Bright MLS, one of the nation’s leading multiple listing services announced today that real estate industry brand innovator Amit Kulkarni has joined the company’s executive leadership team as Chief Marketing Officer to lead the company’s integrated marketing and brand strategies. The appointment comes at a time of unprecedented demand and influx of investments in real estate technology.
Kulkarni does sound like someone with an extraordinarily strong background in marketing:
Kulkarni joins Bright with over two decades of experience leading marketing, creative and brand teams, and has a track record of marrying data and insights with creativity to serve as a catalyst for growth. In his previous role leading the brand team at Realtor.com, Kulkarni built the company’s in-house agency, repositioned the Realtor.com brand, and delivered a number of breakthrough campaigns that helped grow the Realtor.com audience from 12 million monthly unique users (UUs) to over 100 million monthly UUs today.
All good. Congratulations to both Bright MLS and to Mr. Kulkarni.
However… I can’t help but ask, why does an MLS need a CMO in the first place?
Last I checked, Bright MLS is a local monopoly with 100% market share in its market area throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. They have over 100K subscribers, none of whom have any alternative for MLS services where Bright MLS exists. At Realtor.com, Kulkarni had to do a ton of marketing to beat out Zillow and Trulia and other portals, to get eyeballs and consumer traffic and ad sales and whatever else.
When you have monopoly power, what marketing work is there to do? What branding is necessary when your customers have no other choice? Premium products maybe?
I don’t know, since I haven’t looked at Bright MLS’s offerings recently, but do they have so much premium add-on products that they have an entire marketing department, which necessitates hiring a Chief Marketing Officer? If so, good for them. I was just wondering why an MLS needs a CMO.