‘Print & OOH will not witness the same ad spending as pre-Covid times’

Amanda Puravankara, Executive Director, Provident Housing Limited, Puravankara, talks about their new OOH campaign in Mumbai, evolved marketing playbook, and more

e4m by Ritika Raj
Published: Jan 10, 2022 9:05 AM  | 6 min read
sorry mumbai

For real estate, OOH has always been crucial. Puravankara Limited, a real-estate developer, also aimed to strike the chord with its recent OOH campaign ‘Sorry Mumbai’. According to Amanda Puravankara, Executive Director, Provident Housing Limited, Puravankara, the brand targeted popular outdoor spaces to guarantee large-scale visibility and garner customer attention through this bold campaign. She added “We recognised the shift in customer preference and wished to present our full-stack proposition to them. In Mumbai, the prevalent belief is that affordability and high quality of living are mutually exclusive. By introducing Provident Housing Ltd., our primary objective was to upend this notion. Choosing a Provident home means not accepting a trade-off. Mumbai is a burgeoning real estate market, and it is crucial to enhance the recall factor amongst homebuyers while setting up a new project. The campaign has enabled us to reach our target groups through a medium that is non-invasive and non-skippable.”

Divulging insights on the metrics for the ‘Sorry Mumbai’ campaign, Puravankara adds, “The idea behind this campaign was to be disruptive and yet stand out in a crowded RE space.  Since Provident is a younger brand, we introduced an edgier campaign that will garner more attention, especially with the new-age buyers. The campaign successfully generated significant traction. In fact, our walk-ins increased by 25%. This, of course, does not mean that the campaign did not receive any brickbats, but that is natural for any disruptive campaign. And, we perceive this as an encouraging sign.”

 

Talking to the evolved consumer

The pandemic has fundamentally transformed the aspirations of homebuyers. Talking about the evolved consumer preferences, she said, “With hybrid work structures gaining prominence and limited access to public spaces, the need for well-ventilated, spacious and multifunctional interiors has manifolded. With people spending most of their time indoors, there is a heightened desire for privacy and high-end amenities, which improve their quality of living. An increased focus on health and wellness has also fueled demand for features like open green spaces and walking trails around the property. We have also noticed a marked preference for branded developers like Puravankara, who offer gated communities and value-for-money propositions. These needs, coupled with decadal low-interest rates, have led to an unprecedented surge in demand across all key markets.”

According to her, due to these evolved preferences, Provident Housing’s in-house digital platform BookMyHome has seen success in customer interactions and sales conversions. She added “Leveraging technology and innovations like these have resulted in a 151% spike in general inquiries for Provident Housing Ltd. There has also been a 30% rise in qualified leads.  We have witnessed a rise of 20% YoY (Sept 2020 –Sept2021), despite the last two quarters of FY21 being overshadowed by COVID and without any new launches.”

 

Marketing realty in today’s day & age

Puravankara has led with the proposition of ‘affordable luxury’ and the target group for the brand, therefore, according to Puravankara, has been aspirational buyers aged between 25-40 years with a household income of 10 lakhs. The offering speaks to the aspirational desires of the consumers and the communication is aligned with the idea of value for money in their large ticket investments.

Print and OOH have always been an integral part of any realty campaign. However, the advent of COVID and limitations of movement impacted OOH advertising.  Talking about the changing marketing playbook, she added “There has been a sudden and radical shift towards digital marketing. It opened doors for improved targeting and customised messaging. While it does not replace traditional advertising media, it is a welcome addition to the mix.  Print and OOH are set to gain more traction as we steadily inch towards normalcy. However, despite the renewed interest, both mediums will not witness the same ad spending as pre-Covid times. The spent on print advertising has also been reduced by almost 15-20%. It is now mostly leveraged for new launches and large-scale announcements.”

Emphasising the importance of digital, Puravankara shared “Digital marketing has revolutionised the way brands connect with customers. Our corporate website, for instance, generates around 40% of leads and 35% of allocations (in terms of conversions). Social media, especially Facebook, has been instrumental in driving our digital efforts. FB has seen a lead generation of 30% and about 25% allocations. It allows us to offer a myriad of options to our audience and retarget them with customised messages based on their interest.   A robust digital marketing strategy and innovative technology have helped us greatly improve customer experience, increase employee efficiency, broaden sales channels, and optimise costs.”

The brand has also been looking at influencer marketing as consumers tend to follow influencers that represent a certain lifestyle they aspire to achieve. She added, “By selecting the right influencers, we can reach relevant consumers, the defined audience and create awareness about our product. A collaboration with influencers helps us build credibility and maximise visibility. For this campaign, we handpicked micro-influencers, who spoke in Marathi and could establish a direct connect with the local population. The campaign effectively drew customer engagement and provided a 360-view   on the project’s offerings.”

 

Dealing with challenges en-route

The real estate market also sees competition amongst established players. Sharing how technology enables Puravanakara to stand apart, she added “At the advent of the pandemic, digitising our services enabled us to transition to virtual bookings seamlessly. We allocate 1-3% of the project costs on budget to create software technologies and time efficiencies across enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer service and project management. We have recently migrated from our regular ERP software to SAP for better data management and flow information within the organisation. To improve the efficacy of our external communication creativity, we implemented a new AI tool called Neurovision. It analyses images and videos and then predicts what people will most likely see and what they will miss. This helps us place ads in a manner that attracts more eye-balls and ensure brand visibility. It also helps optimise the design to bring attention to the most crucial items and information.”

Talking about other challenges for brands in the real estate sector and how the brand is dealing with them, Puravankara added, “The pandemic had an unprecedented impact on industries. While it resulted in faster technology adoption, it also resulted in disruptions in the supply chains, impacting the rising input cost of raw materials. Many projects across the country were affected due to delays in material procurement. These factors can challenge developers to complete their projects within a nominal budget.  Developers should also focus on ongoing projects to create the required liquidity to start new projects. This will also reduce their unsold inventory and improve buyers’ confidence. At Puravankara, our cross-functional teams work in cohesion to minimise costs across our operations. We leverage advanced technologies like Proptech and ConTech can help mitigate these costs in the long run. We anticipate consolidation in the market, and we are witnessing the market share increase for reputed and trusted developers.”

Further commenting on the plans ahead, she shared “Puravankara Limited is currently spread across nine cities Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kochi, Coimbatore, Mangaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune and Goa. Our current focus is to bolster our presence in these regions and provide more offerings to the buyers. For instance, we are strengthening our position in western India with two new launches in Mumbai and one upcoming launch in Pune.  We are also venturing into new products like Purva Land, our dedicated arm for plotted development.”

 

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