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RISMEDIA, March 20, 2010—Connecting with today’s consumer is all about reaching out and communicating through the medium in which they are most comfortable. Here, Brian Wildermuth, Founder and President of SharperAgent discusses how you can make every communication meaningful by segmenting your marketing message and method of communication.

Brian Wildermuth
Founder & President

Over the past several months, I have read countless articles espousing that “e-mail is dead.” Many say that Facebook and Twitter are the communication mode of today and will soon be replaced by Googlewave or other such hybrid/mashed tools. The fact of the matter is, some people are so focused on looking for the next greatest thing that they are missing out on benefiting from the tools they already have right in front of them.

Ultimately, when it comes to getting your message heard, I believe in striking a balance between online and offline communication. Facebook is excellent at helping you stay visible and for growing your sphere of influence.

Twitter is great for reaching a broad and/or niche audience to demonstrate your knowledge and skill. E-mail is a cost-effective method to communicate one-on-one or one-to-many with targeted messages (i.e., an opt-in monthly e-newsletter, market updates or sharing a personal story or topic of personal interest) and is highly measurable. Direct mail is still an effective method for targeted or niche prospecting. Texting is easily the quickest response method of communication. And nothing beats an occasional personal visit or phone call to keep your relationships energized.

In a perfect world, if you want to connect with today’s consumer, you need to reach out to them in the way they want to be communicated with. To take it further, sending the right type of information (many refer to this as “value-added”) means that we have to work harder to learn our customers’ interests so that every connection we make is meaningful. The successful agent in today’s market sees the value in segmenting their contact list by group, by interest, by demographic, by specific psychographics and, last but not least, by each contact’s desired form of communication (in person, on the Web, e-mail, text, phone or direct mail). This way, the consumer is more apt to find your message more relevant and appealing.

At the end of the day, real estate agents, like most other sales professionals, are trying to get and grow long-term sustainable relationships that lead to a consistent and continual flow of business.

Unfortunately for some, the days of the quick blast e-mail or one-size-fits-all mass mailing are long gone. Similarly, shifting all your time and resources to blogging and/or social media might yield a similar lackluster result. Although it is much harder work, segmenting your marketing message and method of communication will lead to significantly better results and will set you head and shoulders above your competition.