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06/05/2009 The Lazy Marketer

I don’t know why I’m still surprised when I get this type of lazy, impersonal marketing, but I am. You’d think with a tough market you’d see a little more imagination and personalization. It’s too bad this person didn’t show up at our social media event this week.

This week I found this in my snail mailbox: a letter from a local realtor representing a buyer. Nothing wrong with that.

The letter starts: “Dear Mr. and Mrs. Seller.”

Um, excuse me; you know my name since you already printed out mailing labels on the envelope. Mr. and Mrs. Seller. Wrong and wrong again. Then it asked if I was ready to sell my town house, because there was a buyer ready and waiting.

Only problem is: I don’t own a townhouse in my neighborhood. I did, once, but the letter came to my current house, not my old one. [You can read the letter here]

Op1 This letter reminded me of a great passage from a Dashiell Hammett book with the Continental Op (I’m a big Hammett and Chandler fan). The Op is waiting in a bar and he reads a sign that says:

“Only Genuine Pre-War American and British Whiskeys Served Here.” He starts to count how many lies are in those nine words, makes it to four, before he something interrupts him.

That’s what this letter felt like. Someone treating me impersonally and wasting my time with something that had nothing to do with me. The realtor did sign the letter, though, as if her signature would show how much she cared.

Compare it with what C.C Chapman and Todd Defren talked about this week. Find out who your audience is, find out what they care about and talk to them in a personal way. There are lots of things this realtor could have done to target her limited audience. She could have walked around three loops with fresh baked cookies and introduced herself. She could have targeted just the townhouse owners with some great advice on improving their houses to sell in a down market.

Yes her client is the buyer, but Edie doesn’t make any money unless she brokers the deal. And to do that, she needs the owners.

Instead she carpet-bombed innocent civilians in a lazy marketing campaign.

Come on, Edie, you can do better next time.


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