By DAISY SAMPSON
A LEADING marketing expert has said the Algarve property sector needs to emphasise the unique personality of the region if it is to continue to prosper and flourish in the face of increasing competition from established areas such as Spain and new and up and coming regions in Europe.
Peter Knight, chairman of marketing and communications agency Phoenix plc, which he set up in 1989, made his comments following a visit to the Algarve to talk about how the region can improve business negotiations with clients in the UK.
He looked at the success Spain has had in comparison with Portugal and the Algarve and how the region can follow the example of Spain and improve business relations with people from the UK.
When asked by The Resident what he thought the Algarve needed to do to improve the property market among buyers in the UK, Peter Knight said: “It’s all about marketing. The Algarve has lots to offer but this needs to be communicated continuously and to the right target audiences.”
He said there were a number of ways this could be achieved: “I would consider a dedicated Portuguese property exhibition in the UK as a priority. Next, I would seek to forge partnerships with carefully selected UK estate agents and also with the media, both property and consumer.”
Peter Knight said an effective marketing campaign would differentiate the Algarve from other European destinations and this would be a key move towards attracting more investment from the UK market.
Describing and communicating the unique personality of the Algarve, he said, was just the beginning. “There are many different messages that can support this but I am not sure that this has been summarised effectively to date”
The most important improvement the region can make in its marketing, he said, is to have a proposition that says the Algarve is different to Spain, France, Italy, etcetera – and why.
Airports and airline support for the region is also crucial in attracting more buyers from the UK.
“The more flights, and more competitive these are, the more people will visit and buy. Similarly, the more pleasant the arrival and departure experience is the more favourable people will feel,” he told The Resident.
He said that the uncertainty of the legal ownership of certain Spanish coastline properties and the negative publicity this has created has made a difference in the choices being made by those in the UK and had pushed those who may have previously considered buying in Spain to perhaps look to other destinations. “That can only help the market in the Algarve,” said Peter Knight.
“Although the Algarve can look to its Iberian neighbours for ideas as to how to market the region, it is the differences between here and Spain that give the Algarve its biggest selling point and its time to make those differences heard.”
Phoenix is an integrated marketing and communications agency that employs a total of 75 people and works across various sectors including property and travel.
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