A Killer, Hyper-Targeted, Local Marketing Campaign ... and Its Only Kryptonite

If you focus too much on broadening your reach, you might be missing out on prime marketing real estate.

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By Shaun Buck

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I was recently in the process of selling a rental house I own, so I was on the lookout for a real estate agent. The market is super-hot in Boise, Idaho right now, and this was a house I didn't want to keep as a rental (it's a little too nice). In the process of looking for an agent, my wife brought to my attention a real estate agent who built her expertise by positioning herself as the realtor for that subdivision.

Each month this agent posts to the Facebook group for the subdivision, and mails out postcards about the homes that have sold, including their asking and selling prices. She talks about being a neighborhood specialist, and frankly, she is doing everything right to generate listings in this neighborhood. Through hyper-targeted marketing, she is making sure the residents know and trust her expertise. Although I don't know for sure, my suspicion is she is actually listing quite a few houses in this neighborhood, because the message she conveys is that all she does is focus on listings in this neighborhood.

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But, I know her secret. She does this local "specialized" neighborhood marketing to many of the subdivisions in my city. I know this because I get similar marketing from her at the house I live in now ... in a different subdivision than my rental. She changes out the stats and uses some variable data for the name of the subdivision, but the nuts and bolts of the marketing is identical.

As a guy who loves marketing, I have to say that, for the most part, what she's doing is impressive. I have little doubt she's very successful with it. I am surprised more people in the area haven't copied her -- but then again, most people aren't familiar with variable data or don't want to take the time to figure it out, so that shouldn't surprise me much.

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Hyper-targeting is killing it!

If you're not a real estate agent, that's okay, because you can also create a hyper-targeted local campaign. You can create postcards that use variable data to mention you're the go-to dentist, lawyer or financial adviser for the neighborhood of your choosing.

You can join the Facebook groups of these neighborhoods and make helpful posts, building your brand image and elevating your expertise all the while. You can easily create a community event for a neighborhood and bring everyone out for a good time while you lead generate.

You could even gather up several other people who service the neighborhood and split the cost of a newsletter to all the homeowners. We're seeing more and more of this for mass mailers.

There are a lot of options for you, and when you get hyper-targeted with local marketing, and the neighborhood feels like you specialize in their area, you end up getting more business in the neighborhood. This gets more people talking, which can create more referrals and then increase the number of customers you have in the neighborhood until you basically "own" that subdivision.

Now all you have to do is rinse and repeat.

Related: This 14-Year-Old Founder Explains How to Market to Teenagers on Social Media

Relationships always trump marketing.

This agent did many things right, but she did two things very wrong. First, her numbers were off more than once in the info she was sending me. The issues weren't major, but I'm a numbers guy, and it bothered me. The second challenge she had no control over, and here's why.

I have an associate, a broker, whom I've casually known for seven or eight years now. Because of our long-standing relationship, I chose to go with the person I've known for many years over the specialist for my area, whom I just met. Overcoming a multi year relationship with marketing alone is a near insurmountable task. She made sure I knew about her, but I had no reason to like her or prefer her over my own personal connection with my broker.

This is why building that relationship is so important, and why you need to make sure you are getting personal in your articles and other content.

You see, the final challenge she couldn't overcome was my relationship with another service provider. And while she may not have control over my relationships, she could have done more to add personal touches and build relationships with her marketing. This is a step that should never be overlooked.

Shaun Buck

Entrepreneur, Speaker, Author, & CEO of The Newsletter Pro

Shaun Buck is the co-author of No B.S. Guide to Maximum Referrals and Customer Retention (Entrepreneur Press, March 2016) as well as CEO of Boise, Idaho-based The Newsletter Pro, the largest custom print newsletter company in the world—printing and mailing millions of newsletters annually for diverse industries all over the globe.

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