NEWSPAPER READERSHIP is going down, but have papers lowered their advertising rates? That by itself should make marketing executives think about how to allocate their marketing budgets. “Every publisher is caught up in protecting an outdated media,” says real estate marketing guru Dave Miles, president of Denver-based Milesbrand. “They raise prices every year without delivering more value. Even though they have real, quantifiable data from third-party research to prove that people interested in real estate look at the newspaper and the Internet for information, they fail to acknowledge that they simply are out of touch with the new consumer and how they interact with media. But more than anything else, they have forgotten who the customer is—builders and developers—and they treat them disrespectfully by grossly overcharging for what they have to offer.”
Combine all of this with the knowledge that most of today's buyers do their research online, and it's a recipe for a shift in advertising spending. Everything points to driving customers to your Web site. Jimmy Dunnett, Atlanta district sales manager for Duluth, Ga.–based Bowen Family Homes, says his money will be going to billboards and search engines, plus a staff person to manage Internet leads.