ruleswineglassesbreakingThis morning I learned from Brand Channel that a Hugo Boss Model was hitchhiking around Europe. His name is Stefan Gbureck and he wrote a blog at In 16 days, using Facebook and his blog to generate buzz – Stefan became an international sensation in the fashion world. He received national media coverage and piles of industry coverage for his quest.

As a consultant to many of the largest brands in Real Estate, we are constantly urging clients to do something new and sensational. Unfortunately, we rarely win. Big brands are often conservative and apply marketing using stoic, conventional vehicles. When brands do step out of the norm – they see huge lift. Just ask Prudential Georgia how their SCVNGR hunt went. For those of you who do not know – SCVNGR is a company funded in part by Google that is trying to build a game layer over the planet. In the case of Prudential Georgia – they worked with SCVNGR and to let couples race around Atlanta finding stuff to win a $20,000 downpayment on a home. Mark Tepper of Homefinder said it was the most gratifying marketing event of his life. At the end of the game – a young couple bought a home!

One of the other marketing sensations that is wrapping the globe is a company called Groupon. Groupon is all about getting people deals on stuff – right now! It is a coupon on steroids, or social networks as the case is here. You sign up for Groupon (free), and they send you product deals via facebook and twitter, which you of course can pass along to your friends. People do not buy homes in groups, but agents do buy technology and advertising in groups. We would like to see some technology companies step up with some Grouponing type marketing at RE Technology. Get a huge discount – right now – but you must buy today.

Old way vs. new way
We hear a lot about the old way of marketing. Go to trade shows, pump up your brand, show all of its features, and try to sell it for retail. You walk away with a few sales, a hand full of business cards, and a hang over.

Perhaps the new way to market is to let people drive it. Today’s marketers may want to consider customer acquisition costs, and customer loyalty opportunities in marketing. Rather than spend $10,000+ on a booth at the NAR convention – apply $5000 of that toward discounting your product and market the cost savings to new customers using RE Technology, Social Media, and Customer Word of mouth. Think about it. Real Estate at its basic fundamental stage is driven by referrals and repeat business. Turn your customers into referral machines. Give them a discount and their friend a discount when they refer someone to you. But do it with a sense of urgency. Make it a race or a team event. Require people to use facebook and twitter to socialize your brand to get the discount. Do something new and sensational.

Here is something super cool