What My Visit to City Palace Jaipur Taught Me About Smart Marketing
This year, I decided to spend my birthday in Jaipur.
It was a much-needed vacation, replete with plenty of relaxation, family bonding, and some shopping of course.
What I wasn’t expecting though, were the fantastic marketing lessons I picked up from a most unlikely source.
But first, a little about Jaipur and my first impression of the city.
HISTORY, LANDMARKS & ESSENCE OF PINK CITY
Established in 1727 by Raja Jai Singh II, Jaipur is the capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan and also its largest city.
In the year 1876, on the orders of Maharaja Ram Singh, the entire city of Jaipur was painted in pink as a sign of hospitality to welcome the Prince of Wales who was on a tour of India. Since then, Jaipur is warmly known as India’s Pink City.
It was interesting to see that even today, people in Jaipur are upholding this age-old tradition and painting their homes and establishments in pretty shades of pink.
DID YOU KNOW? Jaipur was designed by the renowned architect, Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, and holds the title of being the ‘First Planned City of India’.
GETTING THERE: A 45-minute short flight from New Delhi was all it took to reach Jaipur.
The taxi ride from the airport to the hotel provided glimpses of the city’s well-preserved history as well as its current avatar of being a metropolis that’s buzzing with life.
The Aravalli mountain range in the backdrop seemed to add a special touch to the city’s personality.
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN JAIPUR
Like most cities in Rajasthan, Jaipur has a lot to offer to the discerning traveler. It is no wonder then that the city of Jaipur is a popular holiday destination for weekend holiday-makers as well as enthusiastic tourists from all over the world.
Right from traditional art forms, fabrics, jewelry, and culture to its beautiful array of ancient forts, palaces, and well-maintained gardens, Jaipur is guaranteed to appeal to the explorer in you.
Some of the must-visits in Jaipur include the Jaigarh Fort, Amber Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, Albert Hall Museum, Vidyadhar Garden, Birla Temple, Jawahar Circle, Sambhar Lake, and the City Palace, among others.
Though there is no dearth of places to discover in the Pink City, I was forced to be rather selective in my choices due to limited time. The Amber Fort was mesmerizing, the Hawa Mahal spectacular, and the Jal Mahal left me quite spellbound.
However, it was at the famous City Palace in Jaipur where I not only discovered the rich history of this multi-faceted city but also learned the subtle nuances of self-promotion and the essence of smart marketing (a learning that I’ve started putting into practice!)
SIGHTSEEING AND AN UNEXPECTED MARKETING LESSON
The City Palace is a beautiful architectural legacy that lies in the heart of Jaipur City. It was built between 1729 and 1732 by Sawai Jai Singh II.
This impressive Palace complex comprises several important structures including the Chandra Mahal which is home to Jaipur’s Royal family, the Diwan-I-Khas, Diwan-I-Aam, Mubarak Mahal, as well as three entry gates (Virendra Pol, Udai Pol, and the Tripolia Gate) that lead the way to the gorgeous City Palace.
(Getting back to my surprising marketing lesson)
After purchasing the tickets, we made our way towards the entry gates and were greeted by a number of tourist guides, unnervingly eager to show us around – probably one reason why I avoid hiring tourist guides.
Also, having visited several famous forts in the past and managing quite well without a guide, we were pretty sure we didn’t need one. With this decision in mind, we simply walked on, ignoring their over-familiar pleas of assistance and proceeded inside.
We were now looking forward to discovering the rich history and architecture that lay before us in quiet solitude and at our own pace. But before we knew it, we were approached by another guide.
Surprisingly, this time, the guide’s vibe was quite different from the ones we met outside. Instead of insistence or over-familiarity (which can make any tourist uncomfortable), there was a respectful distance.
As we moved forward, he politely pointed towards the beautiful Chandra Mahal and shared some interesting trivia about the ‘Panchranga Flag’ that could be seen atop the Mahal.
DID YOU KNOW: The Panchranga is the official flag of the Royal family of Jaipur and consists of 5 colours – Red, Yellow, White, Green, and Blue. When a single flag is unfurled, it signifies that the Maharaja is presently not in Jaipur.
Instantly, this tourist guide had caught our attention and our interest.
Before we knew it, he showed us his ID card that confirmed that he was a registered guide and held many years of experience. A few sentences later, he had convinced us and we hired him as our official guide to explore the sprawling City Palace complex.
I was amazed at how easily and effortlessly he had changed our minds (considering we were a 100% sure about not wanting to hire any guides, just minutes ago.)
Clearly, the credit goes to his smart marketing skills!
This experience for me reiterated some essential marketing tactics every smart marketer should follow to grab the attention of their target audience, convince and convert prospects into paying customers –
1. Don’t Hound Your Customers
Sending out promotional messages to your prospects on repeat and bombarding them with your marketing pitch to stay in their minds and eventually push a sale may seem like a smart idea but it is far from what your customers appreciate or need from you.
There can be nothing worse than hounding your customers with your sales talk as it can push them further away instead of bringing them closer to you – probably the reason why we quickly made our way inside the gates and avoided the guides outside!
2. Show Them How You Can Add Value to Their Lives
Instead of repeating to your prospects how awesome you are, show them. Smart marketers know exactly why their business is special, what they can do to add value to the lives of their customers and also understand how to showcase their specialty (USP) to their prospects, loud and clear.
Instead of telling us how useful his services can be for us on our tour of the City Palace complex, our guide went ahead and demonstrated his usefulness and eventually, changed our mind in his favour!
3. Offer Value From the Get-Go
Smart marketing is all about creating a need for your product/service and convincing your customers that their life/business is going to be incomplete unless they hire what you have to offer.
Unlike the others, our guide focussed on showing us how he can make our visit more enjoyable, informative and valuable by offering interesting trivia, the minute we entered the gates.
By adding value right from the beginning of our interaction, he managed to stand out from all the other guides, showed us why he is different and gave us tangible reasons why we must hire him!
Brand clutter is a serious problem that’s devouring many small businesses, fighting for their spot in the minds of prospects. And in order to stand out, it is essential to make the right impact with your marketing messaging and sales tactics.
My visit to Jaipur was a fascinating experience, in more ways than one. The city is lively, upbeat and offers some of the tastiest local delicacies one can enjoy.
If you are a foodie, history or architecture enthusiast, you’re in for a real treat on your trip to Jaipur. And for the rest of you, who knows, Jaipur might teach you a lesson or two, just like me.