Akshay Mehrotra is the Chief Marketing Officer at Future Value Retail Ltd. Currently as the CMO for Big Bazaar, the largest retail chain in India, he oversees overall marketing and brand building activities for entire format including Big Bazaar and Fashion@BigBazaar (FBB) brand. Akshay was previously the Chief Marketing Officer of Policybazaar.com(a Naukri & Intel Capital Portfolio Company) where he helped build the first and largest online insurance business in the country. He was also the Head of Marketing and Corporate Communication of Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance where he was instrumental in building the brand and building various direct distribution channels. He is considered as one of the premier marketers in the country who has done both traditional and online marketing.
What are few cliches in Real Estate Marketing?
Most real estate campaigns are very similar and try only to show case a home or an apartment and highlight imagery which is very similar. Most campaigns are focused only in either print advertisement or outdoor.
Today consumers engage with communication and also connect on an emotional level and not just at a transactional level. A home or flat is the single most expensive and involved purchase taken by a family mostly in a life time but I don’t think the communication or advertising captures this consumer insight. While a flat or house is not a property you buy it sets the tone how you will spend a large part of your life, rear your family or spend your old age. I feel a few brands or projects have highlighted a property as a Destination like Amby Valley or Lavasa has captured the minds of customers.
What are two rules that differ in Real Estate Marketing than from any other category like FMCG?
Real estate is a high involvement and high value investment. The marketing must involve not just good imagery but also experiences which may not be needed in FMGC marketing. Another major change is that the product cannot come to you, the customer needs to come to the product to experience it. Being an involved category, while the man of the house will buy the property the decision is taken with consent and involvement of every one including friends and family.
Suggest ways by which Real Estate Marketing can be improved in India?
Current marketing approach is about identification and being a part of search activity for the customers. But I believe the next step is to connect with customers on a real engagement layer.
How can digital as a medium be used to improve and enhance real estate marketing?
Digital can help in three ways – first by impacting customers when they are making their mind to purchase a property. People today search online. Search engine marketing is an important part of real estate marketing. Second part is remind marketing, with the advent of retargeting and behavioral targeting it is now possible to influence customers on a continued basis and make them look at product more often and at relevant time period. Online is also a great platform where customers can experience the finer details which a press advertisement or outdoor cannot explain, today’s real estate players can put 3D models of the property, allow customers to customize and put furniture and fixtures and model a apartment before they actually visit in person.
Why do real estate marketers rely on print and OOH in their media mix, is that because it gives higher returns or is it because its convenient?
Currently TV feeds are not localized while the need for Real Estate marketing in very localized or catchment driven. Marketing only has a handful of tools for reaching out to relevant audience. I believe as TV networks are investing in going digital and soon we should be able to see location based targeting possible even on TV which will allow real estate marketing to have higher ROI. Online and mobile marketing are some of the new tools which all marketing are experimenting to reach out to most relevant audience.
Akshay Mehrotra is on the jury panel of Paul Writer’s The Great Indian Marketing Summit (GIMS) – Realty Conclave & Awards Program
Date : June 21, 2013
Venue: The Leela Palace Hotel, Bangalore