By Megha Merani
Dubizzle's new standalone section will target developers spending more on digital marketing than print
Online marketplace Dubizzle is set to up their advertising game and target the intense competition in the UAE property market by launching a dedicated section for real estate developers to aggressively market their new projects across the globe.
The ‘New Projects’ section, expected to go live at the end of October, comes amidst tough macroeconomic conditions, liquidity challenges and sinking property prices in order to help real estate companies expand reach as well as better measure and track advertising spend.
“It’s going to be a standalone part of the site to give developers an opportunity to engage with users on Dubizzle at a point whereby they’re actually searching,” Matthew Gregory, head of property sales at Dubizzle, told Arabian Business in an interview during Cityscape Global last week.
“We understand that developers are still building and launching big, blue-ribbon types of projects. We have to embrace that and understand that actually they’re looking for investors on a global scale. Being part of the OLX group, we (Dubizzle) can help them engage.”
OLX is among the world’s leading classifieds platform in growth markets and is available in more than 45 countries and over 50 languages.
“You can’t reach a global audience without looking at digital,” Gregory said.
“As the market softens, people want to make sure they can measure every little bit of spend. Therefore, the focus on digital is more and if they (developers) can actually say ‘I got X number of leads from you at this value’, then clearly the opportunity is to migrate that spend to digital platforms.”
While most developers are allocating spend to digital, Gregory said he believes more education is needed around the best ways to track and measure response.
“We are seeing a lot of migration,” he said.
“You take Emaar as an example. They are now digital and they measure everything. And now because Emaar are doing it, the opportunity now is that everyone else is tuned into how they can actually get better at analysing and focusing their spend on something that they can measure.”
Dubai’s largest listed real estate developer Emaar Properties PJSC forwent participation in Cityscape Global last year to move its complete marketing strategy on digital platforms.
“I think that we’re still to see the shift of the big budgets,” Gregory admitted.
“We know that there are budgets that are used on outdoor and different media that are huge in comparison to spend on digital. There’s a lot of education still to do… (on how to) measure response, measure leads, measure what their spend is actually creating for them in business because it’s not just about a lead, the more digital you focus on, you’re measuring sales, you’re measuring conversion, you’re measuring actual return on investment.”
Dubizzle Property has more than 130,000 listings and registers over 100,000 daily visits.
However, digital is unlikely to overtake traditional ad spend for now.
“The opportunity that the UAE bestows is the one of size and space so you have the opportunity to market projects in a much grander way,” Gregory said.
“I think that focus is never going to go away. Yes, we want to retain more of the other budgets but I think there is always going to be a place for the zooming in on the big splash.
“You have to especially when you’re looking to shift thousands of units.”For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.