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Being True to Your Brand Online

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RISMEDIA, October 10, 2009—Making good marketing decisions is one key way to stay successful in today’s real estate market. While the online world has opened a new venue of opportunity for marketers everywhere, it is critical to know how to target the right audience with the right message. Here, Wendy Purvey, Senior Vice President, Marketing with Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC shares three simple—but vital steps—that will help you achieve more targeted results with less effort.

Wendy Purvey

Senior Vice President, Marketing

Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC

www.sothebysrealty.com

The online world has opened up a universe of opportunity for marketers everywhere—most especially in real estate, where it is possible to make more impressions, more often, to more people. For years, doing “more” has been real estate’s marketing motto and the online space provides the perfect breeding ground for that philosophy. But what about doing less and getting more?

In any medium, making a good marketing decision means choosing the right partners to target the right audience with the right message. Why should the online space be any different? Staying true to your marketing message in an overcrowded venue is tough to accomplish but critical for long-term success.

Following these three simple—but vital—steps will help you achieve more targeted results with less effort:

1) Walk in their shoes: Understand your target audience, what they do and why they do it. Once you identify your target audience, you have to understand them so completely that you know what their motivations are: Where do they go online? What are they searching for? What websites do they visit daily? Do they research online before they buy a home, and if so, where are they looking and what is important to them to know?

At the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand we focus on targeting those we describe as the connoisseurs of life: consumers who seek more than just a location—they desire peerless amenities and property features that meet the strong demands of their lifestyles. So it is our job to know what amenities they want and why they want them, as well as how their lifestyles play a role in their real estate choices.

2) Choose the right partners: Once you know who your target audience is, be precise about how you reach them. One of the most effective ways to do this is with the help of like-minded partners that align with your brand strategy. For example, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand this year began a collaboration with The Wall Street Journal to host a microsite called The Business of Extraordinary Living on the publication’s website at www.wsj.com/sothebysrealty. Our collective goal was to provide relevant and timely content that presents the many values of real estate as a long-term investment and to showcase unique properties from across our worldwide network. We chose to partner with The Wall Street Journal because their readers look to this resource for its insights into the global financial and economic landscape and we can offer this highly targeted user our unique perspective on real estate.

As well, our brand has chosen to partner with Architectural Digest on the launch of their exciting new ShopAD program, an original portal to see, source and buy the best in design. The site launched last month with more than 20,000 high-quality products, such as furniture, lighting, carpets, accessories and the largest collection of textiles from leading manufacturers on the Web. ShopAD truly is unique in its space, and through this exclusive relationship, we are showcasing our brand to a key audience.

By incorporating relationships with like-minded partners such as these into our overall marketing strategy, we have reached a very precise consumer base and saw unique visitors to our website, www.sothebysrealty.com, increase by 26% year over year.

3) Be true to your company’s vision: You can only maintain your image by being careful with where you choose to be and remaining consistent with the building blocks that are at the foundation of your brand. Whether print or online, you must position your company consistently. Your message to consumers should never change.

When all is said and done, it is well-defined companies that help shape the way consumers think and feel about a business even before they walk in the door, respond to an advertisement or experience it online.

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