Quicken & Amazon Mortgage: Key Lessons in Growth & Marketing

March 15, 2018

In February 2018, Quicken Loans announced it had become the nation’s largest retail lender, surpassing Wells Fargo.  And now it appears that Amazon, the nation’s largest online retailer, is starting up a mortgage lending division.

With such monumental developments, it is probably wise to pause for a second.  As the well-known book “Who Moved My Cheese?” taught us, change is inevitable.  The key is to be attuned to what changes are coming, how companies are succeeding, and to plan accordingly.

So what did Quicken do to catapult to the top?  In 2000, the company changed its business model to an online platform.  It deployed technology to speed up the lending process, launched Rocket Mortgage, and focused on customer satisfaction. It also spent over $400 million per year in measured media advertising.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Quicken engaged in such a huge marketing and publicity campaign, it was impossible for the American public to ignore it.  If Amazon begins selling mortgages too, one can only imagine the kind of publicity a $700 billion company could unleash.

What it Takes
Those that believe a business simply needs to “build it and they will come,” are in denial. No matter how great your product or service is, you still need serious marketing, public relations and social media to spread the word. Instead of thinking of how little you can get away with doing, think of how much you can accomplish.

A wise leader considers sales and marketing as investments in growth.  After all, a sales or marketing campaign that costs $300,000 but yields $3,000,000 in revenue is easy to justify. But most companies don’t really understand what they should be doing in terms of marketing and public relations—and many are wasting money on ineffective, homegrown programs.

So, what should your company be doing to maximize its growth?  Here’s a quick checklist (and by the way, Quicken Loans does all of these):

Public Relations
Appear in the press regularly as a thought leader and innovator
Win awards for your company and your executives
Secure speaking engagements
Write and publish articles and blogs

Have a highly effective website, brochure, sales presentation and branding
Do email marketing each month
Perform conference marketing
Invest in advertising (if budget allows)
Consider direct mail marketing
Hold webinars

Social Media
Build compelling social media pages
Proactively post on targeted social media platforms
Have a defined content marketing strategy
Publish blogs regularly

If Quicken Loans and Amazon have taught us one thing, it’s that you don’t get anywhere by resting on your laurels. Instead, anticipate where the market is heading, learn from the successes of others and take action.

As you ponder the industry’s evolution and the impact on your business, think hard about how to best promote your services. And remember, don’t be shy.  Big results come from big investments.

If you’d like help figuring out how to best grow your business through marketing, public relations and/or social media, just let us know. Reach us at info@strategicvantage.com.

By Rosalie Berg, President, Strategic Vantage