Traditional Marketing Methods Still Work – With the Right Messaging

Filed in 55+ Housing, Business Management by on July 2, 2015 0 Comments

While websites and online advertising are the focal point of many marketing campaigns today, traditional media such as radio and TV can be very effective in driving prospective buyers to your website and your community.

Traditional media (i.e., television, print newspaper and radio) are worth considering as part of your annual marketing campaign even if you’re not in a major media cosmopolitan area, or have a 500-home community to sell. By doing your research, you can develop the right message to run on the best stations and, by carefully tracking the results, you could be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Here are some good guidelines to follow:

  • Select the right message for your listening or viewing audience.
  • Select the best stations using Ranker reports. You can target the programs or time periods for each station to best reach your audience.
  • Make your ads different and memorable to stand out from other broadcast noise.
  • Measure the results of your media buys with website tracking tools to see what is producing the best results. Then adjust your schedules accordingly.

Ron Bonvie, developer and builder of Southport, an award-winning community for the 55+ population in Cape Cod, Mass., is a great example of how to put these guidelines into action and maximize the return on investment for a project.

Three years ago, Bonvie and his team began carefully selecting stations in its market that appealed to adults aged 55 to 74. But instead of typical radio ads promoting the homes and amenities, they enlisted notable — and credible — on-air personalities to visit Southport, meet home owners, tour the models and the 32,000-sq.ft. clubhouse and the award-winning sales center, and experience first-hand what Southport is really like.

“When respected media personalities do live reads on the radio and comment on how they’ve actually been to a community, toured the models, played the golf course and met the builder and many home owners, they are more inclined to influence their listeners to actually visit the community and see for themselves what the excitement is all about,” Bonvie said.


Hyannisport at Southport in Cape Cod, Mass.

And the quality of the leads driven by this type of advertising is exceptionally strong. The numbers bear this out. Prior to using radio or TV, most of Southport’s advertising focused on direct mail and print media. Most buyers spent four to 12 months — sometimes 18 months — from their first visit to the time they reserved a new home. Today, most prospects reserve within one to 10 weeks from the date of their first visit, especially if they have also been to Southport’s website.

Another factor that helps maximize the ROI for radio and TV advertising is special events at Southport featuring media personalities.

Broadcaster Dan Rhea of WBZ News Radio twice selected Southport’s 400-seat grand ballroom as a broadcast location. The pre-event publicity and the post-event videos of the discussions on WBZ’s website provided exposure for Southport that far exceeded Bonvie’s expectations.

Another radio-related event, Southport Golf Day with Loren and Wally and the WROR Morning Team, gave prospective buyers a chance to golf and mingle with these well-known on-air personalities. By the end of the day,  two buyers reserved homes. A popular fashion show promoted by OCEAN 104.7FM, a popular easy-listening radio station, also produced several buyers.

“Radio and TV have been a great addition to our marketing campaign,” Bonvie said. “Because we can use the analysis of our website activity and track our results from radio and TV, we have significantly reduced the time people have been taking to make their decision to move. I believe the investment has been a great decision.”


This is an adaptation of a feature story that originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of the 55+ Housing online magazine. 


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