Mathias Bergendahl's Marketing Blog

Meet the New Consumer

Consumers have changed. Gone are the days when they’d be content waiting for a reply to an email for 24 hours as the previously followed general rule of email etiquiette would stipulate. Gone are the days when consumers
would wait for their Realtor® to handle their transaction independently without collaboration.

Gone also are the days when consumers would accept a carefully crafted marketing statement as the sole determining factor of why they’d hire a

Quite often we hear the catch phrase: ”consumer-centric,” but what does that really mean to consumers? What does it mean to Realtors®?

We set out to learn what today’s consumers base their decision on when hiring a Realtor® and the expectations they have when working with a professional to sell or buy a home.

Hopefully this article will help you answer this question: Are you prepared to assist the new consumer?

Click here to read the article Meet the New Consumer.

Meet the New Consumer is the November/December 2009 feature article for PROView Magazine, member magazine of the Pinellas Realtor® Organization.

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How to Effectively Lose the New Consumer through Traditional Advertising

Earlier this week I came across an ad in one of our major newspapers. A home builder offered what they advertised as great interest rates for homes in the local area. A map showed the locations of their respective communities, price indications, and how to reach them by phone. Oh, there was even a rush as the promotion would only last ten days. A website address was listed, but the font size was so small the text virtually got lost in the ad.

Curious about what I’d find I visited their website. With the mind of a marketer I anticipated an abundance of photos, virtual tours, videos, testimonials and maps. Here’s the message I found: “Complete the form to learn more about this offer.” Before I could access even the slightest of information I had to register my name and email address.

Reflecting on the ad, it struck me how so many companies – large and small – continue to rely on traditional advertising even though the climate around us has changed so dramatically. We talk about how consumers have changed, yet often I find proof that the ways to get their attention haven’t. Today’s consumers expect information instantly, and when they don’t find it, they move on somewhere else. Yet companies still withhold information in order to have prospective customers either visit a location first or call for more information. Truth is, advertisers will often receive little response to such marketing campaigns.

A traditional advertiser would say: “we need to sell homes and we want home buyers to come to our sales center first before we give them any information.”

An advertiser in tune with the way consumer preferences have changed would say: “let’s use this ad to drive traffic to our website, provide them all the information consumers would possibly want, focus on educating rather than selling, and then hear from them in the manner they prefer.”

The new consumers want all available information upfront, instantly and online without having to specifically request it. And, they want to remain anonymous until they’re ready to make contact. If they’re left unsatisfied, they’ll find it elsewhere.

The great news is that we have tools available to us that will meet the needs of the new consumer. We can upload videos, for free. We can post limitless photo albums on the Internet, for free. We have the means to convey the value we provide, for free. We can build the best resource center available for consumers, for free. We can educate consumers, for free. We can post testimonials, for free. We can access emails, and respond immediately no matter where we happen to be, inexpensively. We can make our response be automatic in case we’re not accessible, and even better, hire virtual assistants to make sure each response is handled by a live person.

Ten years ago I expected ad agencies and corporations with large ad budgets to integrate the use of the Internet, print ads, and television and radio commercials. Surprisingly, it took several years until they fully embraced the power of an integrated campaign. Now marketing executives and advertising professionals are facing the challenges of new consumer preferences and an even larger abundance of available tools. I wonder how long it will take until the traditional ads will be replaced by those meeting the expectations of the new consumer.

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