Kim Ross joins Greg and Kevin this week on The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast to discuss how to build a rock star home builder digital marketing team.
Kim explains that the first thing she did when building a digital marketing team was “…look for solutions to the challenges that we had in our systems, our processes, and our people. I really sat back and took the whiteboard approach to figuring out how we could elevate the work product through a daily creative conversation and how that would be manifest. What were the team members that we needed to bring aboard on a full-time basis to do the day-to-day marketing operations of the company and create a very synergistic sensibility for our brand company-wide? Then, of course, where do we supplement that by outsourcing talent from both the freelance world and the agency side of things.”
When hiring for a digital marketing team, Kim considers it imperative for home builders to consider candidates who have never worked in the home building industry. She says, “…I’ll tell you one thing that I’ve noticed in the industry since I entered it, what is hardly ever stated but is almost always expected, is for a potential employee to have worked for another home builder. I’m pretty sure that I disagree, respectfully, with that approach. It’s a virtual guarantee that you’re going to get just reheated leftovers for work product, and our customers have told us in survey after survey that new home building, at least the marketing, is just awash in a sea of sameness. It’s because we market our product in pretty much the same way industry-wide.”
Listen to this episode to learn how you can build a rock star home building digital marketing team.
About the Guest:
As a kid, I dreamed of becoming an advertising executive, an idea machine who could deliver the essence of a brand. I went so far as to earn a master’s degree in Advertising and landed a role at a respected Atlanta ad agency. But I craved more excitement – apparently, a lot more. When opportunity knocked, I quite literally ran off and joined the circus.
For 11 years, I performed as “non-wrestler” talent for World Championship Wrestling, a traveling show of theatrics on a truly gargantuan scale. As a manager and producer of the show’s dance performers, I got to see the world, perform in 60,000-seat arenas, and received first-hand exposure to a unique type of entertainment that was part improv, part Shakespearean, and part vaudevillian, on live TV.
From there, I branched into series TV and moviemaking, where I got to work with directors like Gary Ross, Judd Apatow, Jeff Zucker, and Larry David, opposite actors like Steve Carrell, Cuba Gooding JR., Tim Conway, Danny DeVito, Whoopi Goldberg, and David Caruso. When I wasn’t acting, I worked in B2B sales for a movie title design firm, pitching to directors like Martin Scorsese, Barry Levinson, and Lasse Hallstrom.
Later, I moved to Utah and joined an advertising agency specializing in resort and vacation real estate marketing, became a partner at the firm, and then a little thing called the Great Recession happened. I partnered with a small team of visionaries to launch a yoga company, one that ended up doing well – so well, in fact, that it was the subject of a Google zeitgeist video in 2012 and was pitched on Shark Tank in 2016. Today, we deliver content through our own App and have a community of avid social media followers several thousand strong.
In 2014, I was fortunate to join the home building industry. As a marketing executive for a large regional homebuilder, I helped create the marketing package for the company’s acquisition, orchestrated the creation of a new website, managed an in-house team of marketing specialists, and led the marketing and communications team for the 2020 IBS concept house.
When Covid happened, the building industry soared as people sought new living spaces where they could re-create their family work/life balance. Concurrently, the company priorities and leadership changed, giving me a chance to exit to a very overdue – and very life-changing – hiatus. Since September, I’ve been able to travel, read, rest, and reflect on the broad range of job experiences that I’ve had so far. The best is yet to come – right now, I’m producing a batch of new content for that aforementioned yoga company and looking ahead to joining a company that provides innovative marketing services to home builders.