Snehil Gautam, Head of Growth & Marketing,Housing.com, Makaan.com and PropTiger.com discusses the brand’s latest campaign and its efforts to make house hunting easier with technology

HOW HOUSING.COM IS MAKING REAL ESTATE TECH SAVVY

Housing.com launched a campaign titled ‘yahaan search khatam karo’, which was slated for an extensive promotion during IPL, which was unfortunately truncated during the second wave of the pandemic. Snehil Gautam, Head of Growth & Marketing, Housing.com, Makaan.com and PropTiger.com discusses the campaign and explains how revisions of the marketing mix have become crucial for brands during these uncertain times

Q] Tell us about Housing.com’s ‘Yahaan Search Khatam Karo’ campaign. What was the insight behind it?
Finding solutions for housing related requirements is never easy. And the process involves too much due diligence and hard work for both buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords. And this is where technology of housing steps in. The adoption of technology in real estate, especially with the challenges posed by the pandemic, has made the process much simpler, ensuring that the hassles consumers face are considerably reduced. Therefore, we are saying ‘yahan search khatam karo’ because we understand the consumer’s pain points in buying or renting a home. With its wide range of technology enabled services, Housing.com helps buyers, sellers, renters and property owners to find end to end solutions and provides assistance at every step of their transactional journey.
Through its humorous take, the campaign actually highlights the seriousness of the issues that property seekers and owners face. But at the same time, it gives a very entertaining narrative to the overall problem. And at the end of these ads, we show how Housing.com is actually solving that problem. We had Rajkumar Rao and Manoj Bajpai as our leading ambassadors for the campaign.

Q] What media mix and budget was allocated towards the campaign?
We have an annual budget of around USD 6 million for the overall campaign with a healthy mix of Television and Digital. We concentrate on TV and Digital because that is where the audience reach is really high. And because Television is a more expensive channel than Digital, we are spending about 65% of our budget on TV and 30-35% on Digital.

ABOUT THE BRAND
Founded in 2012, Housing.com is owned by Elara Technologies, a full stack real estate platform that also owns Makaan.com and PropTiger.com. Housing.com is a real estate advertising platform for home owners, landlords, developers, and real estate brokers. The company offers a wide selection of verified listings for new homes, resale homes, rentals, and co-living spaces in India through a trained team of data collectors, analysts, and auditors.

FACTS
Creative agency: Lowe Lintas
PR Agency: ICCPL

PROFILE
Snehil Gautam is the Head of Growth & Marketing for Housing.com, Makaan.com and PropTiger.com. He is responsible for the planning, execution and monitoring of the organisation’s marketing strategies across verticals. He also brings to his role rich experience in various spheres of marketing across branding, performance and content marketing.

MARKETING TIP
Consumer trends are evolving at such a rapid pace, so experiment a lot more and learn more.
Q] Since the campaign was slated for an extensive promotion during IPL, which got postponed mid-way, what marketing strategies have you now employed to amplify its reach?
IPL has always been an extremely important avenue for advertising and in these lockdowns, it has seen significantly high viewership. So we decided to advertise during the IPL in the last 12 months. We look at this as a long term investment and this will help us keep going for next 10-20 years. So, once IPL was cancelled, we double dipped on other genres like news and GEC and at the same time, we increased our spends on digital channels like YouTube, social media and influencer marketing.

Q] Tell us how crucial the revisions of a brand’s marketing mix have become due to the impact of the second wave? How has the role of marketing has changed in light of the pandemic?
Revision of plans is always important and it is something brands should be prepared to do. In fact, digital brands are advertising quite a lot on high reach programmes like the IPL, cricket matches or GEC shows. So it’s extremely important to have backup plans because we don’t know whether these programmes will eventually happen or not, especially on the cricket side, as it is a little risky in these times. So what is important is you need to have different plans in place. And you should know that if IPL is not going to happen, if India versus England is not going to happen, what are your other performing genres on Television or on Digital? And you will have to focus on that. We as marketers, need to realise that there are new avenues now that are available because of the pandemic. For example, getting consumers to do an online site visit for a home was always a challenge before the pandemic but now we’re seeing a lot of consumers are actually doing these site visits online. They are also doing video calls with the brokers and developers. It has become a very welcome trend for us because at the end of the day, we are an online player. And all these changes in consumer behaviour actually will help us to grow faster. So, things that have helped us in the pandemic are new user segments, they are coming online for different services like home search as well. Also, there are now new avenues, new consumer trends, and consumer behaviour within the already existing online community that the marketers or the product managers need to keep an eye on.

Q] What kind of growth have you seen from non-metros during the pandemic? How are you focusing on such markets and what different approach are you using for the consumers in those markets?
We are seeing extremely encouraging trends from different parts of the country. The pandemic has helped in a way that lots of user segments who were not very tech savvy have adopted digital in a very encouraging way. And we are seeing a significant rise in traffic and adoption of online for home search from tier II and III cities. It was always a problem and challenge for us before COVID that we were not able to bring the majority of the users in these regions online but now, we have seen an increase of almost 150% in traffic from these the tier II and III cities.