4 out of 5 Realtors and mortgage lenders prefer Trident: What you can learn about surveys from the iconic 1980s marketing campaign
If you’re old enough to remember the 1980s vividly, then you definitely recall a Trident television ad in which the brand’s spokesperson claimed that “Four out of five dentists surveyed recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum.”
It was actually launched by the Warner-Lambert Company as part of their ad campaign for a novel-yet-fledgling innovation, a sugarless gum called Trident.
It’s hard to imagine these days, but the sugar free or sugarless phenomenon hadn’t caught on yet (this is when you could still smoke on airplanes!), However, Trident was tanking with consumers, and about to be discontinued.
Then, the “Four out of five” ad was released, and it changed everything. Based on a poll of 1,200 dentists conducted by the somewhat-obscure Chicago Reader in 1980, they determined that sugarless gum was recommended by 85 percent of dentists (that’s why they couldn’t say “Nine out of ten” at first). Still to this day, no one knows which knucklehead dentists actually recommended more sugar in their patients’ gum!
The TV ad became so popular that it was soon a household saying, a cultural trope, and the stem of many jokes.
But, the marketing epiphany of using data from a survey or poll was replicated by toothpaste brands like Crest, Sensodyne, Colgate, and others (who all claimed that 9 out of 10 dentists recommended their brands, which is statistically impossible!).
There’s nothing stopping you from running your own survey or poll, and using the data as a marketing coup, just like Trident did back in 1980.
Yes, I do realize that you're in the business of selling homes and funding loans, not brightening smiles.
But, there are 3 inherent advantages to surveys that make them so invaluable no matter what field you're in:
1. Learn about your target audience/clients
You’re directly asking your target audience or potential custom base to volunteer information about their beliefs, attitudes, motivations, needs, challenges, and more.
(All of the big brands, shopping sites, and retailers are obsessed with collecting your data and finding out more about you!)
2. Come up with tangible data
You don’t just end up with a range of opinions or a few answers to open-ended questions but specific, tangible statistical data.
3. Snazzy and presentable format
That data lends itself perfectly to charts, graphs, and other forms of visual expression that aren’t only appealing to the eye, but easy to scan, understand, and lend themselves to sharing online.
Case Study #1:
I recently ran a survey for one of my favorite clients (and good friends), Jason Matthews of Matthews Insurance and Financial Services.
We sent out invites for people to take a simple survey consisting of just 10 questions, which only took them a few minutes. (I’ll talk more about how to effectively run surveys and best practices in a future blog.)
When we collected the results, we had some clear, concrete data that really stands out when we use it as a marketing tool.
Not only does Jason have a much better understanding of what makes his clients or audience tick, but there are SO many helpful ways we can use this data, the survey results, and these graphs to market his business going forward.
We even included an open-ended question, “What are your top fears about the economy,” and gleaned this useful list:
With minimal effort and little or no cost (or, just outsource the work to me!), the average Realtor or mortgage lender can come up with something like:
Those are just examples, but you get the idea.
All of this leads to an exponentially larger audience, new levels of trust and credibility, boundless opportunities to share your content, and plenty of new clients – just like it turned Trident’s fortunes around virtually overnight.
Case Study #2
Does this one look familiar?
I ran this survey for my own little brand, Real Estate Marketing w/ Norm, a week or two ago.
But instead of surveying PEOPLE, I surveyed the Instagram posts and content of the top 100 Realtors and mortgage lenders in the U.S.
The result was easily summarized in this handy dandy graph that has since been shared and re-shared across the industry, conveying huge value to any Realtor or loan officer who wants to follow in the footsteps of the best in the business (and what they’re doing for marketing).
Other chief benefits to hosting surveys:
Endear yourself to your audience
Studies show that one of the most powerful ways to get people to like you isn’t by doing something for them, but by asking them for a favor or to complete a task that helps you out. People also want to be heard, counted, and valued, and asking them to complete a survey appeals to that.
Congrats, you’re instantly an industry leader
99.999% of your competition are NOT doing this, so surveys are a fantastic took to differentiate yourself from your competitors and elevate your brand.
If you use this correctly, the data from these survey results will be useful for years, and you can ride the wave of promotion and new opportunities as you pick up scores of new clients along the way.
No matter how big or small your operation, how long you’ve been in business or how much income you’re pulling in, you immediately become a credible and authoritative voice of your industry by using surveys and releasing the findings.
Surveys result in useful, clear, and compelling statistics, and those are shared, used, and referenced over and over for years to come.
Did you ever wonder how one Realtor or mortgage lender in your city keeps getting quoted over and over again in just about any article about the housing market? Creating statistics based on credible surveys is the best way to “break in” to that closed media circle.
Send a press release based around your survey findings and you’ll be surprised how effective it is for garnering media attention – and they’ll have to quote you or give you credit!
Once you have a relationship with certain members of the media, you’ll always have their ear since they’re constantly looking for stories and concrete data to use.
You can take that to the next level by publishing your survey results as a special report or white paper on Kindle for Amazon, Apple Books, etc. All of a sudden, the world’s leading content platforms are listing your name and promoting FOR you!
Create unique social media and marketing content
As you see, the data and information you glean from these surveys is perfect for graphs, charts, lists, and stats that can be used for custom content you share on social media, email, your website, buyers and sellers’ packets, etc.
In a future blog, I’ll give you tips and best practices how to create and use surveys to launch your brand and grow your business to new heights!
Or, you can just ignore this smart marketing tactic and keep doing what everyone else is doing for marketing, instead.
Guess what the results will be?