The ONeil Edit – September 3, 2021

I started this edition headed in one direction but after having fully vetted the articles that I want to pass on to you, I changed direction completely. This week has been one that is full of directional shifts and the newsletter was not spared. Shifting mindsets, shifting budgets, shifting priorities, shifting markets, shifting needs, and shifting insights. 

I love this time of year. The start of the school year, the end of summer, it makes everything new again. It’s only fitting that this week was full of those shifts. Fresh year, fresh perspective. Ida rolled through but in my little corner of the world, it didn’t really do anything except take the heat and humidity with it. I’m sitting at the beach, writing from my favorite place, the screened porch. It’s a little chilly, but the sun is shining, a perfect weekend worth of weather on tap say goodbye to summer.

Since change is in the winds, what’s changing this week in marketing and home building? Linkedin is sunsetting stories (thank the lord), Intuit is in talks to buy MailChimp, Google’s getting rid of Expanded Text Ads, data privacy is a blessing in disguise for marketing, and people are still willing to pay more for their new homes, they’re just a little pickier about which home they’ll spend their money on.


Google is really pushing for their AI to take the reins and remove much of the day to day tasks and control from advertisers. First they took away broad match modified and now they’re ending Extended Text Ads in favor of Responsive Search Ads. Personally, I prefer the Responsive ads anyway. I love responsive ads on Facebook and it just makes sense to me to serve the people what they want, not what you think they want. Essentially responsive ads mix and match headlines, descriptions, and images (always on Facebook, always on google display, only sometimes if image extensions are enabled in your Google account) to provide a combination that is mostly likely to elicit a click from the prospective viewer. 


Cookies are going away, but the data at your fingertips is amazing. Right there on your own website, there are hundreds of thousands of data points. The question is what are you doing with it? That’s a conversation that has been happening a lot more often in the Google Meets at ONeil. Google Analytics is awesome and so is the data on Facebook Ads and Google Ads but it’s really very limiting when you think about it. Partially because of data privacy and partially because they were built to serve every type of vertical. 

But what if there was data available to you that was derived specifically for home builders. Like instead of looking at pageviews and sessions and time on site, you had access to info that was about favorite floorplans, and most popular price and square footage. Or the community that had the most views vs leads. What about being able to see the most popular zip codes of people who visit specific community detail pages? You might be able to not only pinpoint marketing strategies but also forecast future business decisions like where to buy land down the road. It’s this type of info that is finally really being thought about and discussed by marketing professionals everywhere.  


This is the question that new home buyers are facing these days. There are a lot of people out there who want to buy a home, and there aren’t enough homes available to satisfy that demand. Anyone with a basic understanding of supply and demand knows that that means prices are going 🆙. (Look, I know there’s an exclamation point in the emoji but it just feels weird using that as my punctuation so I’m adding a period to cleanly move to my next sentence.) With that in mind, the National Home Price NSA Index rose 16.8% from May to June

“Only recently have buyers started to balk at homes on the market because prices in many instances have outpaced the benefit of low interest rates. Homes are still selling very quickly—the difference today is that buyers have become more selective.”

I like this shift in mindset on the rising prices and the slowing pace – it’s just that people are becoming more selective, it’s not that the market is falling or that prices have reached a ceiling. 

Do you feel like that is an accurate statement? Do you also notice changes happening around this time of year like it’s the start of something new every September? And what ideas did the data conversation spur in you? I’d love to talk more about all of this so feel free to send me an email 

Have a safe and happy Labor Day!

Molly White

Molly White

I am a passionate early adopter. At ONeil Interactive I help clients put their best technological foot forward while generating high quality leads with digital campaigns that consistently beat industry averages.