“We deliver ‘different strokes for different folks’ through experiential”-Girish Shah, EVP Marketing, Godrej Properties
Experiential has completely changed the way how an audience perceives a brand nowadays and it has also significantly impacted the marketing strategies by key players for their brands. Marketers today want to come up with unique strategies to create a unique brand identity for their offering. Whether it means spending excessively on an activation or coming up with an event of its own from scratch; marketers today do not want to leave any stone unturned to make their brand presence felt and remembered.
From organizing an annual Intra Club Golf Challenge to organizing awareness drives the company Godrej Propertiestakes experience driven marketing strategies very seriously. EE, caught up with Girish Shah, EVP Marketing & Sales, Godrej Properties Ltd on the idea, concepts and future prospects of the brand in the world of experiential marketing.
Q- In the experiential domain, Godrej Properties organizes Intra-Club Golf Challenge which is an annual inter- club event. So where did the idea of this event originate from?
A- At Godrej Properties, we quite literally believe in a ‘different strokes for different folks’ approach. Our goal is to reach audiences when they are most engaged, be it theatre, art, music or certain sports like golf that are enjoyed by our target group. In line with this we have introduced numerous customized consumer engagement programs to connect with our customers from various backgrounds, cultures, demographics and regions to reach out to our customers through various innovative on ground brand activations – either conceptualizing them ourselves or through and sponsoring shows that are in synergy with the Companies broad engagement objectives.
This approach is works well to enhance brand recall and we have a few well-defined platforms which we will associate with across geographies.
Q- In the past Godrej properties has organized awareness drives and game shows as part of its marketing campaign, how else do you plan to connect with the potential customers experientially?
A- At Godrej Properties, it has been our endeavor to give our customers a life time experience which is special and unique. We believe investing in relationships go a long way to build and enhance a brand, not to forget the many million smiles that we earn along the way. For instance we now offer Golf Clinics to complement our annual multi-city tournament to engage with our customers in unique and distinct ways according to their preferences – such initiatives go a long way in building and sustaining relationships with our customers.
Q- What is the overall budget for experiential marketing of Godrej properties and what do you look for in an event agency before hiring them to execute an experiential campaign?
A- We earmark a certain portion of our overall marketing spends exclusively for experiential marketing and it usually ranges from 2 to 2.5%. Hence when we have more projects to promote, our presence goes up proportionately.
When we work with agencies we are looking for a long term association with a partner who could understand our brand ethos and know the target group well – those are key elements in coming up with fresh new ideas that capture the imagination and have recall value for the brand.
Q- What is the response you have received so far from various experiential campaigns by your brand?
A-Our customers have received all our efforts very welcomingly and all our events have great turnouts and success so far. We hope to continue our efforts to keep our customers delighted in the years to come.
When we started with the Golf Challenge, we had no idea it would be so popular and go this far. At Godrej Properties, we have always believed in engaging with customers on a personal level. This goes a long way in cementing the bond of trust that Godrej Properties as a brand has built over the years with its customers. This year was the fourth and by far the biggest edition of the Godrej Properties Golf Challenge. This year’s event witnessed eight city rounds, and saw an increase in the total number of participating golfers to over 1000. This year’s event like 2013 again culminated into an International Finals at Bangkok. As a differentiator for the current season, we also introduced a series of Golf Clinics which were conducted across the 8 cities. These clinics aimed at garnering a wider audience, ideally targeting club members & individuals who are interested in learning golf as a sport.
Similar to the golf challenge, our handover events have also been very successful and had our customers having a life time experience when moving into our new house. A big carnival was planned for the handover of Godrej Prakriti at Kolkata. The day long Carnival kicked off with a fun fair, games, entertainment and food and not to forget the loads of happy smiles. The evening ended with a concert with Mir Afsar Ali, a renowned Bengali singer and artist. Over 400 customers were welcomed to their new homes in style. On the occasion, a welcome kit with all the details needed for a seamless transition into their new homes, was handed over to the customers along with the keys to their dream home.
Another such instance is the handover of Godrej Garden City (GGC) at Ahmedabad, where the celebrations lasted for a full 9 days of Navaratri with over 600 families being welcomed to their new homes. Celebrity studded evenings with local favourites like RJ Devaki, Devang Patel, ArvindVegda and esteemed cabinet minister Anandi Ben Patel gracing the occasion made this the talk of the town. The event included games and activities such as rangoli making, pottery making and an exclusive kid’s zone. This event also earmarked the beginning of the green initiative, where the residents pledged to go green, and were gifted a sapling.
Godrej Properties MD, MrPirojsha Godrej performed the MahaAarti to mark the start of the festivities and the families lit sky lanterns to mark the auspicious beginning of a new chapter in their lives.
With live performances by popular local artists and Garba beats, everyone joined the celebrations enthusiastically. Over the week, more than 1 lac Garba enthusiasts came to GGC and joined in the celebrations. There was a celebrity performance on each day, along with a ‘best dancer’ competition which was featured in Ahmedabad Times. Little wonder that Godrej Garden City has now become the “it destination” in Ahmedabad.
Q-Any other experience driven campaigns you look forward to executing in the future?
A-We are gearing up for the handover of our various projects in Chennai, Nagpur and the next phase in Ahmedabad soon.
In addition to that we have a lot of theatrical previews and musical shows we are partnering with to engage with our customers. We build relations with our esteemed customers and channel partners, by inviting them to theatre events/movie premiers etc with their family – a small gesture that goes a long way in building relations over the years.
Q-Your views on experiential marketing when compared to print and television marketing?
A-While television has its own advantages there is no refuting the fact that experiential marketing has a personal connect with the customers. It gives us an opportunity to interact with our customers on a personal level. We have always believed in engaging with customers on a personal level. We regularly invite customers with their families to various events, movie premiers, theatre plays and create multiple platforms to engage with customers. This goes a long way in cementing the bond of trust that Godrej Properties as a brand has built over the years with its customers.
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