Marketing Communications that Make the Bull’s-eye

Principal Consultant , David Allison Inc.
  • Feb. 10, 2011

One of the potential problems with the new world of marketing communications is that everyone can use online and offline channels to broadcast countless product stories ad infinitum to millions of people who may or may not be listening. As a real estate developer, you need to help your prospects and potential homebuyers remember the important parts of your project’s brand story, and therefore improve your brand value, by sharpening your focus.

It’s great to offer stories to promote yourself but, remember, in marketing communications, moderation is key. Select one story at a time, and plan which story you’re going to tell first. Talk about the most important stories more than once, just to make sure they are truly absorbed and understood.

Rank order your stories, and clump them into themes.

If you can determine three or four broad themes, you can use these as touchstones, and build all your marketing materials from there. The home page of your website can be designed to highlight these three key themes, with a button to click that takes you to all the places on the website where these themes are elaborated. It works offline too.

Let’s say one of the primary themes for your real estate development is location. Perhaps the building site is bordered on one side by a park, and on the other sides by emerging, appealing neighbourhoods. Location is a bigger story, in this hypothetical situation, because it’s not just about a desirable street address, but all the goodness adjacent to the plot of land.

On your home page, you could have a ‘location story’ button that leads deeper into the site where visitors can read about the park, see maps of the amenities available in the adjacent neighbourhood, look at demographic statistics for each community, and even meet some of the local merchants through the magic of video.

Avoid overwhelming

An approach like this takes what could have been six or ten stories, all of which are important, and groups them under the theme of location. The attribute of ‘location’ has been glued to your brand, and the potential risk of overwhelming your audience with too much information at once has been eliminated.

Take the same approach with print materials and with the way information is presented in your sales centre, and the way stories are filed and tagged in your social media programs.

Your three main themes might become the three first sections of your brochure, or three story stations in your presentation centre. Perhaps photos on your Flickr site are filed in three different folders. If you are still using direct mail, you could consider three mailings, spaced a week or more apart, each focused on one key theme. Three radio commercials. A series of three print ads. And so on. Before you know it, you have three very broad story themes inextricably linked to your project, and you�ve made it easy for homebuyers to know what to think about you.

It�s a simple technique, but a surefire way to make sure the stories you want to tell about your project are easy to find, easy to consume and easy to remember.


David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

Read more

David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

Read more





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