Expert Speak

Mobile Platform Transforms Real Estate Outreach

Mobile Platform

By Sunny Sharma & Pranay Mehrotra

New Delhi, March 31: Whether you are on the road looking at signboards around you, tuned in to the radio, watching a movie or reading the newspaper – the presence of Real Estate companies cannot be ignored.

They are advertising like never before. But is the arrow hitting its mark? Is it only visibility they want or is the fundamental purpose of advertising still valid – drive and generate sales enquiries? Assuming companies still value the Return on Investment (RoI) they get from advertising, real estate marketing is ignoring the obvious reality. Advertising needs to invoke interactivity and that needs a platform. Preferably, a platform that is massively popular that requires minimal effort.

In the summer of 2013, AIPL, a real estate major decided to take over billboards in various parts of Gurgaon, Noida and Delhi and used the face of a tranquil and peaceful Gautam Buddha as their brand ambassador. Huge billboards and hoardings adorned some of the busiest junctions such as the Gurgaon toll (which was still paid), the HUDA City Centre Metro station and most of the Metro pillars on the busiest parts of M G Road.

This outdoor advertisement was on the South Ex flyover If you travel on the road anywhere in the capital region, chances are you have a glimmer of recognition in your eyes right about now. Well, back then people were talking about this and everybody wanted to know more about this. Naturally, calling on a toll free number was a popular choice but a vast majority also decided to visit their website on their mobile devices – something that everybody carries around these days. In arguably one of the most technologically advanced region of India, the AIPL website was built to support only 5,000 hits and subsequently went down. So much hard work, procurement of the best ad spaces in Delhi only to be a miser when it comes to basic technology spend (in fact Cloud hosting is sometimes cheaper than a dedicated on-premises server).

Similar campaigns are done by large builders, such as M3M India, Lotus Greens, Ramprastha Developers, Gulshan Homz, Brys Buzz and many more. Ultimately, everybody knows about them – ends up talking about them, but due to the absence of something as simple as a ‘call-to-action’, nothing really happens.

AIPL Website down due to not being on a Cloud Server
In a supremely competitive industry that has traditionally been dependent on brokers and contractors, where outdoor marketing is the latest fad, what are some basic changes that can be made in the strategy?

1. Integrate Mobile into your print campaigns

With analytics and metrics revolutionizing advertising and RoI, it is important to keep in mind that almost all the action that is taken after seeing an advertisement is going to be on a mobile device. Attracting the mobile visitor to your web presence can be achieved by simple techniques like using a QR Code and a call-to-action. Eliminating the need to type also reduces the effort needed and increases the chances of a positive response.

2.Mobile Web Optimization

The web presence of most Indian businesses is made choosing appearance over the user experience and often ignoring how the websites load on a mobile device, by simply adding a responsive plugin. Due to reliance on hearsay and no availability of facts, a lot of these businesses try to catch the bull by its tail and try to leverage the mobile ecosystem by making smartphone applications, miserably missing the whole point of why platform-specific apps are so successful.

Satya Group, another Real Estate major in the Delhi region were early adopters and chose to revamp their business website on mobile. The response has been staggering. From a website that was sitting pretty and was appreciated on how it looked, it really wasn’t doing anything to get in potential visitors.

3.Mobile Marketing Campaigns
While the response from traditional marketing avenues like print campaigns and radio advertisements is essentially anecdotal, integrating a mobile strategy is unquestionable. But the real value lies beyond simply integrating and it is critical for business owners and marketing departments to realize a practice that a lot of international brands have religiously adopted – mobile first! While going mobile is a priceless tool to integrate with your contemporary advertising techniques, it is independently a great platform to explore and leverage. When done right, the impact this will have on your business will be unmatched.

Some Common Misconceptions
A lot of companies today believe that they are active on mobile but doing it only half-right is often worse than not focusing on mobile at all. You may be advertising on mobile but is your website actually offering a decent experience when visited? Does your website have the basics right? Is digital advertising and display network actually working, even though the meter is ticking? All in all, do you first have the platform to assimilate and respond to the digital leads you get, before they actually start coming?

GoMobile today!

Companies which spend incalculable amounts of money on billboards all across the city, need to increase their marketing spend by only about a lac per year to start benefiting from a mobile strategy. There are dozens and scores of case studies and reports by Google, Forrester and many other think tanks on how going mobile has truly revolutionized businesses. The time to go mobile is now and get on the train that we, as a nation, have already missed. But trains in India never leave on time!

(The author Sunny Sharma is CEO and Co Founder and Co-author Pranay Mehrotra is a Lead Product Marketing- Mobile at Foetron and can be reached at is one of the Microsoft Cloud Partners based in Gurgaon. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the views of Channel Times or any of the websites managed or operated by Trivone Digital Services)

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