A Lesson In Brilliant Marketing

While everyone makes the buzz on Tampines’ DBSS $880,000 price tag bigger and noisier, little do they know that they are all falling for the oldest and most effective marketing ploy … textbook stuff on how to hype up a sale.

The whole idea is to generate interest. Whether the interest is positive or negative, the first phase of the campaign is to generate maximum interest. And it is common knowledge that negative interest is easier to generate and brings in more interest than positive interest. This negative interest is sure to create public outcry and demands.

The second phase of the campaign is to seem to capitulate to public demand. In the process, the key element is to posture the campaigner as giving in or relenting to the pains, woes and complaints of the public, making it seem as if the campaigner is sympathetic to public concerns. This puts the campaigner back in positive light. This process drums up more interest as the public awaits the final decision.

The third phase of the campaign is to announce a compromise – in the case of DBSS, it would a price discount from the original $880,000 – and to sweeten the deal, an incentive is also dished out. This part of the campaign is often hyped up more than phase one because it is designed to defray any remaining negativity generated by phase one. The distraction is so effective that the public often forgets what originally happened and falls for the hype of phase three.

But when the hype dies down, the compromise and incentives still help the campaigner make more money than if they had taken the conventional route of advertising and marketing. The public will later realize that they still paid more than is reasonable albeit at a lesser price than the original price in phase one.

The objective of such a campaign is to get a deal done at a higher price than is deemed fair or current. Conventional advertising and marketing will not achieve this as such conventions are heavily subjected to supply and demand. The Hype campaign works in a market that is already teeming with interest and waiting for the next big thing or waiting for a move in pricing – especially when pricing has faltered or stalled and just before a perceived price fall. The result of a successful Hype campaign will serve to give the industry another leg up in pricing for the next cycle of the price move.

The Hype campaign is also cheaper than running the conventional route. Conventional advertising is costly and competitive. Running a hype campaign by rousing public interest through mass communication channels is far less cheaper and sometimes costs nothing. But it generates way more interest than conventional advertising and the results are undeniably more effective.

This is classic marketing 101.

I don’t understand what the fuss is all about. If we are not happy about the price of something, just don’t buy it. The basic principle of Supply and Demand will dictate a price capitulation if there are few or no participants in the sale. The power of the Buyer is, in most cases, more powerful than the Vote. If you don’t want property prices to continue rising, then don’t buy anything at these ridiculous prices. It is that simple rather than bitch, whine and gripe about something and contribute to the hype of this campaign. Your complaints will only serve to make the campaign all the more successful.

There are cheaper, more affordable properties in the market now so why make all this noise about something that someone is using to prop up prices?

There is only one solution to combat high prices – stop buying. After all, there is only one person to blame for these high prices – the buyer.

So if you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Just like Mr Khaw said.


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local reporters have nothing else to write about. it’s no clever marketing just pure greed and the government encouraging it.

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