Promotion is one of the four major pillars of marketing and it is through this mechanism that the product gets a visibility in the consumer mind space. Two weeks ago, Akshaya Pvt Ltd launched its 150th project Abov, the tallest residential tower of Tamil Nadu and the event was noted for its innovation and even its larger-than-life allure.
Akshaya had created a 15 feet high model of the skyscraper for the event and has placed the model at the Chennai airport and has plans to take it to the airports in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. T Chitty Babu, CEO, Akshaya Pvt Ltd, feels that a project that is grandiose like Abov, needs a lot of work to back it up. “Innovation is required in every sphere of work, and in terms of marketing a product, a lot of work is required,” he says. Akshaya also has a cut model in its offices, where customers can get an idea about the apartments they plan to buy. A five-minute walk through is also designed for their projects.
To make their presentations more engaging, the developers are also willing to go the extra mile and import the technology required for the effort. “We have got something called virtual reality, where the inner portals of the apartment can be viewed according to the movement of the hands. Then we have brought our kinect tables, where four people can view four different aspects of a property at a time. Both these technologies have been brought from Singapore and were the first of their kind in India,” says Chitty Babu.
Of course, these promotional methods work only when they are designed with the target audience in mind. “It depends on multiple factors. When I launch a high-end product, they require promotions which are tailor-made for the customer base I have in mind. Mass advertisements still hold their value and that explains the increasing number of front-page advertisements for project launches these days,” says Suresh Krishn, Managing Director, Isha Homes. When it comes to the high-end market, it makes sense to employ tailor-made promotions, considering the fact that the target base is less, when compared to the mass market. Suresh feels that in these cases, there is no hard-selling that is done. “We know these customers from our previous interactions and know their tastes. What we do in the evening launches are to showcase what we have. A walkthrough or a miniature model will help them visualise better and make the right choice,” he says.
Advertising is a traditional tool and if innovation is what a developer wants to go for, then sky is the limit. S Ramakrishnan, CEO, Marg ProperTies, feels that there is a need to constantly come up with something new depending on the project. “While one can always go for advertisements, promotion works at many levels. For example, one can tie up with a matrimonial site to promote the projects. Once people feel the need to move out to a new home after their marriage, this will be the right moment to make a pitch and it works,” says Ramakrishnan. Marg, he says, has always believed in a combination of traditional and modern methods of promotion, using a 360 degree approach.
It is a well-known fact that customers today are spoilt for choices. While at one level, these promotions are meant to meet those requirements, there is also an attempt to create a desire for something new. “While organising events like music shows do help, the internet, today, is full of options. Once you know how to sell the concept, then these tools can be put to best use,” says Ramakrishnan, who feels that all promotional methods evolve over time and are required for all the segments of customers.
“Whether it is an affordable home, a smart township or ultra luxury villas, there is a need to reach out. The core idea remains the same; it is the final form that differs in each case,” he says. All this requires excellent PR and a degree of uniformity in the communication. “From a call centre employee to a CEO, everyone must speak the same language. Only then can the communication be effective,” says Ramakrishnan. While the effectiveness of these tools can only be gauged in the time to come, one can definitely expect a lot of activity in the promotional scene in the real estate sector in the days to come.
Source: Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai