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Rent or buy when it comes to Marketing?

Will you be risking putting all of your marketing eggs into one paid media basket in 2024? Read this Friday Opinion piece from Victoria Searl for Propel.



A friend’s daughter recently had 2 extremely distressing experiences with her landlord.

The first, was a (5 year old new build) home which according to the law of this land, was unfit for human inhabitation, which their agency (Foxton’s since you ask) took zero action on for the entire 18 month contract – despite multiple contractual infringements on the landlords part. A threat to withhold rent, in a desperate attempt to drive action was met with a threat to change the locks. My friend’s daughter and her flatmate were powerless whichever way they turned.

Understandably traumatised by the first experience, the two moved into a lovely place with a lovely landlord and a slightly more engaged agency. This landlord was so friendly, he even sent the two a gift voucher to apologise for the boiler not working for a few days. All seemed great!

But soon, the boiler went on the blink again, and again. And there were fairly frequent periods of no hot water. Then just 4 months in, the landlord announced he was getting divorced and selling the property and gave 2 months notice for the girls to leave.

Anyone who has rented in London will know that what followed was a highly stressful, full-time effort to find a new home, and grateful that they were picked from the 300 other applicants, when a new place came up, they swiftly exited their flat to grab the new one, meaning double rent for the remainder of their notice period. The lovely landlord didn’t give the girls a helping hand, given the inconvenience he’d caused, but then why should he – the scenario in which he should need to call time was all in the contact the girls had willingly signed.


Well it reminded me of a frequent cry for help I see in my marketing WA group, ‘Team Marketing’.

It’s usually relating to an unexplainable loss of control of an account, or a shifting of goalposts when it comes to reporting, campaign metrics or cost, or a change of algorithm which renders previously successful activity and approach suddenly redundant – and it’s ALWAYS involving Facebook, Instagram or Google.

And the risk of putting so many of our marketing eggs in the paid media basket is that, like my friend’s daughter and her flatmate, we have zero control over anything which happens or could happen on those platforms – and that from a revenue perspective is very risky indeed.

Because paid media (which includes social and PPC) is only ever rented, and that means we will always just have to get on with whatever they throw at us.

Now I’m in no way suggesting that you stop using paid media, I’m shortly to invest in a major paid media campaign of my own, but wouldn’t it be better to have a little more control over our marketing output and a bit more predictability around the results it will generate. A bit like our renters, owning a piece of their home to give them more security in, and control over the place they live and the terms under which they do that. And the only up-front investment they would need to make would be the deposit.


Well buckle up, because you can! And if you’ve been collecting customer data, from your WIFi, your order and pay or your bookings, your ‘deposit’ is already sitting, just waiting to be used in your CRM.

And that first-party data, which you have collected, is yours to use because providing you’ve captured it in the right way, you own it, and it’s yours to leverage whenever you like. No hoops to jump through, no algorithms to fathom and no goalposts which might shift.

Just trackable incremental revenue, while you get relevant and timely messaging into the hand of the targets you want to talk to most.

So make segmented, personalised and automated email a major part of your marketing strategy, and regain some of the certainty and control your business and marketing needs in 2024.

Like what you read?

Get in touch with Vic and the team to see what we can do for you.


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