Design. Include the Unexpected.

The holiday home page image “In the Garden” was selected as the second of a series for to share how we think about design in marketing. We asked one of our art directors, Jean about it.

Where did you find this image?

I took this one last May during the Laguna Beach garden walk. We go on it every year as it’s just so lovely and creative.

This mermaid was tucked into a far corner of a garden. I was wandering on my own when I stumbled across it. It was a surprise floating there…surrounded by flowers. I’m not sure if anyone else on the tour noticed it.

Why did you pick this image for

We picked this one for the holidays as it has a dreamy, wishful quality to it that fits the season beautifully, but it isn’t ‘the usual’.

The unexpected elements in a design can lift an experience to be something really special, delightful and noticeable.   That’s why it fits Roxburgh.  It evokes the emotion and story we want, in way that doesn’t blend in.

Warning: You’re Losing Money by Not Following a Marketing Plan.

Our industry is beginning to rock again. You’ve made it through the down time; lots of things are in-play and now …let’s kick it up a few notches in the new year.

Slow Down to Speed Up

For 2014, how about starting with a marketing plan that really works?  We’re not talking about a project report that let’s someone tick off a checkbox and hustle onto the next “to-do”.

Instead, let’s create a living document that captures your best-thinking; guides marketing throughout the year; and raises effectiveness each quarter.streaming Swiss Army Man 2016 film

TAKEAWAY: Taking the time to slow down and really plan 2014, will get you to the end goal faster and with much less frustration/waste along the way.

In a File – doesn’t work

An Integrated Marketing Plan should be used throughout the year:

• Monthly -Review for nuances to increase results.
• Quarterly- Update the plan with performance metrics achieved and make adjustments to increase performance.
• Annually – Review progress and plan the coming year.

Marketing Plan Outline

What the plan looks like for each neighborhood, planned community, or builder will vary in scale and objectives, but there are a few constants.

1. Big Picture Strategic Objective. (Where do we want to go?)

2. Review. (Lessons learned and progress to date)

3. Set 2014 Goals & Objectives.

a. Drive Revenue.  Sales goals fundamentally drive most plans in the building industry

Random Act of Marketing Defined.

Random Act of Marketing (‘RAM’): an attempt to drive revenue, grow market share, increase brand awareness, grow community, or other business benefit that:

-does not integrate with other marketing and business tactics.
-can not be easily measured or justified.
-is not in the marketing plan.

We’ve been reading a lot lately about Random Acts of Marketing from Pam Moore of Marketing Nuts and other marketing experts. And while we’ve recognized RAMs over the years, we never gave them a formal name. We do know that they tend to muck things up.

6 ways to be ‘Social’ in Social Media.

Effective social media is rooted in being thankful and kind.

Social media is by definition ‘social’. Manners matter. To be successful in the social space, start by having a perspective of being thankful and kind. This is at the soul of social engagement whether it is virtual on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. or in real life. (For reference here is our Google+ page to show what engagement can look like.)


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Here are 6 foundational guidelines that apply across social channels.

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3 Ways to be Kind

1. Speak when spoken to.

If someone asks you a question on Twitter or comments on your Facebook page – respond. They were kind enough to spend time on your content– be kind enough to notice. [TIP: Hootesuite is great for listening.]

2. If you can’t say something nice – don’t say anything at all.

Being negative on anything is a turn off. It’s fine to have an evocative point of view or respectfully disagree, just don’t be negative.

3. Be helpful.

Social media is about

4 Steps to Launching a Brand (New Place)

Today brands communicate and interact like never before.  The voice, style and character of a strong brand are rooted in what is real and true. This is key to being authentically relevant and interesting to target customers.

At Roxburgh, we’ve successfully positioned hundreds of new home neighborhoods, master plan communities, building industry- related companies and more over the years.  What we’ve discovered is that there are four critical steps in launching a brand.

We call our process F.A.C.E., and it is designed for Places. That said, this marketing approach applies to any product.

Step 1: Find Out the Facts

Start by understanding the research and the land plan. Then – take a close personal look at what the property (or product) is, its context and its competition. The entire creative team being involved in the analysis leads to a variety of perspectives based on what is real.

(TIP: We’ve found that an intense and fast immersion process leads to the most creative solutions.)

In Step 1, we build the beginning of project Buyer Profiles, Vocabulary and USPs (unique selling propositions). Your goals may vary, but make sure you have concrete goals a for this Step.

Rick Fletcher MBK quote

Step 2: Assemble the Team in a Shared Vision

The objective of this Step is

Google’s Hummingbird: What It Is & How It Impacts Marketing.

The Short Answer.

In September 2013, Google announced it had launched it’s new search algorithm called Hummingbird.

Currently, Google accounts for 67% of total US online searches1Considering that 90% of home buyers searched online during their home buying process, how search engines select the information people receive is important to new home marketers.

When Hummingbird flew onto our radar, we headed over to one of our favorite blogs, Search Engine Land to get the low-down. They didn’t disappoint with two excellent posts. Our favorite highlights are below starting with first things first.

What is a Search Algorithm?

A search algorithm is ‘tech-speak’ for the recipe that a search engine, like  Google, uses to sort through billions of web pages and return what it thinks are the most helpful answers to users.

Google has tweaked its recipe over the years calling the changes by cute, non-threatening names such as Penguin and Panda. This time the name is still cute, but Hummingbird represents more than a “tweak” to a recipe. It’s a completely rebuilt engine that

Design. It’s all about the Details.

The new home page image “Breakfast in Spain” was selected as the first of a series for to share how we think about design in marketing. The following is by one of our art directors, Jean.

Where did you find this image?

I took that one myself in San Sebastion, Spain. It’s on the border near France. We went there because I have this book that says if you like one place, then you’ll love another. This time it said,  if you  loved Cannes, then go to San Sebastian. We loved Cannes, so we went.

This was taken on our last day. We were in this cool cafe on the ocean. Having this great coffee  and eggs with peppers. The freshly baked bread.  And the people there are very warm. You feel at home.

 Why did you pick this image to re-launch

This image is inviting you into our world where it feels comfortable.  It feels like anyone could be sitting there, breaking bread and having a conversation. It’s informal, but not casual – notice the china? It’s spontaneous and engaging.  And that’s who Roxburgh is. 

Storytelling and Technology

The art of storytelling has remained unchanged. And for the most part, the stories are recycled.

But the way that humans tell the stories has always evolved with pure, consistent novelty.  – Joe Sabia

TAKEAWAY:  Marketing begins with a genuine story that tugs at the heart and sparks the imagination.  Where and how we tell that story is more expansive than ever before in history, but it still all starts with the story.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)


A Social State of Mind

A new study released by the Pew Research Center focuses on the demographics of social media users. Many of the results were as expected, however there were some surprising nuggets of information:

People from household incomes of $30,000 or less use social networking sites the most – 72%
Hispanics represent the largest ethnic group using social sites – 72%
Only 15% and 13% of respondents say they use Pinterest and Instagram, respectively (I expected the numbers to be a little higher)