Coldwell Banker has been doing some of the best marketing in the real estate business over the past few years, with innovative advertising campaigns that, among other things, have tied into the domestic appeal of dogs and the often-overlooked factor of kids’ views of family moves.
Senior vice president of marketing David Marine has been overseeing the Coldwell Banker brand as part of his 15-year career as a marketer for the company. He has focused not only on innovative ad campaigns but also on elevating Coldwell Banker’s digital footprint and spurring content and video creation, which garner millions of readers and social engagements every year.
“Video has been a foundation element for us for the past six or seven years,” Marine told brandchannel. “It’s always a component.”
Marine talked with brandchannel about promoting the Coldwell Banker brand, about real estate advertising and marketing in general.
You’ve done some remarkable ads featuring dogs, and the human-canine relationship focused on the home. Are you sticking with the pups in 2019?
Our 2017 ad “Somebody to Love” was the top-rated real estate ad that year. In 2018, we followed up with “Old Dog, New Dog.” It was the second-highest-rated real estate ad of all time, according to Ace Metrix.
We are inspired by pet adoption events with Adopt-a-Pet.com. We created this ad as a way to pay homage to the organization and what it is doing. This year we had our largest participation in pet adoption events across the country. It’s really become part of our culture now. We’re absolutely going to continue to develop that in 2019.
What is Coldwell Banker’s thinking about social positioning?
Research shows that millennials want to associate with brands that stand for something, and reflect their personal causes as well. They’ve reacted very well to our dog adoption partnership.
And female millennials reacted extremely well not only to our dogs campaign but also our “Hoops” campaign tied into March Madness this year. [The ad featured a sad kid looking at a house with his mom and the Coldwell Banker agent telling him that there was good room for a basketball hoop on the driveway; the family moves in, and the boy has instant friends playing basketball with him.]
Stereotypically, companies believe they should go after the male audience with ads during March Madness. But we care about who the people are; it’s not just a transaction. The “Hoops” ad is about moving with a child—no one had done a campaign around moving from the kid’s point of view. That’s what really connected from the emotional side of things.
in general, the US housing market seems be cooling down. How does that affect your marketing?
I can’t predict what the market is going to do. But the great part of being in charge of marketing for this 112-year-old brand is that we’ve stood the test of time, every twist and downturn, and we’re prepared for it. We’ll be strong for the next 100 years as well. And we have some of the largest operators in the country, and they’re prepared for whatever market swings might happen. You have to adjust to conditions and the messaging for the marketing today.
You’ve identified some trends that expect to see in 2019. Can you give us an example?
Vocal marketing is one of them. Word-of-mouth marketing is transitioning today to focus on how a brand is heard and how it communicates through voice. Podcasts have become a mainstay thing—we’ll be looking at more podcasting in 2019.
What are some other trends do you anticipate?
In addition to vocal marketing there are two other “V” trends: visual search and video.
Visual search has gained a lot of momentum from social applications. It feels like real estate invented visual search when we came out with the first national website 20 years ago. So we’re considering how our creative is standing out and making sure it is top notch. What is going to make someone stop and look? How are we incorporating text and movement into our videos?
And many marketers are looking at ways to bring video production in house. Our in-house video production operations include a makeshift studio, which has allowed us to make video the core of our marketing efforts. It also enables us to create quick content on the fly without having to spend a ton of money. That allows us to be a bit renegade in our video production efforts, such as our “Home of the Week” series.
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