My experience of most marketing suites and sales centres is that they are remarkably similar and therefore have a reduced impact on their visitors. This article argues that this need not be the case. There are a number of key points to think about for your marketing suite to be a success and stand out from your competition.
First impressions count
The first thing you must recognise is that a marketing suite, along with its surrounding signage and branding, is often the first impression a potential customer will have with both your product and your brand. It is vital that you consider how both those elements are served by the treatment of your marketing suite. It is your first opportunity to impress and first impressions really do count.
As the focal point on the customer journey it can really start with the experience you provide. In this case the marketing suite is the environment. It is rare these days that a location, development or product is launched without the support of this type of customer experience.
Match the feel to the product
When LG launched a range of steam washing machines a Central London hotel was chosen to set up a temporary marketing area in. This is no less a marketing suite than a permanent installation on a property development and the client was keen that attention to detail was paramount. You can see the colours and feel of the area on this marketing suite case study page. If you can use a rented space for a product launch then it is going to be cost effective than building or renting a temporary structure. It is important that the visitor feels comfortable with a space and that the event or product your are selling fits within that space too. There’s no point pointing visitors to a converted garage if you are selling high end houses as much as there is holding the launch of a product aimed at teenagers in a high end hotel.
Know who you want to engage with
Property marketing suites work in the very same way. The starting point can be extracted from the marketing campaign that the marketing suite will be supporting. Be flexible in the choice of decoration though. It is a fine balance but look to cover all your bases.
Let’s take an example of a block of apartments aimed at the young professional market. It would be obvious to have a contemporary marketing suite set up, lots of clean edges and bright colours. Ok, this is all well and good, but remember that the current market has made it tough for many to get a foot on the property ladder and more often than not parents are involved to support the purchase. The answer is to have your funky cappuccino machine and interactive screens in full view, but also allow a softer area to retreat to with traditional tea and biscuits for those who may find the key message off-putting.
Look at the marketing suite Octink put together for Countryside properties at Ebbsfleet.
Understand how different markets work
When aiming at investors then you can afford to be more simple in your approach. The key is here to concentrate on your graphics. You need to demonstrate, in the clearest way possible, figures, case studies and local information based around what the investor would need to know in order to calculate the value of the return.
The same holds true for commercial property suites. I was recently involved in a project where potential investors were taken to the 9th floor of a nearby building. You could see the entire development from there, giving the visitor a perfect vision of the scope of the development. The potential investor was then treated to an array of ceiling height graphics detailing all the key features of the development together with photography and investment information. There was a high end coffee / bar set up with very comfortable seating to allow the deal to be done in style and comfort. The final marketing suite was simple yet perfect for the target market.
Choose your location wisely
Assess exactly what the visitor is going to see. As before a high level marketing suite is perfect when overlooking a development. It described the entire development without words. This is the best route of communication. People tend to read very little of what they see – they tend to pick the information they want to hear. For first time buyers that might be features like Sky TV or videophone entry. For the investor that might be prices and local area information.
If you have a great view use a double height structure and add a viewing platform. Use the marketing suite to remind the potential customer why they chose to visit you in the first place.
The view from The Peak development offered the designer huge possibilities as this marketing suite case study page shows.
Walk through the whole experience
Once the floor plan is agreed and the design is underway go back to the entrance and then mentally walk through the whole experience. Use a perfect world where the starting point is the greeting and, if required, concludes with a closing sale. Think of the detail around each area. Consider comfort, colour and branding throughout to balance your decision making. For example you might want to encourage visitors to stand when walking around informational areas by removing any seating but then entice them to sit in a comfortable area with tea and coffee where there is a higher sales presence at the end of the experience.
Allow for areas to work for the brand
If you want to start the experience well then avoid positioning any office desks directly in front of the point of entry into the marketing suite. Create a comfortable and enticing space, perhaps with some form of visible hospitality as a welcome point. If there is a need for a deal to be struck allow for privacy and comfort. Remove all the clutter that tends to accumulate around with these areas, use storage wisely and invest in cupboards with ample space for filing away messy paperwork. Bespoke furniture can hide a myriad of brochures, forms and office equipment. Cheap furniture will both let you down in terms of look, application and durability. Invest wisely so you only have to do it once.
You can see time and time again how successful well designed marketing suites can be.
As mentioned before the quality of the whole experience is dictated by the detail. Use good quality materials and do not compromise on the fit out. Visitors will compare the quality of the marketing suite to the quality of the product you are trying to sell. So it is vital that you spend time getting the interiors right, scrutinise every detail.
Octink recently showed how powerful this can be. At Priors Hall Park Octink was given five tent like structures and in a very short space of time converted these into a stunning marketing suite.
It is often overlooked when planning your marketing environment that you need to educate your on site staff with the vision that you have for the marketing suite. There is no point coming back to the project in a month’s time to see your lovely minimalist marketing suite covered in paper and empty coffee cups. Ask your design agency to think about communicating a message from visitor arrival through to final deal and how that message is communicated by your staff through that process. The graphic elements within the marketing environment can act as both a prompt and reminder of what the message is.
That last point is the final test. You must try to leave a lasting impression on everyone who uses the marketing environment. Happy marketing.
Read more about Octink and how it helps its customers produce stunning marketing suites.
by Octink in Latest News