Marketing Forum Attendee Looks 'to Create the Next National Real Estate Brand'

Share this content:
OFF THE COAST OF THE HAMPTONS, NY -- Don't underestimate Kaira Sturdivant Rouda.

Behind the dazzling smile, sparkling eyes and vivacious manner is a serious decision maker. As a clients-side executive on board last year's Marketing Forum cruise, Rouda was pitched relentlessly by marketing services suppliers. Few would guess what happened afterward.

"I used five from last year," she said. "It really helped our company a lot to have access to a whole caliber of suppliers."

Rouda was among those aboard the Norwegian Dawn luxury liner for this year's Marketing Forum taking place May 9 to today.

Real Living, her family-run company based in Columbus, OH, is the nation's fifth-largest independent real estate brokerage. At last count it had 741 employees, 3,500 independent agents and 84 company-owned and 48 franchised locations. It recorded $7 billion in home sales last year.

"Now we're trying to grow through franchising and through acquisitions," Rouda said. "We're trying to create the next national [real estate] brand."

And yet there were some suppliers who should have been more serious when pitching to Rouda this year on board the Norwegian Dawn.

Maybe it was the mostly Midwestern name recognition. Maybe it was not enough homework. Maybe it was because Rouda's company targets women, the key decision makers for home and related purchases. One forum supplier even bailed out at the last minute with a two-line note. If only he had known.

Those who paid attention last year won major work from her. Interactive agency AKQA was asked to create an interactive Web site for Real Living at Brand Wizard Technologies was hired to develop a franchisee extranet. And Right Minds worked on the CRM strategy.

They recognized that Rouda was not the garden-variety chief marketing officer. She agreed to participate on two successive Marketing Forums because she was not just shopping marketing services, but buying.

The Marketing Forum's format -- supplier-side firms pitching executives in prearranged, 25-minute meetings over three days -- works to Rouda's advantage. She would like again to work with firms onboard the ship.

"I'm looking to set up an affiliate program for customer loyalty and retention, so that's what I've been talking about," Rouda said.


Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above