If a significant programme of shared ownership is being developed, a comprehensive in-house marketing capability may be established. Alternatively, it may be subcontracted to an external partner (such as a local housing association with experience in sales and marketing of shared ownership), with the new entrant just having its own in-house expert to project manage the sales and marketing contract.
SDS can provide such expertise for new entrants who do not have their own in-house specialists to project manage the programme.
The marketing plan will undoubtedly involve engaging with the local Help to Buy agent or First Steps in London. A range of sales and marketing collateral will need to be produced which will include brochures, site hoardings, websites, social media, leaflet drops, and local press advertising. Also, news content may be provided by the organisation’s PR team to local media outlets. The nature, scale and timing of deployment will vary depending on the type of site, location and the target client group. Getting this right is tricky, but the experience will deliver improved results. John Wanamaker, the hugely successful United States retailer, considered by some to be a “pioneer in marketing” opened one of the first department stores in the United States. His empire grew to 16 stores and eventually became part of Macy’s. Wanamaker is credited with coining the phrase “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”. With the coming of digital marketing, the return on advertising investment become easier as leads can be traced. Having said that, some within the marketing sector have said that with the development of ‘viral marketing’ things are getting harder again- as you can’t trace the root of the viral chain.
So, the message is clear; it’s as much an art as it is a science, so it is important for the new entrant to have access to marketers with experience in shared ownership.
Read the other articles in the series