What is old is new again. On today’s show, we’re taking a deeper look at digital marketing. Why? Because every successful business needs to be known by its customers and real estate businesses are no different.

Some of you may be wondering why there is not a lot of advertising on the real estate espresso podcast. We have had advertisements in the past on the show. At most they were 30 seconds long. These days, the show is free of advertising.

Back in the good old days, marketers would spend money on advertising. They would run an ad on Television. We just finished watching the latest crop of advertisements during the Super Bowl broadcast. The ads that make their debut at the Super Bowl are aimed at a broad audience.

The advertisement for Doritos corn chips can’t directly be measured. We don’t know who will go out and buy corn chips as a result of the commercial.

Google had a very simple business model when it got into the paid search business. It charged $0.05 for the opportunity to be placed above the organic search results. Then some businesses realized that their competitors were buying that ad space. Every time someone searched for Home Depot, an ad for Lowes would appear. So Home Depot would offer to pay a higher price for that same ad. Eventually it became an auction environment. The advertising auction price would rise to the point where the equilibrium would be reached.

Google rose to becoming one of the most valuable companies on the planet with zero sales force. Think about it. They had zero sales force to achieve that market position. Yet, they managed to siphon almost all of the marketing value out of the system with zero sales force.

Business is changing. It used to be that commerce was sold through platforms. If you wanted your product to get to the consumer, you needed a platform. In some cases, you needed a company like Walmart to choose you. Or maybe a national supermarket chain needed to choose you. The business model was rarely direct to consumer. Google enabled companies to cut out the middle man and made it possible for smaller companies to go direct to consumer.

But there was still a large percentage of commerce that was not using search in order to reach the end customer. Nobody uses google to search for Coca Cola, or Pepsi.

With pay per click, the ROI is easily measured. The advertising is direct to consumer. There is no middle layer obscuring your view of the transaction. But some businesses are starting to experience a loss of return on these platforms. Competitors are hiring services to covertly click on your ads to waste your ad budget.

Some behind the scenes I’m hearing that Google plans to change the emphasis on new forms of advertising that are tailor made for the kinds of businesses that today are advertising on television, or on billboards.

The world of television has not changed its format in 50 years. They still subject the viewer to 5 minutes of advertising every hour. Google on the other hand has figured out that viewer attention span is much shorter than 5 minutes. Most viewers will not tolerate 5 minutes of advertising without changing channel. Google ads on the other hand are no longer than 15 seconds. Many are under 10 seconds.

What does this mean for you, as a business owner? It means that the already saturated online world is about to get even noisier. In my view, the world of interruption marketing is becoming less and less effective.

Those who master the art of building a relationship with their customers and with their audience are those who ultimately win.