A broker marketing game plan: three plays that lenders should insert in their broker marketing playbook are multimedia CDs, permission-based e-mail marketing and cutting-edge Web sites.

Author:Seroka, John P.
Position:Marketing
 
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AS LEAVES ON THE TREES TURN COLORS AND A CHILL ENTERS THE AIR (at least here in the Upper Midwest), thoughts of many turn to football. Being in the heart of another football season, what better analogy to use than football when tackling the subject of marketing to brokers? Believe it or not, there are actually several parallels.

The similarities begin with the fundamental need for a solid game plan. In football, as shown by the New England Patriots in last year's Super Bowl, an innovative game plan is enough to turn a good team into a great one.

Based on talent alone, the Patriots most likely would have seen their championship dreams dashed by the St. Louis Rams. But New England's strong game plan--both offensively and defensively--was enough to overcome the seeming disparity in talent and secure their place in Super Bowl history.

Likewise, lenders must devise innovative offensive and defensive marketing strategies to be successful in their marketing efforts to brokers. And just like in football, there are two main components to a good (marketing) plan: a potent offense and a strong defense. When lenders are on offense, they are looking to score a larger portion of broker originations. When they're on defense, they are protecting relationships with their existing partners.

But such a plan means something different almost every few years. Effective marketing campaigns run in cycles. What worked a few years ago may not work today.

The purpose of this article is to offer a sneak peek at a marketing playbook that suits today's business environment and to show you how to add some of the most inventive plays to your overall campaign.

The playbook

The missing elements in many lenders' playbooks revolve around technology marketing, using technology vehicles. Three specific methods that fall under this umbrella are multimedia CDs, permission-based e-mail marketing and cutting-edge Web sites.

Separately or in combination, they add depth and variety to a lender's marketing roster without replacing or overshadowing current campaigns. Basically, the addition of technology marketing is the same as a football team integrating a new free agent into an already talented and productive roster.

Until recently, lenders relied on proven traditional marketing methods (direct-mail campaigns, informational brochures, strategic product positioning, newsletters and advertisements) to promote brand names and increase market shares.

However, these traditional methods alone may no longer be sufficient to effectively tout lender brands and pave new avenues for conducting business, because technology is present at so many levels within today's business world. In a highly competitive mortgage lending market, an integrated marketing plan that includes technology is essential as lenders compete for broker originations.

Let's begin by dissecting how to integrate technology marketing into an overall marketing campaign, using a little more football lingo as we go. We'll start with the multimedia CD, move on to permission-based e-mail marketing and finish with Web site or Internet marketing, discussing the offensive and defensive elements of each. Added in are examples of how some lenders are already using these techniques to improve their broker marketing.

The plays

MULTIMEDIA CDs (DIGITAL BUSINESS CARDS)

Like a well-conceived quarterback blitz, a multimedia CD (also referred to as a digital business card) can pack a serious marketing punch. It is one of the most creative and powerful additions a lender can add to its offensive game plan, in my view. This innovative medium is comprised of a CD-ROM-type disk that can be designed to look similar to an actual standard-size business card or take another more creative shape, such as a star.

With up to 50 megabytes of memory, a digital business card can provide more information than most brochures, and goes beyond the regular outlets of marketing and advertising to promote a lender's brand and image. The CD-ROM format makes it easier to produce a dynamic...

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