A national broker network is crediting a 20 per cent jump in its advertising budget for a double-digit spike in business – even as new home sales slip.
“When times are tough, companies tend to retreat and cost-cut across the board,” Louie Bettio, brand champion for Mortgage Alliance, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “Advertising budgets have never been immune to that axe; however, smart marketers know that is precisely when you should increase your share of advertising voice in the marketplace.”
MAC appears to be in that number. A consumer advertising spend of $1.5M for 2011 represents a 20 per cent increase from last year. The company also enjoyed the “best August in our history,” said Bettio, “Overall we are up ‘double digits.’”
This week, in fact, marks the launch of the fall leg of that radio campaign, now in its eighth year and with MAC’s trademarked jingle at its core.
By the time the campaign wraps up in November, over 50 per cent of Canucks between 25- and 54 years old will have heard that ditty, said Bettio, billing it as a significant lead generator.
“We’ve used radio over the past eight years because it can quickly generate the reach and the all-important frequency of our messages that drive consumer traffic to the web site,” Bettio told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “Remember, this consumer target group consists of first-time homebuyers, mortgage renewers and debt consolidation prospects.”
This year’s beefier campaign mirrors those of other brokerages prepared to swim against the tide of brokers looking to trim marketing costs in the face of a possible return to recession.
It’s an understandable urge, said Ottawa broker Mike Hapke. Although, brokers should resist it.
“The success of marketing and advertising is hard to determine,” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “But, generally, good advertising is really evident in slow times, not necessarily good times. What brokers need to be focused on now is maintaining advertising and marketing efforts in this environment.”
Bettio is reiterating the advice. He’s not the only one.
Merix’s Boris Bozic and industry trainer Greg Williamson will today lead hundreds of brokers in a webinar discussion on what may be the two biggest challenges on the collective horizon – bully banks and the broker channel’s low profile. That tête-à-tête will touch on the pros and cons of any collective advertising or marketing campaign geared to helping brokers grow name recognition with consumers.
MAC is already reaping the benefits of its own targeted campaigns.
“We are seeing the dividends of our brand investment, which we aggressively began over eight years ago,” said Bettio, “As we have focused our efforts on the development of our mortgage professionals ... we will continue to be aggressive in order to become the consumer's preferred alternative for all their home financing and personal financial needs.”