Century 21 shifts its marketing focus to social media to re-enter the conversation

One of the country’s largest real estate brokers has made a very public and specific shift to social media marketing at the expense of mass TV advertising.

Century 21 recently launched a Communities feature on its web site that is the hub of their social media strategy.

According to C21’s top marketing exec Bev Thorne, the focus is on leveraging the connectedness and interaction of social media to advance their marketing goals.

“We developed C21 Communities with the goal of opening up an online conversation with the consumer,” said Thorne. “Just as CENTURY 21 was the first national real estate franchise to advertise on television, we will continue to take a leadership position as we expand our capabilities in the social media space.”

Traditional marketing is 1-way, social marketing is 2-way. C21 is heading into this with the right focus — the devil will be in the execution, as it always is.

A link to an AdAge story about the shift:

At Century 21 Real Estate, Social Media Is the New TV – Advertising Age – CMO Strategy.

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e-Marketer ran a brief item the other day showing which media sources consumers around the world trusted.

Globally, the most trusted information source was friends, with 42% of those surveyed saying that they trusted word-of-mouth recommendations. About an equal number trusted TV news (41%), online news (40%) and newspapers (39%).

Given that the majority of online news is derived from traditional media sources (or a service like AP), a startling brand transference has occurred where the distributor of information has a more trusted brand than the creator of that information.

Most Trusted* Media According to Internet Users in Select Countries in Canada and the US, 2008 (% of respondents)

(I’d guess that the relative vitality of internet media versus traditional media imputes a greater degree of credibility to the internet. After all, I’m more inclined to believe a healthy person than a sickly person when they recommend a restaurant.)

On another note, look at the least trusted source of information: bloggers. So, while millions of people are reading millions of blogs, it is with a skeptical eye.

via Does Anyone Trust the Media? – eMarketer.