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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

Marketing with Chocolate

The woman handing out candy to our children at her doorstep noticed my wife on the sidewalk and said, "Give this to your Mom", handing one of our kids a full-sized Aero bar.

It was a nice gesture with no strings attached.

Actually, that's not true: there was one string attached. It was orange and it was being used to secure a business card to the chocolate bar.

Is this effective marketing?

Well, it depends on the objective. But I had never heard of Main Street Realty Limited before my wife showed me this chocolate bar... and now I have. So if the goal was to "drive awareness" for the realtor and her brokerage, that's a mission accomplished.

But what about "purchase intent"? I wouldn't actually choose a realtor because she gave me a $1.50 chocolate bar...

... would I?

Probably not. But how does one choose a realtor?

If you were happy with the one you used previously, you'd likely use that agent again.

If you're a first-time homebuyer (or seller) with prior experience with an agent, or if you were happy with your previous agent but wanted an agent who knew your new neighbourhood really well, you might rely on word of mouth and ask someone you trust whom they used.

But if those cases don't apply, there's a good chance you would rely on who had the best marketing. Not because you would consciously choose to do so, but rather because that's how "the best marketing" works.

The agent whose name shows up first on Google when you search for "best real estate agent near me" and the one with the greatest number of positive reviews. ("So trusted!")

The agent who sends you those interesting reports every month outlining the homes in your area that sold recently... and how much sellers paid. ("So knowledgeable! So helpful!")

The agent whose name you remember from all those flyers, bench advertisements, and signposts around the neighbourhood.

And if you're going to choose an agent based on a name you remember, then the name you remember because it was attached to a full-sized chocolate bar is at least as effective as the one you remember because you sat on a picture of their head while waiting for the bus.

It was just a business card tied with an orange ribbon to a chocolate bar.

Sometimes marketing is just that simple.


P.S. Getting to write off your Halloween candy as a business expense is an added bonus.


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