While property marketers play a key role in securing value, they have often found it hard to capture and articulate precisely what it is that they do. All too often, marketing is perceived as a series of tactical, promotional activities rather than the core strategic function that it should be.
At JLL we realised that it wasn’t enough simply to assert the importance of marketing in the property value chain –we needed a more robust and even scientific approach. That’s why we’ve developed what we call the ’12 Ps of Retail Property Marketing’. This concept aims to serve a number of purposes; chief among them is to offer a clear understanding and articulation of how marketing operates at the heart of retail property. But it also sets out to provide marketers themselves with a clearer idea of the actions they can take that will maximize the impact of their work across a range of levels and elements.
12 Ps – The Model
At the foundations we start with property – the first level – where place, product and physical environment are key elements. The second level is proposition, and it’s here that we manage the brand created at the first level. The elements here are people, processes and promotion – and these are all critical to creating the customer experience that will deliver the brand promise. At the top level, we’re concerned with performance. Here, the elements of planning, price and productivity are critical to measuring value and maximising the return from assets.
While the framework of the 12 P’s is not a conceptual exercise; it’s very much concerned with providing a toolkit of practical actions and initiatives that marketers can pursue to drive the most appropriate and relevant activities for a specific asset. There are numerous examples that clearly illustrate the power of directed, evidence-based marketing to create a string a distinctive retail brand.
Successful Retail Marketing
The power of a successful retail property brand can be seen in the premium it can attract as Westfield Stratford in east London did when a Canadian investment fund acquired 50% before a single store had opened its doors. Marketing can create demand for a destination from new sources.
Bicester Village -the factory outlet centre in Oxfordshire- is now top of the list for Chinese visitors coming to the UK thanks to carefully designed and targeted promotions.
Or take the development of a product like Bikini Berlin, the world’s first concept mall. An innovative retail property product, creatively executed, has the all the hallmarks of effective retail marketing. There are countless other examples where consideration of the interplay between different elements can create differentiation and deliver true value – marketing’s core purpose.
So as we consider the future of retail marketing, and the models we should adapt to ensure that the profession moves close to the heart of the retail property industry, as marketers it’s not enough merely to assert our right to sit at the top table. We need to be able to demonstrate why we should be there. The 12 P’s framework offers an excellent place to start the conversation.