to take a wild guess that it wasn’t El Pollo Loco.
Maybe you thought of In N’ Out if you’re from California.
But it was probably the Golden Arches … because McDonald’s is a marketing juggernaut. It spends over $400 million annually, carpet-bombing every undefended surface with commercials, banners, ads, and branding.
You can probably think of the jingles, the slogans, the Big Mac ingredients, even if you wouldn’t be caught dead within a mile of a Mickey D’s. “Dah dat dah DA daaahhhh … I’m Lovin’ It!” Or, depending on how old you are, “Good Times, Great Taste!”
Even if you’re one of those Californians who thought of In N’ Out, you probably know that “That’s What a Hamburger’s All About!” (Cue earworm jingle music.)
Want to play again? Get ready…
Quick! Think of a cell phone brand!
What did you think of? I’ll bet you money that you thought of the make and model of cell phone in your pocket, or your purse, or in your hand as you read this article on its screen. iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel … whichever one you’re packing, that’s probably top-of-mind.
Depending on how you interpreted the question, you might have also thought of AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint … again, whichever service you use.
The first brand you thought of, in both of these experiments … Those are the brands that are top-of-mind for you.
It doesn’t have to be a national brand, either. What if someone asked you:
- “Hey, can you recommend an interior designer?”
- “Hey, can you recommend a roofer?”
- “Hey, can you recommend a dentist?”
Who, for you, would be top-of-mind in response to those questions? Someone you know personally, or have hired in the past? Probably. But what if it was someone who had invested in marketing? Who had invested in placing themselves top-of-mind in your brain?
What if someone who was a stranger to you asked the question to someone in your network— “Can you recommend a good real estate agent?” Assume you aren’t there to advocate for yourself—all you have going for you is that the respondent has heard of you. Would you be top-of-mind? Would they recommend you? Would it even occur to them to recommend someone else?
Familiarity breeds trust. If I were shopping for a TV in an electronics store and two TVs look identical, but one is a Samsung, the other is a TCL. Which am I more likely to choose? Samsung, because I have never heard of TCL and don’t know if it’s reliable. I might even pay more for the Samsung because I know the brand name, and to know is to trust.
The challenge for local or regional real estate agents is that they don’t have the nine-figure budgets of a McDonalds or a Samsung, yet still try to do it and end up wasting a lot of time, money, and effort.
There is one way to do this, and even better costs only a few dollars a day to accomplish.
It’s called re-targeting, something I call Follow Up Ads and I’m teaching agents all about it here: https://LinkU.ws/followuptraining
If you want to learn how you can establish top of mind, create a celebrity-like image and brand with as little time, effort, and money as possible, then you won’t want to miss this training.