I recently attended Inman Connect in San Francisco, a real estate technology conference featuring the latest online developments for real estate and swarms of high tech minds. And, while I gained new insights into the future of real estate marketing technology, I couldn't help but make the following observation.
As I registered, I was handed a printed and bound program - with at least 20 ads for online real estate sites and services. The bag I received was full of fliers and promotional items - and every one was imprinted with a website. Each day, as I walked into the general session, every chair was piled with multiple printed fliers advertising services found only online. On the trade show floor, every single vendor passed out printed fliers detailing their typically online only offering. Noticing a trend?
As I listened to speakers from many of these same companies warn how the life span of print advertising was limited at best, I thought it ironic that they, themselves, chose print and other offline sources to capture the attention of attendees, leave a lasting impression and drive traffic to their sites at this event. Actions speak louder than words.
As I sit in my office flipping through various B2B magazines targeted at the real estate industry and count the printed ads for online real estate sites, my suspicion is that they know an integrated media marketing campaign including both offline and online channels is still the most effective.
One can only wonder how much the "print is dead" rhetoric is out of self-interest for their online only business models. Their actions certainly did not mimic their words.