A new job description from the Seattle online real estate company indicates those indeed could be coming. Redfin recently posted a job for a VP of Brand Advertising, seeking a candidate who would “launch large-scale advertising campaigns on television and other media to bring a new brand to the mass market.”
We’ve reached out to Redfin for comment about the role, but we believe it would mark the company’s first-ever TV ad push. According to the job description, the company is looking for a “swashbuckler” and “rain maker” who can lead designers and copywriters in an effort to build “an aspirational, upstart brand.” The job also includes a large digital advertising component, with experience in Google optimization and email marketing. The goal is to “tell a simple, consistent story of a company that is on the customer’s side,” the description reads.
The ad exec will report to CEO Glenn Kelman, and could mark a new chapter for the company which has grown largely through word-of-mouth and other less expensive marketing efforts over the years. Redfin, which is profitable and growing, raised a $50 million venture round from T. Rowe Price and others in November.
Some of that cash could be put to use in advertising, following in the path of Seattle-based Zillow which has been running TV ads for about a year. Zillow has said that campaign is working well in terms of building awareness and driving traffic to its Web site and mobile apps. Last year, Zillow expanded the effort, and said it planned to spend $20 million to $30 million on the marketing campaign.
Zillow does not compete directly with Redfin, which operates as a brokerage helping consumers buy and sell homes. However, many of Redfin’s larger competitors in the real estate arena do market themselves via TV advertising, and the new job indicates that Redfin (as we noted earlier this week) is starting to look more and more like a traditional real estate firm. The position also comes a couple months after Redfin shook up its marketing department, with Chief Marketing Officer Tom Vogl and VP of Marketing Matt Goyer leaving in November.
Redfin may want to drive additional awareness — and business — as it preps for an initial public offering which could come as early as this year. In an interview with GeekWire last November, Kelman said that Redfin is on no set timetable for an IPO.