Think about the word “auction.” What’s the first thing that comes to mind? If it’s an event – a sale where an auctioneer is selling items – that was correct decades ago. Today, that’s just one piece of the definition.
Sara Rose Bytnar explained. “The term ‘auction’ is synonymous with ‘marketing.’ If you are selling an item by auction, that means you’re taking advantage of the auction methods of marketing. The event of selling your item is just one aspect of this, and it comes at the very end of the marketing cycle,” said Bytnar, an auctioneer with Beth Rose Real Estate and Auctions. She added, “There’s a reason people who have high-value assets sell through auction, and it’s because they are able to find the right buyers. That all happens through marketing, although there can be an outdated misconception that it somehow has to do with how fast or slow people call numbers and talk.”
A huge benefit of auctions is that there’s not just one method of marketing. With so many options, sellers can find what works for their unique items and needs. Auction marketing methods span a wide and varied range, from online – both paid and organic – to drone photography and video to e-mail and traditional mail. Through it all, the auction way brings a significant advantage, as Bytnar pointed out.
“With an auction, our marketing hones in on spotlighting what you’re selling. While other types of marketing geared toward brand awareness work to make you top of mind, auction marketing speeds up the buying process by getting your items in front of the ideal buyers from the very start,” she said.
Looking to the future of auction methods of marketing, Philip Gableman, vice president at New York State Auctioneer’s Association, sees the options under the digital marketing umbrella as major strengths for buyers and sellers: targeting and refinement.
Targeted marketing options, such as Google Ads and paid social media marketing, have become more refined seemingly every day due to continuous technological advances. For example, if you’re selling a 1957 Chevy Impala, based on people’s online activity you can find those who are most likely to buy your car – and the speed and accuracy of the buyer-seller match keeps improving. It goes both ways too, as buyers’ abilities to find what they’re looking for are always improving.
“Digital auction marketing is becoming much easier and more cost effective and direct, and that will continue,” Gableman said.
He echoed Bytnar by emphasizing that the pros of digital marketing spell an increased focus on the end-goal of selling specific items.
“With today’s options, auction marketing is all about the items, not about the sale,” he said. “This makes our ability to serve clients much more valuable. We’re not just selling an event. We’re selling someone’s assets, which is what it’s all about. Essentially, we’re building an event around every single piece of item in a sale.”
This article, by Nancy Hull Rigdon, was originally published by the National Auctioneers Association.