5. Establishing objectives and traffic benchmarketing

5. Establishing objectives and traffic benchmarketingDan Cirstea (photo) managing partner of advertising agency United says one of the traps mall owners get caught in is establishing objectives and traffic benchmarketing (e.n: the imitation of an aspect of a business where it is seen to excel, such as supply-chain management, customer service, or any other aspect of a business).

“If you don’t have a traffic history, don’t try to compare your mall’s traffic and performance metrics to that of your opponents who opened their businesses in 2004 for example. Numbers are not relevant here!” said the head of United.

Cirstea recommends mall owners to evaluate the aspects of their marketing process in relation with the practices of their peers in the same period to get a clear picture of where the mall stands.

4. The tendency to spend too much on event marketing

4. The tendency to spend too much on event marketingThere are shopping centers that organize in-mall promotional events almost every week, like concerts or cartoon themed events for children. But as Dan Cirstea notes, spending too much events to drive traffic doesn’t always translate into actual sales.

“The mistake here is that mall owners spend thousands to put on events and less in promoting it, and the purpose of the event is to draw attention on it and increase traffic. Events can be efficient tools to drive sales, but they are useless in a stand-alone mode”, Cirstea pointed out.

The media and PR spend should take a considerable slice of the campaign’s total budget. In fact, the promotion spending is not recommended to be less than 40% of total campaign budget, and it can even go up to 60-80% in certain cases.

3. Delay in promoting the event

3. Delay in promoting the eventAnother trap to avoid in event marketing is spreading the news on the upcoming event too late. Mall owners should let the shoppers know about the event well in advance.

“Mall owners often announce the event one-two week in advance, wrong! This type of event must be promoted in the media at least four weeks ahead. The longer the promotion period, the higher the traffic”, said Dan Cirstea.

2. Short term versus long term

2. Short term versus long termEven if in-mall events are efficient instruments to drive traffic on a short term, shopping centers are still long-term projects. Therefore, the success of a mall lies in longer periods of advertising and PR.

“A creative approach to advertising and public relations will always surprise the client. You will be able to build a clear picture of the values and position of the brand, much more comprehensive than event marketing”, the manager said.

1. Market research

1. Market researchMarket research is, according to Dan Cirstea, most of the times a hidden mall-marketing trap.

“I don’t know too many shopping centers that invest in professional market research and use it in marketing planning. As far as I am concerned, mall owners should do market research about consumers two times a year”, he said.

United agency was established in 2000 and is specialized on real estate projects and handles the marketing of more than 300 residential, retail, office and hospitality projects developed by AFI Palace Cotroceni, Liberty Center, Avrig 35, Marriott and Sonae Sierra.