How DLF uses content marketing to build trust and win over customers

In episode two of Pepper Content’s Top of the Funnel series, DLF CMO Karan Kumar talks about the changing role of content marketing and storytelling in real estate.
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“If you need storytelling to sell a Rs 5 or Rs 10 packet of biscuits, then you need storytelling to sell a product that is worth Rs 2.5 crore, Rs 3 crore, or Rs 30 crore,” says Karan Kumar, Chief Marketing Officer, DLF.

The real estate industry in India is plagued by several challenges. One big challenge that stands in the way of marketers and sellers is the lack of trust and transparency between the customer and the builder. When Karan Kumar took up the position as DLF’s first-ever CMO, he was clear that it would be his problem to solve.

In episode two of Pepper Content’s Top of the Funnel series, Karan Kumar and Natasha Puri (Content Marketing Lead, Pepper Content), sit down to talk about the changing role of content marketing and storytelling in real estate.

“When people want to buy a product of high-ticket value like a home, they want to know everything about the product and also everything that comes with it. It’s essential to have a very honest and transparent dialogue without making any kind of over-statements or reporting any kind of factual inaccuracies,” Karan explains.

Content is no longer about making a 30-second advertisement film; it’s evolved and changed a lot. Now marketers want to experiment with formats like web series and long-form content. At DLF, Karan says one of their recent and most successful campaigns was the 'DLF Cares' campaign that was hosted on multiple platforms: social media as well as on the ground.

“Many of our employees were made to stay on a DLF campus to take care of the communities that they were serving during the pandemic. One of the campuses had 450-odd people, and the work involved taking care of the sanitisation, safety measures, electricity, water and plumbing, etc,” Karan says.

“We showcased to the world what was being done using video, and held real-person video interviews of the residents while keeping it true to our values of transparent and honest communication. As a result, the campaign worked out very well, leading to positive conversations around the brand, and ultimately, conversions or revenue generation,” he adds.

From ITC to FabIndia and now DLF, Karan’s career has been full of challenges and surprises, and yet, he feels that whether it is selling a bag of chips or a luxury condo, certain principles remain the same. Having authentic conversations with your customers is one such commandment. Another being creating the right internal marketing structure to win big.

At DLF, Karan is putting together a marketing team of brand managers and subject matter experts who work closely with them. These experts are skilled in SEO, content marketing, PR or events, as well as in the real estate industry. He feels their expertise can feed into the requirements of the brand managers, and together, they form a dream team.

The ultimate ROI on content marketing remains crystal clear in his mind: revenue generation and all marketing efforts must aid sales velocity, while winning the trust of the customers.

Edited by Kanishk Singh