I remember years ago when anti-smoking and healthy living were not the forefront of community concerns, businesses handed out cigarette lighters, ashtrays, whisky short-glasses, wine cooler bags, wine openers and globular brandy glasses with their company name or logo boldly emblazoned. Indeed these were and to some extent, still are clever marketing paraphernalia because they offer some use to the recipient.
Beyond the voluminous fridge magnet calendars and business cards, paper weights and golf balls, some real estate agents provide periodic brochures of their current sales listing to potential clients via mailbox drops. These brochures may be useful if the reader is in the market to buy or sell their property. For the majority, these brochures end up in the bin or worse still, carelessly strewn all over apartment complexes with poor strata management practices. Indeed, mailbox drops which offer products and services such as pizza, take-away Thai, $5 – haircuts, manicures, spas, tax returns, house cleaning, baby-sitting, plumbing, electrician, landscaping, lawn-mowing, pool cleaning, hedge-cutting, tree-lopping and the chance to make $5,000 a week by making a few phone calls are hit and miss strategies where a rate of more than 1% hit would be deemed a success. These marketing strategies are not only environmentally unfriendly, their returns on valuable business resources are extremely low.
To ensure the biggest bang for their marketing dollar, real estate agents are becoming very savvy in their marketing strategies. One of these strategies is to have a genuine and caring concern for their local community, that is, a supportive and giving attitude to local activities such as charities and sponsorships. Founded by Tracy Yap, Tracy Yap Realty in Epping is one such organisation where environmentally-friendly show bags containing, tri-colour pens, rulers and notepads are handed out during the Epping street Fair which have been found useful by the Sydney’s Children hospital, local schools and students who are sitting for their HSC exams.
Marketing and business development opportunities arise whenever and wherever we can creatively use our imagination. This imagination should be fuelled by a customer-focused attitude to provide a genuine service and value to our clients. In a competitive business environment today, businesses are increasingly aware of this attitude and have began to engage and involve their business communities in a more holistic and inclusive manner. Being involved in the development of our children and their future, supporting worthy causes such as breast cancer, not-for-profit organisations involved in health, education, social services and environmental issues can only do more good for our communities. Marketing efforts and business resources directed toward these causes can and should expect greater returns.