Consumer journey – How the 3Ps of marketing made me buy our apartment
It’s been six years since my wife & I bought an apartment in Bangalore. This was one of the biggest investment that I have made till date & the journey to this purchase was rather interesting. It had nothing to do with major ad campaigns by builders, rather it was the other three Ps of marketing which did the trick, come to think of it.
The decision to buy a house was a foregone conclusion. I was married for more than a year, staying at a rental, spending the earnings on eating & drinking out, going on a vacation and so on. That’s when the families conspired and decided to teach us a lesson. They started pressurising us into buying an apartment, comparing the EMI to that of the current rent that we are paying (truth be told there is a difference of sky & the land in the amount). Though we were able to blunt the constant nagging for some time, we finally gave in to the social norm and decided to look at options.
AT TIMES AN EXTERNAL INTERVENTION IS REQUIRED TO CHANGE A HABIT OR WAY OF THOUGHTS. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE FOR HIGH INVOLVEMENT CATEGORY LIKE REAL ESTATE, EDUCATION, CAREER, RELATIONSHIP. BRANDS NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHO THESE INFLUENCERS ARE
Now that we started the hunt for an apartment, our routines changed a little bit. We started spending lot more time on Magic Bricks, Common Floor, 99 Acres and the likes. We actually spent a copious amount of time during the weekdays shortlisting the properties and then fixing site visits during the weekend. Two different Placement played an important role in this. The place where we did our research and the location of the property. The individual websites of real estate builders were pretty basic in 2012, and we invariably looked at online classified for the property of our choice, new apartment as well as old ones, which was in the three localities that we had shortlisted.
IN THE CONVERGENCE OF VIRTUAL & OFFLINE WORLD, PLACEMENT SHOULD NOT BE JUST SEEN AT THE POINT OF SALE, BUT THE POINT OF RESEARCH AS WELL
We had spent over six months, trying to find an apartment. In the course of time, we had given downpayment to one property only to realise that it wasn’t eligible for a loan. We lost another apartment because our folks decided to check the vastu& the jyotish came back bearing dire consequences. In the six months, all the new apartments that we saw had one common theme. Few acceptable features and low carpet area. We even saw 1200 sft super built up area apartment, which was 3BHK. For a barebone structure it was acceptable, but imagining a fully furnished apartment with that footage made us literally claustrophobic. That’s when we decided that we would rather go with a second-hand apartment, which was a lot more spacious.
DIFFERENT CONSUMERS HAVE DIFFERENT EXPECTATIONS FROM THE SAME PRODUCT OR CATEGORY. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT BRANDS UNDERSTAND THESE USE CASES & CREATE SEAMLESS CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AROUND IT
We had almost given up hope of finding the home in areas that we wanted. The deal was that it had to be almost equidistant (time wise) to both my wife & I. The only location that fit the bill was Koramangala. While browsing through Common Floor, I chanced upon a listing which was quite old. The six months of research taught us that good properties go off the market within 2 months and this property was listed 3 months back. Taking a chance, I did fill in the inquiry, got the broker’s number, and fixed a site visit. We saw the apartment, the location, the area or square footage and subconsciously the decision was made in the blink of the eye. The only question was the cost. This was 30% more expensive than what we had budgeted for.
Two weeks later, we met the owner, negotiated on the cost and a month later got the keys to our own apartment.
WHEN YOU SEE THE VALUE IN SOMETHING, COST/PRICE IS ALMOST NEGLIGIBLE. THIS VALUE IS PERSONAL AS WELL AS EMOTIONAL. A BRAND NEEDS TO BE UNDERSTAND WHAT THE PRODUCT COULD MEAN TO THE CONSUMERS.
There were ads on newspapers, hoarding, internet and so on. These never mattered to us because none of it met the other 3 factors of Placement, Product & Price & in that order. This principle, which has been there for a long time, still holds true in today’s changing times. Advertising or promotion alone cant sustain you for a long time, unless other Ps are good. This is something which brands need to understand & adapt to.
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