2022 has been a year of significant change. Any holdouts to the idea that a purchase market was emerging have long since dropped that front. The resulting changes across the industry, including the significant “correction” (I hate that term, by the way) to the workforce, have also been profound.
Some of the biggest transformations have gone unnoticed
Not all of the changes we’re experiencing are based solely on the market cycle pivot. We’ve been living in a period of real technological adoption and evolution for a few years now—to the benefit of its users and clients alike. We’re seeing an increasing number of start-ups, upstarts and challengers to the status quo, not only in the technology segment, but among lenders themselves. And they’re not the only ones wondering why the industry hasn’t done more previously to make this a clearer and faster process.
With all of the major changes going on, it’s no wonder that another major change has gone virtually unnoticed and unheralded. But you—if you’re reading this, or regularly check out our LodeStar’s Lending Leaders—probably have noticed: the way businesses in the mortgage industry promote themselves; build their brands and/or take their services to market has changed markedly.
The rise of mortgage marketing content
We’ve gone from being an industry that relies heavily on direct sales or marketing approaches to one that primarily creates its own content. We build relationships, or at least, reputations, by podcasting or blogging or issuing useful content, rather than sending out garishly oversized postcards more effective at clogging the bottom of our garbage cans than actually generating leads. The way we advertise is quite different. Direct email marketing, while still effective, is done differently. Even the subscription content we consume is changing. The lines between journalism and semi-promotional content (such as, for example, Deeper Thoughts) have blurred. Now, we see trade organizations and publications that actually straddle the line between providing news and providing content that, while mostly based in fact, also serves a deeper promotional purpose.
It’s all about building an audience
If anything, the battle now is how to disseminate good content so that people notice. Let’s face it—there’s also a lot of very bad content out there as well. So whether you’re using TikTok, LinkedIn, Anchor or even drawing your market into your own content venue, a big part of successful content marketing is making sure that when the proverbial tree falls in that forest, someone’s there to hear it. Old friends like Josh Pitts have helped the mortgage industry understand that content is a powerful way to build one’s personal brand. Don’t like the idea of personal brand? Well, if you were the sales guy toting that box of doughnuts 20 years ago (40 years ago?), you actually do. Mortgage pros of all levels of experience have long touted ours as a “relationship based” industry. We use the consultative sales technique to build trust and respect. So, how exactly is that different from a personal brand—beyond the verbiage?
Good riddance to interruption
The obsolete “interruption” technique of earning a sale simply by earning a prospect’s attention—no matter what the method—is mercifully dead. Prospects and decision-makers are becoming increasingly selective as to what information they choose to consume, and it’s getting harder to get through their barriers with useless clutter. As a result, in the mortgage industry as well as just about every other industry in our economy, more and more businesses are learning to create their own content. More importantly, they’re learning that they’re not entitled to a prospect’s attention solely because they spent some budget on advertising space or a sponsorship. Now, marketers need to earn their market’s attention. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
We at LodeStar are grateful to all of our clients, friends and colleagues who take the time to view Deeper Thoughts. Please consider having a look as well at some of our other great content, including our podcast, “LodeStar’s Lending Leaders,” and “A Tale of Two Mortgages: an original webcomic for the mortgage industry, presented by LodeStar.”
As always, your feedback is welcomed and appreciated!