Thursday, April 28, 2011

Social Networking and "Unmarketing"

Whether you like them, participate on one or think they are just a fad, social networking sites are here to stay.  As with other aspects of the Internet, social networking is having a profound impact on not just the personal aspect of our lives, but also on business as well.  Go to many commercial or corporate websites and icons for Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites are popping up all over and for good reason as many of these sites have hundreds of millions of participants.
 Last week I participated in a webinar with a chap named Scott Stratten who has authored a book titled "Unmarketing."  Scott speaks with authority about how to market to today's consumer and has 86,000 followers on Twitter.  As with other studies I have read, marketing is no longer about screaming a message to the world about your product(s) and or service(s).  It's about engaging and developing a relationship with consumers, sharing your expertise in a subtle way, providing them with information that is beneficial to them and without obligation, thus creating an image, brand or reputation for yourself long before you ever meet your readers or followers should that day ever come.
  According to Mr. Stratten, one of the fastest growing demographics on social networking sites are those individuals that are 50 plus.  In contrast to this, a study conducted by The American Affluence Research Center found that more than half of the U.S. affluent say they do not participate in any type of social media.  You would perhaps think that the affluent would be those in the 50 plus age range but not necessarily so.  Many of today's wealthy are younger, having made their money in a technology, financial or other field(s).  The U.S. ranks third in terms of smartphone usage with 91% or in excess of 284 million Americans owning an iPhone, Blackberry or similar device thus enabling them to access the Internet and or share information and data on-the-fly.  A phone is no longer a phone in the traditional sense.
  In terms of real estate, many of us engaged in the profession are turning more and more to "unmarketing."  According to Mr. Stratten the only person that cares about our picture on a business card, For Sale sign, bus bench or elsewhere is ourselves and I couldn't agree more.  If you are in business for yourself as am I, the only thing to think about is your client(s) or potential client(s).  If it is not going to be of benefit or value to them, don't do it!  Too many marketing initiatives today are all about self gratification with REALTORS® and other commissioned salespersons perhaps being the guiltiest of all. In the new age of marketing and PR "Unmarketing" will win you more points with consumers but that in itself will be a hard sell with many that are mired in the old way of doing things 

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.