Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Social Media Marketing For Real Estate

Like any other business, industry or domain, Real Estate can leverage Social Media as a very effective Marketing, Branding & Communication Tool. Social Media can also be a potential tool for inquiry generation.
Real Estate Social Media Objectives: The Main Concern  Areas
·         Win customers trust
·         Online Reputation
·         Create Differentiation
·         Build Brand

Social Media can help addressing these objectives very effectively.

Real Estate is all About "REF" attributes of the brand
·         Rational -  It has to make sense - the price, location, requirement, etc
·         Emotional - It has to connect - dream home, first home, my own space, etc
·         Functional - It has to be useful - Kitchen, Bedrooms, Living space, etc.
If you are building your product keeping this REF in mind, it would help tremendously to connect to the right audience / potential customers through social media.
Social Media Mix for Real Estate Organizations
·         Facebook
·         Google+
·         YouTube
·         Twitter
·         Blog
·         Pin-interest
Don't treat social media as a fancy fad to be in vogue. Use them judiciously and correctly for maximum benefits and ROI.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How old is your Marketing Head?

It is said that Facebook has started to lose its sheen in the West, it is, however, performing exceedingly well in countries like India, Brazil and other Asian, African and some European countries.
Increasing internet penetration in India and lucrative Facebook features have led to rise in adoption of Facebook for social networking amongst web users. In India the social media giant has amassed 92 million users, which is now the 2nd highest after the U.S, according to Facebook’s own data.
The most interesting fact however, in all these numbers is that :
Teens Aged 18-24 Account For 50% Of Total Facebook Users In India!
Of the total 92 million (7.73% of the total user-base) Facebook users in India, nearly 50% belong to the age group 18-24 years.
Facebook, at an infancy stage in India, finds it's biggest follower in teens who find it exciting and are very active in Facebook. Nearly 11% or 10.6 million Facebook users in India are aged below 17, about 26 million (28% of total Facebook India population) fall in the age group of 25-34. Close to 6.6 million are between 35-44 years, 2.2 million between 45-54 years and the rest above 55 years.
India is also the youngest country in the world in terms of its population's average age which is between 25 and 29 years. With almost 65% of the population under less than 30 years we have, therefore, 65% of all consumers who are less than 30 years!

But how old is the man who is the Marketing Head or the Brand Head in your organization? Does he understand what a 21 year old gizmo freak, digital age, instant gratifying, fickle Indian wants to get from you that would either simplify his life or stimulate his intellectual wisdom? Nope! I am not recommending a 21 Year old Marketing Head. 
Want to know more? Write to me at susmita@thesmartideas.in 

The "Why" Marketing

"Marketing practitioners are divided on whether it’s necessary to understand why consumers behave the way that they do. One view is that understanding “why” enables marketers to develop appealing offers and messages to best match consumer needs. The alternative view is that “why” doesn’t matter when determining the effectiveness of marketing and ROI. Behavioral information is what’s required.

Basic consumer characteristics, such as income, assets and location, probably account for more than perceived product benefits and emotional needs.

Why invest significantly in understanding the consumer’s motivation when it’s costly, imprecise and not immediately linked to sales uplift? If the “why” question is important in today’s environment, how can it be proved in a behavioral way, such as in demonstrated sales impact?

Recent research findings related to mindset metrics and long-term marketing effects provide powerful support for going beyond immediate sales lift as the sole measure of marketing effectiveness. They give a compelling reason to measure consumer mindsets and incorporate the “why” question in comprehensive strategic marketing."

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Omnipotent Brand

A typical response I get even from some veteran entrepreneurs is that small businesses, with not enough money to spend, should concentrate on 'more important' aspects of the business than on branding; or even better - they think they have no need for Branding ! Branding for many small (even bigger) enterprises never go beyond creating a logo and a "tag-line" (whatever that means!).
However, what most organizations don't understand is that every business creates an impression knowingly or unknowingly, positive or negative - that creates a certain perception about them in their customers' mind. The name, logo, ads, service quality, employees' behavior and attitude - everything contribute to this perception.
So, like it or not you do have a brand; what you do with it is, of course, entirely up to you.
The best thing, however, would be to take control of it to your advantage instead of just letting impression happen haphazardly which might result in a negative perception.
Haphazard branding efforts doesn't help your customers associate themselves with your business - they might get confused, you would not have top of mind recall, or they would have no clear idea on what you can do for them.
Branding helps in removing these clutter. In addition, a clear and consistent message sets you apart from your competition and communicates exactly what you are offering. But avoid using repetitive and qualitative standard phrases like best of class", "award-winning", etc. And most importantly, walk the talk so it shows you value your commitment.

Friday, June 20, 2014

From Unsocial Media Promotions to Social Media Marketing - It's High Time!

Would you believe that most, repeat most brands and organizations indulge themselves in something called Unsocial Media Promotion in the name of Social Media Marketing?

Yet, it’s not hard to believe because :

1. We are so used to selling / promoting products for so long that we can’t think beyond it
2. Not many people know what Social Media Marketing is actually!

It has been our experience and observation that while social media opens up a brand new, dynamic and revolutionary strategic marketing process, most social media practitioners are using it as an extension of old, conventional, tactical marketing tool – simply as a Promotional tool with excessive one-way dialogue. And so, there is nothing social about it nor it is Marketing!

Therefore, though we see a very high page likes (sometimes) – through paid ads – we hardly see any engagements happening.

And as you know, in social media, engagement is the only measurement criterion.
They don’t realize that social media engagement measures the activities of their fans and friends – likes, shares, comments, tags, etc - and has almost nothing to do with their posts and pictures? The more they talk, the less is the engagement!

So, how do we move from Unsocial Media Promotions to Social Media Marketing?

Concentrate on the “Social” and the “Marketing” part - that is put emphasis 
  • on multi-way communication - between you, the brand and  your fans, friends, customers, end-users, influencer and brand advocates.
  • don't forget your elementary marketing lessons of 4Ps and 3Cs of Product, Price, Place & Promotion and Customer, Competition & Competencies.

In your social media marketing planning, implementation and analysis put a lot of emphasis on in-depth market research (on customers, targets, competition, market trends, etc) and have a structured content management process in place. This should be reviewed every week to see that you are reaching the desired engagement level.
All the best.
(C) Susmita Das Gupta

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Brand Relationship ...

“In pre-internet days, the buyer’s process was fairly straightforward: stimulus, shelf, experience. A stimulus sparked a buyer’s interest in a product, they went to the store or called a salesperson to buy it, and then they experienced the product. There were very few places where a brand could intersect with the buyer: an advertisement, which may have been the stimulus; the packaging and display, which spurred the purchase; and, possibly, after the sale in customer service – though if it came to that, it was inevitably because something had gone wrong.

Today’s purchasing journey, whether for a consumer product or complex business purchase, has infinitely more touch-points where a brand and buyer might intersect.”

The more interesting thing here is that – while brands used to be the “property” of the brand owner (product / service) since the beginning of the concept of brand, it is no longer so. Now the brand belongs to the person who uses it, recommends it, advocates for it or slams it openly. Therefore, while the brand custodian has changed in the post internet period, the brand association has certainly increased, with those who use or refuse them.

When a customer talks passionately about a brand whether loving or thrashing it – there is a sense of ownership involved. And that ownership is something which the brand should leverage on. And perhaps, that is what brand friendship is all about.

Ultimately, if the brand and me are not friends, how do I care what happens to it?