After a few weeks looking at the role of sales and marketing suites, I an now going to spend a few weeks discussing the role of pre-sales and how various forms of ROI (Registration of Interest) campaigns can be used.

Pre-sales make-up the core of many project marketing roles and while the value and number of pre-sales required will vary from project to project, pre-sales as such are clearly an essential platform in the development cycle.

There is little doubt that the GFC and the continued jitters in financial markets has intensified the focus on pre-sales, it’s a reality that is not going to change any time soon.

So we see that in an increasing number of cases pre-sales can make or break the future of a proposed development. Consequently because pre-sales are now in most circumstances so closely tied to project financing the success of a pre-sales campaign is more critical than ever before.

The need to secure early sales and hence finance has seen ROI campaigns move into a more deliberate part of the sales path and only when contracts are exchanged will the campaign be seen as a success. It’s no longer good enough for the campaign to generate a database, the results have to be there, and in a staged project there will be a need to sustain an ongoing level of pre-sales and convert interest into secure sales.

Campaigns aimed at securing pre-sales can however be used in several ways and how they are planned and managed needs to subtly change to fit varied conditions and markets.

They can as already noted and importantly be used to create a critical number of essential pre-sales, but there are other ways to use an ROI campaign. They can for example, also be used in a market with very precise targets to act to instill urgency in the minds a particular target audience – thus creating a foundation of pent up demand.

On the other hand, whilst also creating a foundation of demand that benefits the developer, those purchasers that do get in early can reap great rewards by avoiding price rises due to the demand created.

In this type of market the use of whisper and off-market campaigns can be used and while still falling within the gambit of ROI campaigns, these are a highly specialised activity.

Understanding as outlined, how important pre-sales are the job of creating a suitable ROI plan and then making sure it works to meet the core objectives that is securing contracted sales, is the key to this entire topic.

At this early stage in this topic I also feel there is relevance to suggest that ROI campaigns might now being used a little to freely, and by being applied to almost any type and price range of project might not necessarily be a positive, and may have the impact, even if unintentional, of reducing the impact and value of ROI campaigns in the mind of buyers.

To be continued… Revisit Project Agenda next week for Part 2 of this post.