Economy Down, Revenue Up
First Mortgage Solutions, a mortgage broker and lender founded in 2007, calls Kansas City, Missouri, home. While First Mortgage Solutions started right as the housing market began crumbling, it was able to grow and even expand, thanks to aggressive local marketing. In fact, it is in the midst of expanding into Omaha, Nebraska. Brian Rowe, director of marketing, sat down with us to answer a few questions about his company’s local-marketing strategy.
Q: What is your marketing strategy?
A: We focus our efforts on direct marketing. It is important for consumers to contact us immediately via phone or computer after hearing or seeing our ads. Most of our efforts include a strong call to action, as well as a message of honesty and integrity.
Q: How do you target local consumers?
A: We target consumers through both traditional and digital media, as well as networking and referral generation.
Q: What do you currently do to market your business?
A: We mainly stick to direct mail, email, radio and print advertising in the traditional arena. We also have a large, interactive, digital presence in our market.
Q: What kind of online marketing do you conduct?
A: We do work with both paid and organic search. Additionally, we target our ideal online customers through display ads on the top websites that are relevant to our industry and target consumers.
Q: With your expansion into Omaha, how do you plan on marketing this new location? Do you plan on changing your current marketing program to incorporate this new location?
A: The best part about our move to Omaha is that the market is similar to Kansas City. This will allow us to avoid some of the mistakes and pitfalls that we ran into at our first office. I assume that our marketing strategies will remain virtually unchanged in opening the new office, and I expect the transition to Omaha to go very smoothly. This will be accomplished mainly by relying on our historical data and my personal experience in infiltrating new markets.
Q: What is the biggest challenge in marketing your business locally?
A: Distinguishing ourselves from our competition in our marketing efforts is our toughest challenge. There are many mortgage companies in town, and most of them advertise heavily. So what we do in a 30-second spot or a 300 x 750 banner ad has to be clear and concise, provide all of our necessary contact information, include our call to action, and differentiate us from the 20-plus others in our area. It’s a tough challenge, but that’s the job.
Q: Which marketing venue generates the most response from local consumers?
A: While we’ve had luck with both mailers and radio advertising, we continue to see our online presence as the most vital component to our current and continued success. More specifically, we found that our SEO and PPC campaigns help most to turn our website into a digital marketplace, which will eventually become our main storefront as the world becomes more “e-savvy.”
Brian couldn’t be more accurate in saying that consumers are becoming savvy in digital media. In fact, our study found that the majority of consumers turn to online resources first when looking for local-business information; therefore, local businesses must embrace technology to remain competitive in their respective marketplaces.