De­vel­op­ers are now go­ing dig­i­tal to at­tract eye­balls

To­day, many devel­op­ment firms have in­te­grated their on­line pres­ence with third-party real es­tate por­tals

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - AS Si­vara­makr­ish­nan

On­line plat­for ms are i ncreas­ingly be­ing used by real es­tate devel­op­ment firms for mul­ti­pronged mar­ket­ing strate­gies — right from brand build­ing and mar­ket­ing to lead gen­er­a­tion and t rans­ac­tions. Digi­ti­sa­tion seems to have im­pacted the busi­ness of de­vel­op­ers in more ways than one, bring­ing along a ma­jor shift in the way de­vel­op­ers cre­ate brand and prod­uct aware­ness in the In­dian mar­ket to­day.

In the con­text of real es­tate devel­op­ment firms, es­pe­cially for hous­ing de­vel­op­ers, com­mu­ni­ca­tion strate­gies have tra­di­tion­ally fol­lowed short- term pat­terns for the most part. The sole aim of such mar­ket­ing ex­er­cises lies in sales con­ver­sions — geared to­wards gen­er­at­ing en­quiry from po­ten­tial home buy­ers, lead­ing to cus­tomer walk-ins, and ul­ti­mately re­sult­ing in unit sales. The long-term com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­egy of brand build­ing on a na­tional scale is as yet a nascent prac­tice; and some­thing that dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing chan­nels may just change for­ever.

The dig­i­tal plat­form of­fers de­vel­op­ers with in­ter­faces such as web­sites, mo­bile phone ap­pli­ca­tions and so­cial me­dia pres­ence. All this has brought the buyer closer to the in­dus­try, along with buyer re­quire­ments and as­pi­ra­tions that need to be ad­dressed with fresh strate­gies.

Who benefits?

In a sec­tor such as real es­tate, with high value prod­ucts, mar­ket­ing ef­forts are all in­clined more to­wards lead gen­er­a­tion more than di­rect sales con­ver­sions. To that end, re­turn on in­vest­ments in the case of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing can take the form of lead gen­er­a­tion and brand build­ing in­stead. In re­cent times, many devel­op­ment firms have cho­sen to in­te­grate their ex­ist­ing on­line pres­ence with third-party real es­tate por­tals; while many oth­ers have utilised so­cial me­dia plat­forms such as Face­book pages, Google Plus and LinkedIn to connect with prospec­tive cus­tomers.

On­line mar­ket­ing strate­gies, in fact, are more cost ef­fec­tive, tar­geted and mea­sur­able for de­vel­op­ers over con­ven­tional plat­forms, while bring­ing in a sig­nif­i­cant share of sales con­ver­sions as well. And the trend seems to be grow­ing.

The other as­pect of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing is that since it is a much more tar­geted ef­fort, the emo­tional quo­tient tends to be larger for end-users; while of­fer­ing in­vestors with all rel­e­vant project and real-time devel­op­ment de­tails.

This is in con­trast to mass mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tives that hard­sell real es­tate prop­erty to a blan­ket au­di­ence; and is a key rea­son why dig­i­tal ini­tia­tives evince a more pos­i­tive re­sponse from cus­tomers.

On­line mar­ket­ing has also de­vel­oped as an emerg­ing op­tion for tar­get­ing high net-worth in­di­vid­u­als and non-res­i­dent In­di­ans for their prop­erty re­quire­ments in In­dia, where both mar­ket­ing as well as trans­ac­tions can be con­ducted on­line.

Tar­geted mar­ket­ing

Home­buy­ers are pri­mar­ily us­ing dig­i­tal chan­nels to re­search hous­ing prop­er­ties, be­fore vis­it­ing the ac­tual site. Such con­sumer be­hav­iour has led devel­op­ment firms to go dig­i­tal by us­ing their on­line plat­forms as an ef­fec­tive lead gen­er­a­tion tool.

Home­buy­ers are also in­creas­ingly en­gag­ing with mo­bile phone ap­pli­ca­tions and so­cial me­dia for their needs, mak­ing it im­per­a­tive for de­vel­op­ers to turn to new-age tech­nolo­gies and strate­gies for at­tract­ing new-age con­sumers.

New tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tive mar­ket­ing tech­niques such

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