Developers opting social media over traditional marketing

Owing to superior audience targeting capabilities, interactive ad formats, comparatively smaller budget requirements and the ability to measure the impact with a much greater accuracy, increasing number of real estate developers have begun to prefer social & digital marketing over traditional media.

“Compared to about 3-4 years back when digital marketing spends were a meagre 10-15% of the over marketing budget, digital spends in the current financial year average around 30% – 40% of the overall marketing spends,” informs Gaurav Mittal, Managing Director, CHD Developers Ltd.

Most of the online marketing budget today is being spent on Facebook, Google Search and the Google Display Network and these channels also drive a large volume of the sales.

One of the major reason why developers are opting social and digital medium, according to Pratik K. Mehta, Managing Director, Unishire is that the online marketing can be planned and specifically targeted and easier on the budget. Pilot campaigns can be run as a test for a larger/full-fledged campaign. This makes it a safer medium to park the spends.

The biggest positives of offline on the other hand are visibility, reach and instant response that it has. This works well to create trust and awareness of a product / brand. Cost, tracking and the short life however are the downsides. Offline usually are now carried as actions point/connect to the online medium, where it can be tracked.

Social Media as a platform is fast evolving to be a game changer. Today what’s important is not what the brand says to the consumers, but what the consumers are saying about the brand. The traditional marketing works great in delivering on the brand and imagery parameters, while the online works great on driving engagement and insights, and more importantly in building a lead pipeline.

“Based on our experience running multiple campaigns for our real estate clients across Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi, we have seen a Return On Investment (ROI) of 400% on digital media as compared to print,” says Rohit Uttamchandani, Head – Performance Advertising & Content Marketing, Social Beat, a digital agency based out of Chennai.

Not only are Cost per lead (CPLs) on digital media much lower than print, the cost per sale from digital media is also quite low – about 0.75% to 1.5% of the property value. For instance, for a property worth Rs 1.5 crore, the cost of generating a sale from digital media turns out to be around Rs 1.1 lakh to Rs 2.25 lakh.

Ashish Jerath, Head-Sales, Emaar MGF expects that the digital platform will soon surpass print media as the primary advertising platform for real estate companies. “Real estate companies are following the media content consumption trend of its target audience, which is more likely to interact with us on a social media or online news and entertainment sites. Also, the medium allows for multimedia content to be delivered and engages the customer at a time and place of his convenience,” he adds.