Marketing Mayhem

Don’t interrupt clients with your messages; engage them instead

One of the biggest errors that mortgage companies make is mishandling marketing campaigns while pursuing new customers or keeping in touch with current customers.

People are getting tired of constant marketing, but there is a course of action that provides tangible results when putting together marketing campaigns to attract customers. Whether you are a retail, wholesale or correspondent lender, or a mortgage broker or insurance provider, the way you market can determine whether you secure new clients or lose them. The overriding factor that leads to success in marketing today is understanding the difference between interruption marketing and engagement marketing.

Historical perspective

To understand the differences between the two methods, you must first look at mortgage history to get a perspective on how interruption marketing became so prevalent in the first place. In the ‘80s, mortgage professionals visited Realtors and other referral sources looking to mass-market to as many clients as possible.

Loan originators distributed marketing flyers at the offices of real estate agents, financial planners and other professionals who dealt with mortgage consumers on a regular basis. They would drop them into individual mail slots or leave them on every desk in the office. At times, it seemed originators were almost doing the job of postal carriers, and just hoping that someone would read their flyers and see some value in them. In sales, however, hope is not a good thing.

Then, in the ‘90s, the industry advanced to using the new technology of the day, and started to do fax-blitz campaigns. Although the delivery method had changed, the tactics had not. This was, again, mass-marketing sent out just hoping to hit a target audience. Fast-forward to today, and the Internet has become the delivery method of choice, with e-mail blitzes or drip campaigns.

All of these variations on a theme represent interruption marketing at its best and also at its worst, because clients are never taken into consideration with any of these methods of marketing. Even with the current Internet-based strategies, originators are assuming their clients are doing nothing important and it is OK to constantly bombard them with their company’s materials and message, without ever considering that they may not like that approach. This creates what is known as “ad blindness,” and that can damage your company’s brand or identity.

Engaging interactions

If you consider the major challenges faced in selling today, the biggest issue is often that five-letter word: “price.” Why do so many people face this problem so often? The first reason is the constant use of mass-marketing, which treats clients as if they were a commodity. Second, many originators do nothing in their marketing to truly delineate why they are unique; how they stand out against the rest of the people in the industry who use the same mass-marketing approach. If you are looking for a quick hit and a transactional-style of marketing, then interruption marketing is the path to take.

On the other hand, engagement marketing offers long-term opportunities for developing a loyal customer base. With a well-crafted marketing campaign, you can identify yourself to your customers and influence them positively toward your company brand. Determine what you bring to the table that identifies your value proposition, and then your marketing campaign can be authentic and informative while delivering that message.

It also is important to have your customers help you craft your messages. Do this by gauging how much they like your marketing campaign through sales efforts as well as interactions with your field staff. The key question to answer is: “What value are your customers really willing to pay for?”

Once you establish a strong, clean and clear marketing theme, it is imperative to implement it steadily, but not too often. Overwhelming customers with too much information is detrimental in the long run. Two messages per month that offer value and substance to help your customers is a good amount of effective marketing that won’t dilute your company brand.

The real question that engagement marketing forces originators to ask is: “Whom are you sending your messages to, versus how many are you sending them to?” Consumers today are fairly tired of mass-marketing, and many carry that personal agitation over to their business feelings as well.

No one really likes being called at home in the evening after a long day at work, and no one likes spam in their email. If your company gets associated with spam messages, your reputation will suffer. Engagement marketing attempts to involve consumers in a dialogue about topics that concern them, not constantly interrupt them with high pressure sales messages.

To present the best possible marketing campaign in today’s mortgage industry, be different. When consumers perceive you as being the same as everyone else, you create a negative marketing image, diminish your brand identity and lose the loyalty of your customers. Be unique and deliver a substantive message of value and you will increase your client base with a steady hand and a great marketing campaign.