Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Insanity Approach to Advertising

There was a time, not so long ago, when pretty much all anybody had to do to sell condominiums in Washington was set up a card table on a sidewalk and take orders.

Any fool could sell a condominium. And did.

Condominiums aren’t so easy to sell anymore. But some in the real estate industry – and their marketing firms – seem to have taken that definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result as a positive guideline for success. Because not a lot has changed that I can see. It’s all the same stuff – except maybe louder. Running a bigger ad is no substitute for running a better one or for taking a different approach altogether.

There are still lots of small-space builder ads mixed in amongst all the rest of the small-space builder ads in the real estate section saying all the same things as before – which are the same things as everybody else. People are still spending too much money on expensive brochures but not putting enough effort into getting the right people to come in and ask for a brochure.

It’s all about selling now – not just announcing. You have to do more than blow most of the client’s budget on an award-winning collateral piece. And any ads that you do have need to look and work like something other than all the rest of the condominium ads out there.

Maybe you need to look at a more integrated or even (gasp) non-traditional approach.

Now and again we hear that this project isn’t selling or that project is in trouble, but when we look to see what they are doing about it we usually see one of two things – more of whatever they were doing before or a lot of whatever everybody else is doing.

It’s the insanity approach.

No comments: