‘Tis the Season of Holiday Marketing Strategies

It’s that time of the year again when Holiday Marketing becomes the buzzword for marketers everywhere. It’s a race against time for brands hoping to capture customer attention before planning their big holiday spends.

In the 2022 holiday season, consumers spent a whopping $1.14 trillion online globally. In fact, holiday sales represent an average of 20% or even 30% of annual retail sales across most industries in the US.

These numbers surely cannot be overlooked. It is well-known that creating a marketing strategy requires stepping into the customer’s shoes. It’s not just about what or how they buy, but also about when they are most likely to buy. This is where time-driven marketing strategies such as moment-marketing and holiday-marketing work wonders.

Some brands win big at holiday marketing, while others fail to get noticed. But one thing is clear: the holiday season can be the most valuable time of the year for businesses looking to grow and expand their reach.

In this short guide, we take you through everything you need to know about holiday marketing so that you can capitalize on consumer preferences during these upcoming holidays.

What is Holiday Marketing?

Holiday marketing, also known as seasonal marketing, refers to marketing campaigns designed to market a brand, product, or service by associating it with a festival or holiday.

It is effective not only because consumers make more purchases around the holiday season but also because they may associate certain brands with a particular holiday holiday. This helps enhance brand recall and loyalty.

For example, Coca-Cola’s marketing around the Christmas holidaysis so effective that people tend to buy more Coke during this period. It’s like Christmas being connected to Coca-Cola ads!

 

Holiday Marketing strategies - Coca Cola ad

Similarly for the Indian festival of Durja Pooja 2023, Coca-Cola released an ad immersing the drink into the very heart of the festivities, making it an evitable part of the celebrations.

#GROWTH - Durga Puja Ad creative

This is why a well-planned holiday marketing campaign can elevate the brand to the next level.

When does the Holiday Season Start Worldwide?

Holiday seasons across the world are obviously varied based on beliefs, religion, and values. But the holiday season generally starts around the second half of the year across the globe.

The holiday season is when the majority of the people start to plan vacations for an extended period of time (sometimes, the holidays may even be public holidays or national holidays).

For example, in most western countries such as the United States, Canada, and Europe, the last week of December (from Christmas to New Year’s) is the major holiday season. Halloween and Thanksgiving, that start much earlier, are also major holidays in regions where these are celebrated.

Similarly, in most Middle Eastern and some Southeast Asian countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, among others, Ramadan marks the holiday season. In India, the holiday season starts towards around October, from Dusshera onwards. In China, it is the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year).

While these may be the major holidays in each region, there are several holidays people observe throughout the year, such as Valentine’s Day, Women’s Day, Mother’s Day, and June – the pride month, among others.

  • Customize your Marketing according to the Holiday

Needless to say, your marketing needs to have a connection with the holiday. If you’re marketing during the Christmas holidays, your campaign must reference all things related to Christmas. Picture your product wearing a Santa hat or a lot of snow on your website. These references make it easy to connect your brand with the holiday in the consumer’s mind.
Additionally, don’t forget to tailor your message according to the target audience as well. If your audience is primarily GenZ, you can show the holiday to be a time of fun. In contrast, if your audience is older, then you can depict the holiday as a time for tradition and family.

For example, Erste Group Bank in 2021 focused their message on family and relationships by making their ad about connecting with each other during the holiday season.

Holiday Marketing Strategies - Erste Bank Group

  • Make Your Offerings and Collections Holiday-themed

There cannot be a better time to add a holiday flavor to your products and services and create opportunities to cross-sell and/or up-sell.. Consider bundling your products as “gift bundles.” You may also offer more gifting options in the form of gift cards. Further, you can consider launching a holiday-themed limited-edition range. This also helps grab eyeballs and create a feeling of FOMO – the fear of missing out.

For instance, during Halloween, Kraft Heinz rolled out Blood Ketchup to encourage people to use the ketchup creatively in Halloween-themed recipes.. Example? Think of French fries as vampire fangs.

Holiday-theming is not just limited to your offerings. Your website can also reflect the mood of the holiday. For example, having a Indian festival of lights, Diwali-themed landing page that offers an interactive experience with fire- crackers and diyas (lamps).

Holiday Marketing Strategies - Wrapped & Ready (Shopify)

  • Boost Email Marketing Aligned with the Holiday Season

Consider email marketing campaigns to boost sales—these can include:

    • Announcing a holiday sale in advance
    • Sending exclusive offers to loyal customers
    • Simple greeting emails to wish customers
    • Reminders on deals that expire soon

While customers may be flooded with promotional emails during and before holiday seasons, what may help you stand out is attractive templates and a strong message associated with the holiday.

Further, though you may be marketing for the holiday season, having a more long-term view is good. The marketing that you do today, can also serve you tomorrow. For example, you can use your holiday season marketing to build up your mailing list. This mailing list can be used to apprise your potential customers of various offers throughout the year and beyond.

  • Run Offers and Discounts

The best time to run discounts and offers is when people really have the intention to buy—which happens to be pretty high during holiday seasons. That bundled with some additional complementary services like gift wrapping, free-delivery, and additional surprise gifts, can go a long way in retaining customers.

Holiday Marketing Strategies - TechNave

  • Be Prepared For the Rush With Some Extra Support

Holiday seasons can be overwhelming for busineses—especially in terms of managing website/app traffic and order fulfilment (payment and delivery). Therefore, optimize your website and app, ensure simpler flows, and offer 24/7 chat support if required. Also, check if your brand can really fulfill the high demand and accordingly, set return and shipping policies during the period. It’s better not to overpromise and underdeliver.

Having said that, also remember that the holiday season also applies to you and your employees. Don’t make the same mistake that Kmart in the US made ten years ago in 2013. Their decision to open their stores a day early for Thanksgiving and open throughout Black Friday led to severe criticism from consumers, many of whom chose to boycott the American retail giant. Consumers protested against the unfair treatment of the employees who had to forego their holiday time to be at work, instead of at home with their families.

  • Leverage Multiple Channels

Use the right marketing channels to reach your target customers. In times of holidays, staying active on social media can pay off. Some eye-catching posts and witty connections to the festival can capitalize on engagement opportunities.

Holiday Marketing Strategies - Zomato (Diwali)

It can also help to stay on multiple channels to cater to various target groups. That said, not every marketing channel is appropriate for you. For example, most brands will try connecting with their audiences through paid ads such as Facebook or Google ads. This may increase the cost of marketing very significantly during the holiday season. To bypass this, think of alternative channels to use which may be equally effective.

What to Avoid while planning a Holiday Marketing Strategy?

While designing your marketing campaign, some things need to be avoided.

Don’t forget to connect with your existing network during the holidays. A simple WhatsApp message wishing them happy holidays can work wonders. Further, avoid repeating the same campaign that year after year since people are likely to remember. Also, be sure to be sensitive to consumers’s beliefs and faiths before crafting holiday-related messages.

Do Not Miss: Stellar Examples of Holiday Marketing Strategies

Taco Bell & Starbucks, US:

Holidays can be expensive. In the US, with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year coming back-to-back, Taco Bell focused their messaging around saying “I love you” with food and making it less stressful for shoppers by selling small-ticket e-gift cards.

Holiday Marketing Strategies - Taco Bell

Starbucks also ran a successful Christmas marketing campaign in 2015, the #redcupcontest, and encouraged fans to post their unique designs on social media to win prizes. This has now become an annual holiday tradition!

Benefit Cosmetics, Middle East:

In the holy month of Ramadan, Benefit Cosmetics’ Middle East division tied up with nine regional influencers to create video content that speaks to the values of Ramadan. The month-long campaign aimed at creating a brand moment without linking it to products.

BMW, China:

BMW launched a video during CNY 2021 called “Bà Mā Wǒ” (爸妈我). The witty title used three Chinese characters (father, mother, and me) to signify the family, with the first character of each word a play on “B”, “M” and “W,” respectively. A video series showed families from various regions of China and played brilliantly on the theme of reunion.

Cadbury, India:

Few brands have established brand connections during the festival of lights as well as Cadbury. In 2022, Cadbury Celebrations rolled out the #ShopsForShopless campaign. This campaign aimed to support small vendors and hawkers with technology-based solutions like QR codes to boost their festive sales. This was supported by a touching film, seeking to empower millions of local businesses and brightening up their Diwali.

Holiday Marketing Strategies - Cadbury Celebrations

To sum up, there are several ways to market during the holiday season. But here are a few things to remember:

  • Holidays are important windows of opportunity for marketers, as they account for a sizeable portion of sales.
  • Several strategies have stood the test of time—these include customizing marketing strategies and products around specific holidays, running promotions, being ready for the rush, and utilizing the right channels.
  • Marketers may want to avoid overpromising customers, repeating previous campaigns, and being insensitive to cultural beliefs.
  • Remember that the brand that you create during the holidays stays throughout the year. Focusing on timeless marketing do’s and don’ts to have the highest likelihood of creating an impact.

Holiday marketing, if done right, can be like hitting several targets with a single aim. You can take advantage of the holiday shopping rush, build brand recall and loyalty, and make new connections to whom you can market in the future.

Jawaan: A Study in Customer Loyalty

Rs 700 cr and counting!

It’s just been a week since SRK’s Jawaan was released, and the movie has already raked in over Rs 700 cr in the domestic and global markets. It is the third biggest-grosser Bollywood has seen so far this year.

Jawaan was one of the most-awaited and highly anticipated movies for a long time by both SRK fans the world over and movie critics alike. And, of course, the movie delivered and how! If Jawaan was a Customer Loyalty program by brand SRK, then all his fans subscribed to it, and then some more.

Every aspect of the movie, whether the making, plot, music, or marketing efforts, reinforced and restored loyalty among hardcore SRK fans. The movie and the story behind its making give good insights into what businesses can do to foster customer loyalty over the long term.

As per data from Fortune Business Insights, the global loyalty management industry was worth USD 5.29 bn in 2022 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 23.7% to USD 28.65 bn by 2030. Customer loyalty can reap rich dividends, helping you grow your business at a far higher rate. A loyal customer is likely to spend 33% more than other customers. On the other hand, a bad loyalty program can lead to heavy customer churn. Reports suggest that 4 out of 5 customers will likely give up on a brand after just one bad experience.

So, let’s look at what makes the movie Jawaan an interesting case study of Customer Loyalty.

Customer Loyalty Starts with a Good Product

Jawaan, as a movie, is a banging product. There’s no doubt about it. Audiences, post-COVID, had developed a taste for good Masala entertainer movies, thanks to the influx of South-Indian films on OTT platforms. Those who had not been exposed to the South-Indian style of movie-making were blown away and hankered for more such movies. This was seen in the successes of movies such as Master, KGF, Pushpa, and RRR. These movies competed head-on with big-budget Bollywood movies and became massive successes, ruling the Bollywood, South Indian, and even global box offices with equal ease.

The makers of Jawaan recognized the audience’s pulse and the box office potential of a good Masala entertainer. They dove right into the frenzy, captured the momentum, and came up on top with a banger of a movie that delivered on all fronts. Sleek action, romance, thumping background score, good performances, and, of course, SRK. The movie is SRK’s first foray into an out-and-out massy action avatar, and fans got to watch their idol playing a larger-than-life character after a very long time.

Jawaan: High-Quality Product

*Source: Salesforce

Lesson:

Much of the success for Jawaan has come via word-of-mouth publicity, which is a sign of a good, reliable product. Brand owners and product owners should work on creating a product that speaks for itself. Marketing efforts aside, a product will always attract customers and long-term loyalty when it is done right. Make your value proposition clear and stick to it so your customer can rely on you to solve their needs. Your product could be one-of-a-kind, or it could compete with other similar products in the marketplace. What will set you apart is the value your product brings consistently, over and over again.

Personalization Boosts Customer Loyalty

The makers of Jawaan left no stone unturned in ensuring that the movie reaches as many viewers as possible, domestically and internationally. The movie was released across 5500 screens in India and 4500 screens internationally, including in US, UK, Australia, Germany, France, Spain, the Middle East, and Singapore.

The movie, while incorporating many of the elements of a blockbuster movie, also managed to avoid some of the pitfalls. Here, data and insights played a crucial role.

How do we know that? Because Jawaan is not a remake.

Bollywood had fallen into the cozy habit of remaking popular and wildly successful blockbusters, particularly those from South India, in Hindi. This worked wonders before, as was seen in the success of films such as Singham, Ghajini, Drishyam, Bhool Bhulaiyya, and Kabir Singh. But the proliferation of OTT platforms post-Covid brought Hindi audiences closer to the South like never before. Data showed that the audience wanted to watch movies with original storylines, irrespective of the language they were in.

Jawaan is an original screenplay, written keeping the Hindi audience in mind but made with all the sensibilities of a South-Indian blockbuster. A perfect marriage of the North and the South of India, if you will. To further personalize this experience, the movie was released worldwide in three languages – Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. To make it relatable to each geography and language belt in India, the makers customized the movie and production so there was something for everyone. Songs from the movie were also translated into all three Indian languages mentioned above. One song, in particular, was also translated into Arabic (perhaps for the first time) to cater to SRK’s fan base in the Middle East.

Data also showed Hindi-speaking audiences were equally receptive to South Indian stars headlining major movie roles. Jawaan had the perfect ratio of South to Bollywood superstars essaying the main characters. This makes it more relatable and personal for the audience watching the movie in their preferred language.

Jawaan: Customer-data, Baap-beta

*Source: G2

Lesson:

Data is key to crafting a personalized customer experience. It is the biggest clue to what your customer is thinking. It will give you insights into customer behavior and preferences among cohorts of customers, making it easier for you to reach them. Personalization helps in creating higher brand recall.

In a survey of 8,000 consumers worldwide by Accenture, 83% were willing to share data about themselves if it meant a more personalized experience. This even though 69% of those surveyed said that privacy was a critical factor for them.

Examples of good personalization could include services such as product recommendations, upsells, on-time delivery, and intuitive services such as reminders and offers on special occasions. However, brands need to be mindful of where they get their data from. Personalization efforts based on data gleaned from other sources could be a big turn-off for customers. For instance, product recommendations based on purchases made with other retailers.

Discounts and Offers

Jawaan offers two SRKs for the price of one!

For a true-blue fan of the movies and the superstar, this is a big draw. For the price of one ticket, you get two very distinct value propositions (Father and Son SRK), giving the audience a unique experience. Neither character resembles the other except in their physicalities, making this an incredibly memorable movie-going experience.

Moreover, with a stellar cast and crew spanning some of the biggest names in Indian cinema, with superior film-making by director Atlee, the audience gets more than its money’s worth.

Besides, by releasing the movies across 5500 screens nationwide, tickets were available at all price ranges. The most expensive ticket was priced at Rs 2400 (Delhi), while the lowest was Rs 60 (Kolkatta). This improved the movie’s reach manifold, as it did its business.

Jawaan: Discounts and Offers

Lesson:

Discounts, offered occasionally, can go a long way in retaining customers. It is reported that price is the most important factor that keeps a customer loyal to their favorite brands. Brands should leverage discounts to foment goodwill among customers incentivizing them to stay with the brand.

However, discounts and offers are reasonable as long as they are not a punch to the business’ gut. Avoid falling into a discount trap. Offer discounts where feasible instead of going for an all-out 365-days-a-year discount model, which may not be sustainable over the long term.

Customer Loyalty: Coherence is Key

The past decade in action movies in India and globally has been dominated by a plethora of superhero movies, their origin stories, multi-verses, and once in a while, the Nolan-verse, where the storylines kept getting more and more convoluted to include technologically-fueled, time-bending, brain-melting plots that were hard to keep up with. Just like this sentence is.

While this was a novelty at first, audiences have now become tired of the mental workout they have to indulge in to follow a storyline.

Jawaan, on the other hand, follows a simple plot line. This is also one of the sharpest criticisms the movie has received. This is the story of a common man/ Messiah/ vigilante wanting to change the socio-economic-political fabric of the country. He achieves this by enforcing overly simplified solutions to some of our most hardened socio-economic issues. This has been done to death and is also hard to digest.

But, its fantastical storyline aside, the movie’s plot is simple to follow and understand. Despite being an action movie about the Armed Forces, the movie refrains from indulging in technical know-how of weaponry and combat. It simply lets the imagery tell the story. This opens the movie to a broader, perhaps technophobe and naive audience.

Jawaan: UX Design

*Source: Leadpages

Lesson:

Keep it simple. Don’t overcomplicate your product or your customer loyalty program. Registration or usage instructions should be simple enough for the customer to do independently without reaching for the customer care number. No matter how complicated the design of a product may be, the customer interface should be easy to navigate. As per the blog UXCam, 91% of customers who experience bad UX leave without even complaining.

Seamless Integration of Customer Loyalty with Experience

Jawaan is an outstanding piece of film-making that offers the audience a wide array of experiences. This movie with any A-list actor in the lead would have worked.

But the presence of brand SRK gives Jawaan that extra upliftment without overshadowing the film the way most superstar action movies tend to do. SRK’s stardom flies just below Atlee’s style of filmmaking, supporting the director’s vision and not weighing it down with its star power. This way, when the audience watches the brand SRK unfold onscreen, it doesn’t take away from the overall movie experience. Because first and foremost, the audience is here to watch a good, solid entertainer.

Jawaan: Chahiye toh Customer Loyalty

*Source: SmallBizGenius

Lesson:

A good customer loyalty program will never detract from the overall customer experience. It seamlessly integrates into it, whether online or in a physical store. For your customers, progression to a customer loyalty program must almost feel natural, like they have earned (or sometimes spent) their way to the top. A drastic, sudden change in customer experience, either good or bad, will be immediately noticeable. This could distort their experience, which could have a long-term positive or negative effect.

For instance, a sudden improvement in customer experience after a massive purchase could create loyalty which may be short-lived. On the other hand, a slow progression toward a customer loyalty program will yield long-term customer loyalty and higher revenues.

So while Jawaan continues to rake in more and more business, maybe it’s time to take a step back and understand your customers better. Take a deep look at what’s working and what isn’t and why. Customer loyalty, like most good things, must be earned.

Because for Bollywood, SRK is King, but for you, your Customer is.

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Revitalizing Customer Loyalty: Retaining Customers for Repeat Business

Have you ever found yourself gravitating toward a particular brand? Despite other options with a similar value proposition available in the market? Maybe even at a cheaper rate? Perhaps you visit a favorite coffee shop every morning or always choose a particular airline for your travels, even if it means paying a little extra. This is what customer loyalty looks like – a crucial aspect for every successful business thriving in a competitive market.

A loyal customer can bring much value to a business, not just in terms of repeat purchases, but also by becoming a brand ambassador and organically advocating and promoting the brand whenever they get an opportunity. Businesses encourage customer loyalty through loyalty programs, which have become increasingly popular in recent years. And now, with the advent of customer engagement platforms, these loyalty programs can be taken to the next level.

What is Customer Loyalty, and why should we care about it?

Customer loyalty refers to a customer’s tendency to repeatedly buy products or services from a particular brand. It results from a positive customer experience, where the customer is satisfied with the brand’s offerings, customer service, and overall experience.

Revitalizing Customer Loyalty - Customer Acquisition vs Customer Retention

Customer loyalty can also be fostered through engagement platforms that provide valuable insights and analytics, in-app communication, omnichannel communication, and customer journey orchestration.

Why do We Need Customer Loyalty Programs?

Brands pursue customer loyalty for several reasons.

Firstly, acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining existing ones. According to a study by Bain & Company, increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%. Therefore, brands can save money by retaining their existing customers rather than spending heavily on acquiring new ones.

Secondly, loyal customers have a higher lifetime value (LTV) than non-loyal customers. LTV refers to the total revenue a customer generates for a brand over their lifetime of purchasing. Loyal customers are more likely to make repeat purchases, spend more money, and refer others to the business. This, in turn, results in companies improving their revenue and profitability over time.

Lastly, customer loyalty can positively impact a brand’s reputation and overall business through positive word-of-mouth promotion. Loyal customers are likelier to leave positive reviews and share their experiences on social media, creating awareness and driving higher traffic towards the brand.

Therefore, brands employ effective customer loyalty programs to engage with customers consistently and proactively. These programs should be exclusive, hyper-personal experiences that customers are unlikely to get elsewhere. For instance, a coffee-shop lover could receive customized merchandise from the store, offers/reward points at every purchase, or an exclusive membership card that provides discounts/exclusive access at outlets across the country or maybe even different geographies.

The aim of a customer loyalty program should be to reinforce the special status enjoyed by your customers that makes them come back for more. This will help build trust with their audience, improve LTVs, and drive long-term growth.

Strategies Brands can Employ in Loyalty Programs

Content-led marketing: Brands create engaging and informative content that speaks directly to their target audience. By providing value through informative blog posts, videos, or social media content, brands can establish themselves as experts in their field and build trust with their audience. This strategy is particularly effective for businesses that sell complex products or services.

HubSpot, a leading marketing and sales software company, effectively uses engaging content to build customer loyalty. Through their informative blog articles, guides, templates, and webinars, they position themselves as industry experts and provide valuable insights to their audience. This content-led strategy has helped HubSpot cultivate a loyal customer base that relies on its expertise and actively engages with its brand.

Revitalizing customer loyalty: Hubspot Content Marketing

Discounts and offers: Brands offer discounts, coupons, and offers such as early access to incentivize customers to purchase. These deals can be timed to coincide with holidays or special occasions or offered as part of a loyalty program. By providing customers with a tangible benefit, brands can encourage repeat purchases and build customer loyalty.

Nike, a renowned sportswear brand, utilizes discounts and special offers to drive customer loyalty. They often run promotional campaigns during major sporting events or holidays, offering limited-time product discounts. Additionally, Nike operates a loyalty program called NikePlus, which provides exclusive access to special sales events, early product releases, and personalized offers. By offering discounts and exclusive perks, Nike encourages customers to remain loyal to their brand and make repeat purchases.

Revitalizing Customer Engagement: Nike discounts and offers

Personalization: Brands use data and technology to create personalized customer experiences. By understanding customer preferences, brands can provide customized product recommendations, personalized marketing messages, and targeted offers. This strategy helps brands stand out from competitors and builds customer loyalty.

Amazon utilizes data and technology to create personalized experiences for its customers. Amazon analyzes customer preferences by providing tailored product recommendations, personalized marketing messages, and targeted offers. This approach helps Amazon stand out from competitors and fosters customer loyalty.

Revitalizing customer engagement: Amazon ad

Improved Customer Service: Brands that provide excellent customer service by being responsive, empathetic, and helpful would win more customer hearts and loyalties. This strategy can turn unhappy customers into loyal ones and helps build positive word-of-mouth marketing.

Zappos, the online retailer, is renowned for its exceptional customer service. Their responsiveness, empathy, and helpfulness in resolving customer issues have turned dissatisfied customers into loyal advocates, fostering positive word-of-mouth marketing.Revitalizing customer engagement: Zappos

To identify the target audience for a loyalty program, brands should first understand their customers’ needs and behaviors. Brands can use customer data to identify their most loyal customers and create targeted offers or rewards that appeal to this group. Brands can also use customer surveys or focus groups to gather feedback and understand what customers want from a loyalty program.

Are Customer Loyalty Programs Expensive? Are they worth it?

The cost of running a customer loyalty program can vary depending on the program’s complexity and the rewards offered. Brands must consider the cost of creating the program, marketing the program, and fulfilling rewards. This could include the cost of the technology used to analyze customer purchases and points, the cost of rewards or incentives, and the cost of staffing necessary to run the program. Brands must also consider the program’s long-term impact on their bottom line and ensure it is financially sustainable.

However, the benefits of a successful customer loyalty program can outweigh the costs. A loyalty program can increase customer lifetime value, encourage repeat purchases, and create customer advocates who promote the brand to others. Additionally, a loyalty program can give brands valuable customer data that they can use to improve their offerings and create personalized experiences for their customers.

What are the drawbacks of a Customer Loyalty Program?

While loyalty programs can effectively build customer loyalty and increase revenue, they can also have drawbacks if not implemented properly.

Here are some potential drawbacks of customer loyalty programs:

Poorly Designed Rewards: If the rewards offered by the loyalty program do not appeal to customers or are difficult to redeem, customers may become frustrated and abandon the program. Brands must ensure that the rewards offered are relevant, attainable, and valuable to their target audience.

Complex program structure: Customers may become confused or frustrated and give up unless the loyalty program is simple enough to understand. Brands must ensure the program structure must have clear instructions for earning and redeeming rewards.

High costs: If the rewards offered by the loyalty program are too expensive, or if the cost of running the program is too high, it may not be financially sustainable over the long term. Brands must ensure that the program is economically feasible and that its benefits justify its running costs.

Lack of personalization: Customers may not feel valued or engaged if the loyalty program does not offer personalized experiences or rewards. Brands must use customer data to create personalized experiences and rewards relevant to each customer.

Over-reliance on the program: If the loyalty program becomes the sole focus of the brand’s customer engagement strategy, it may lead to a lack of focus on other essential aspects of the customer experience, such as product quality and customer service.

What does a successful Loyalty Program look like?

Successful customer loyalty programs are a powerful tool for brands to increase customer retention and drive sales. By offering exclusive rewards and incentives to loyal customers, brands can build strong relationships, benefit from increased revenue and positive word-of-mouth. Some brands have excelled in creating loyalty programs that are both engaging and effective, bringing back customers again and again.

Here are some examples of how these brands have leveraged their customer loyalty programs to their advantage.

Starbucks Rewards Program: Starbucks Rewards is one of the most successful loyalty programs globally, with over 20 million active members. The program allows customers to earn stars for every purchase they make, which can be redeemed for free food and beverages. Starbucks has done an excellent job of gamifying the rewards program, making it engaging and exciting for customers.

Revitalizing customer engagement: Starbucks Loyalty Program

Revitalizing customer engagement: Starbucks Loyalty Program

Sephora Beauty Insider Program: Sephora’s Beauty Insider Program is another successful loyalty program that has helped the brand grow and retain its customer base. The program offers customers points for every dollar spent, which can be redeemed for free products, exclusive experiences, and discounts. Sephora also offers tiered membership, with additional benefits such as free shipping, early access to products, and personalized beauty advice.
Revitalizing customer engagement: Sephora's Beauty Insider Program

Amazon Prime Membership: Amazon Prime is a loyalty program that offers free shipping, streaming services, and exclusive deals and discounts. Amazon has done an excellent job integrating multiple services into the Prime membership. Prime members tend to shop more frequently on Amazon, making it a successful loyalty program for the brand.

Revitalizing customer engagement: Amazon loyalty program

Benefits of Effective Customer Loyalty Programs

Several data points showcase how successful customer loyalty programs have helped brands improve their revenue and grow their business. Here’s how:

Increased customer retention rates: According to a study by Bond Brand Loyalty, customers enrolled in a loyalty program are 70% more likely to continue shopping with the brand. This increase in customer retention rates can significantly impact a brand’s revenue, as retention is more cost-effective than acquisition.

Higher customer lifetime value (LTV): A study by Forbes found that customers enrolled in a loyalty program tend to spend 12-18% more than non-loyalty members. This increase in spending translates to a higher customer LTV, meaning more revenue for the brand over the long term.

Improved customer engagement: A successful loyalty program can increase engagement with a brand’s products and services. According to a report by Accenture, 64% of customers say their loyalty to a brand is driven by shared values. A good loyalty program aligns with a brand’s values and offers personalized experiences. This, in turn, entices customers to engage and stay loyal with the brand over time.

Enhanced word-of-mouth marketing: Customers enrolled in a loyalty program tend to become brand advocates, recommending the brand to friends and family. According to a study by Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over other forms of advertising. By leveraging the power of customer loyalty, brands can tap into this word-of-mouth marketing and drive increased revenue.

Conclusion

To sum it up, customer loyalty is a critical factor in a brand’s success. Implementing a successful loyalty program can significantly impact its growth. By prioritizing customer satisfaction and offering personalized experiences, brands can cultivate long-term relationships and increase customer lifetime value. Consistent engagement and offering value are crucial to building customer loyalty and enhancing a brand’s reputation. However, it’s essential to avoid poorly designed rewards and complex program structures to ensure a sustainable loyalty program.

Building customer loyalty requires a thoughtful, data-driven approach. It should focus on creating meaningful connections with customers and providing them with exceptional experiences. With these tips, brands can create an effective loyalty program that drives long-term growth and success.

A B2C Marketer’s Guide to Content-led Growth

Ever wonder how first-time consumers discover brands like Glassdoor, Airbnb, and Duolingo?

These brands made the most of great content to reach their audience and help them solve specific problems. By creating content that is personalized and, therefore, relatable, brands can move customers along the
funnel to become paying customers for the brand eventually.

There, we’ve just defined content-led growth for you!

Content-led growth refers to consistently creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to drive customers further along the purchase journey.

Content can be a great way to build a rapport with your target audience – it’s a neat way to tell them you know what the problem is and how you can help them resolve it with your product. This means positioning yourself as a trusted advisor. The purpose of content for B2C brands is clear:

  • increase brand awareness
  • engage with your audience
  • build long-lasting relationships based on trust

Of course, driving sales is the ultimate purpose but not the first thing a brand should focus on when making content efforts. The idea is to connect with your target audience and position yourself as an expert in your industry.

A recent survey by Semrush revealed that 70% of B2C marketers use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.

Moreover, the pandemic increased content usage by 207%. This should be all the more reason for B2C brands to leverage growth led by content.

Components of a Good B2C Content Marketing Strategy

In a recent survey, 78% respondents who achieved their content goals said they had a documented content marketing strategy.

So, before we get into the components of a good content strategy, let’s understand where it all begins.

Here’s a basic four-step process:

  1. Plan your content:

    Think about what you want to convey to your audience and why? More importantly, identify your target audience and segment them appropriately. Think about your expertise and create a unique point of view to grab attention.

    It may help to ask yourself questions like “What is the problem my product is helping to solve?”

    Of course, when you offer the solution, the customer will be the problem solver and your product, only the enabler or the sidekick.

    Also, create a content calendar identifying the different types of content that you plan to create, be it videos, podcasts, blogs, listicles, and so on, and the release date for each content piece. Further, set up a distribution plan for these content pieces to promote them across platforms such as your website, social media platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc).

  2. Unlock your knowledge:

    Convert your experiences, skills, and insights to valuable content.Here’s two handy tips to unlock your knowledge the right way:

      – Generating relevant topics – Topics that you choose should intersect between what the audience cares about and wants to know more about and what your expertise is . It may be wise to tune into social listening (identifying trends).
      – Offering insights – This could stem from a personal story or perspective, or simply be a detailed guide.
  3. Produce content:

    This is all about executing your content strategy. Create high-quality content in relevant formats (whether in-house or with the help of external partners) and distribute it across channels where you think your audience would be.

  4. Observe:

    This is the final step in the loop. Collecting audience feedback on your content is crucial to refine your strategy and find the sweet spot. Another tip is to get as much qualitative data as quantitative by, say, reading through comments on the brand’s social handles.

Content Strategy Flywheel - Devin Reed

Now, to the key components that make a comprehensive content strategy.

The top three types of content being created by marketing teams in 2022 included videos, blogs, and images. However, a well-rounded B2C content strategy covers all ends.

Here’s how you can optimize some widely used formats:

Content types and formats

a. Email marketing

With a user base of 4.3 million in 2022, email retains the throne as the king of B2C marketing.

A definite advantage of email marketing is the ability of B2C brands to send lifecycle emails, that is, targeting emails based on the customer’s journey.

Here are 5 steps for crafting an effective email marketing campaign:

  • Identify your goals – Decide what you want to achieve with the campaign.
  • Build an email list – Build an email list of recipients before the campaign. You may capture leads for your email list via social media, blog, and web pages.
  • Segment your list – For B2C brands, segmentation is important as your customers are at different stages at a given time. Segmentation can be based on age, gender, location, habits, preferences, and more.
  • Draft and design an effective copy – It’s time to create email campaigns specific to each segment along with well-designed visuals. Remember, the email you draft will be different for each customer segment and customer lifecycle stage. So you will have to personlize it in terms of subject line, body copy, design, and call-to-action (CTA).
  • Automate campaigns – If you want to save time and grow at scale, you would need to automate your email campaigns. There are numerous tools available to schedule emails, track and analyze responsiveness, and optimize your email marketing efforts accordingly.

Then, there are popular categories of emails depending on the purchase journey:

Welcome email – These are typically used for creating brand awareness when someone has just signed up. A warm welcome email serves as a great way to start a customer relationship.

Promotional email – These are used to announce a new product launch or any offers running at the moment.

In the example below, we see how Apple announces the launch of a new product in great style. Not only is the email copy crisp, but the email also scores full marks on the image quality.

Apple Product Launch - Content-led growth

Abandoned cart email – These emails are particularly helpful for B2C E-commerce brands who struggle with drop-outs at the final stage of the buying journey. A little nudge to the customer via email may be appreciated if they didn’t have the time to complete the purchase.

Winback or re-engagement emails are also similar. The one below by Duolingo with a clear CTA aces email marketing on all counts.

DuoLingo notification - Content-led growth

Newsletter or periodic updates – Such emails are a clever way to retain a connection with your prospects or customers. Brands may send updates or newsletters to position themselves as thought leaders in their domains.

Here’s an example of how Grammarly sends out a weekly writing update that is highly personalized.

Grammarly notification - Content-led growth

With email marketing, note that personalization, interactive design, and clear CTAs are key!

b. In-app push notifications

A Reckless’ study found that while email open rates were less than 2%, push notifications had an average open rate of a whopping 20%!

Push notification marketing allows sending marketing messages via “push” technology on both desktop and mobile devices.

Here’s what they look like –

In-app notification - Content-led growth

Clearly, B2C brands that are not using push marketing are missing out on big engagement opportunities, especially given that most of us are hooked on to our cellphones.

Push notification marketing is exceptionally useful in delivering powerful CTAs, especially when promoting a limited time sale, sending personalized recommendations, and announcing product launches.

An example of the effective use of push notifications is that of E-commerce brand “Boxed” which uses a rich notification to convey a limited-time offer for Cyber Monday.

The direct and urgency-driven message with a strong CTA is surely a compelling nudge for the recipient.

In-app notification - Content-led growth

c. Blogging

Blogging remains an essential and powerful component of content marketing. A significant advantage of having a blog is the versatility it offers. Blogs have the potential to showcase your expertise via short form and long form content while embedding other formats like videos, images, and links. This makes it a highly sticky experience for visitors.

With a blog, you can promote other internal and external content via links, add social share buttons for greater engagement, and incorporate product information in a subtle manner.

While there is no single recipe for creating a successful blog, it does involve some key steps, the most important one being creating a buyer persona.

To do this, ask yourself these three questions:

  • Which topics create awareness about your products and services?
  • Which questions do buyers usually have when considering a product in your industry?
  • What content helps buyers choose your solution over your competitors?

An example of a successful blog is Mashable.

Mashable started as a personal blog in 2005 and published news on social networks and technology.

What has worked in Mashable’s favour is its easy-to-digest content. Founder Pete Cashmore focused on stories being shared on blogs and social media and encouraged questions and feedback from the audience, making the readers an integral part of the storytelling process.

Mashable witnessed incredible reader growth and serves as a model blog for brands looking to start out.

Mashable - blogging - content-led growth

Some lessons from Mashable to follow for effective blogging:

  1. Post consistently.
  2. Generate content that your audience wants in the format they prefer.
  3. Encourage engagement and interaction.
  4. Focus on building a healthy community of followers.
  5. Enable sharing options across channels.
  6. Use a mix of appealing audio-visuals to make your blog less monotonous.
  7. Add internal and external links to relevant content.

d. Video marketing

In a world driven by the Internet, who can deny the dominance and power of video?
91% of businesses are using video as a marketing tool in 2023. Further, an overwhelming 96% of marketers continue to deem video as an “important component” of their marketing strategy.

Videos are versatile in that you can embed them on your social media platforms, landing pages, web pages, and even on the blog.

Here’s some important things to watch out for while making video content:

  1. Focus on stories & not sales.
  2. Use the first few seconds very wisely.
  3. Don’t forget to add appealing visuals.
  4. It may be wise to add subtitles where there’s a lot of talking.
  5. Target the right audience.
  6. Add a CTA either mid and post scroll for more engagement.

This video from Tech insider checks all the boxes.

Video marketing - Content-led growth

e. Social Media Marketing

There are more than 4.62 billion global social media users today! This is why so many B2C businesses are engaging in social media marketing. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Snapchat each have their own unique features that marketers can leverage to reach customers.

Here are 3 social media trends in 2023 for brands to follow.

Community building
Communities tend to promote active engagement and create a more welcoming environment for newcomers. Brands can focus on building and fostering such communities.

Community building - content-led growth

Social commerce
The global social-commerce market is poised to expand to more than $2 trillion by 2025. So what can brands do to leverage this growth? B2C brands can work with social and creator platforms while developing a more holistic influencer strategy. B2C brands also need to factor in formats like short videos or live shopping content to accommodate this new channel.

Micro influencers
It’s probably time for brands to transition to smaller influencers from mega celebrities to create a more credible connect with customers.

One exercise that cannot be emphasized enough is measuring results with social media analytics to fine-tune campaigns. There are abundant automation options for social media planning and listening. Using them can help brands stay ahead of competition.

f. WhatsApp marketing

WhatsApp has over 2 billion active users. At this scale, B2C brands cannot not leverage this platform!

WhatsApp allows marketers to seamlessly send broadcast messages. It is also a preferred platform for sending interactive messages with effective CTAs.

These work very well when retargeting customers as seen in the Duolingo screenshot below.

Personalized messaging is also possible with WhatsApp. Further, many B2C brands have taken to WhatsApp to automate instant customer support for better engagement, onboarding, and retention.

WhatsApp Marketing - Content-led growth

g. Podcasts

Over 60 million people listen to podcasts across Spotify and Apple Podcasts. As this number grows rapidly,odcasts opens many doors for B2C brands to build a connect with customers via informative episodes, interactive sessions, and expert interviews.

Mapping your B2C content strategy to the customer journey

Now that we’ve gone through the major components of a content strategy, it’s important to know that a good content strategy becomes even more effective when aligned appropriately with the purchase journey.

Here’s how you can map your strategy based on where your customer is along the funnel:

Awareness: At this stage, customers may have a need, but may not be aware that there is a solution. Formats like blogs, social media, web pages, and podcasts work well in this phase.

Research: Once a customer is aware there is a solution, they will carry on research to educate themselves about available options. For instance, a customer who wants to buy a car will try to find out the different types of cars and which one will suit their needs. This is where targeted email marketing, social media, and blogs may help customers know more about your offering.

Consideration: At this point, the customer starts comparing products from various brands to ensure they’re getting a high quality product at a fair price.

During this stage, demos may work well along with detailed videos of your product, reviews by influencers, blogs, promotional emails, and push notifications offering discounts.

Purchase: Finally, the customer has made up their mind and moves forward with the purchase. What works best here is email marketing and personalized WhatsApp messaging with clear CTAs to give them a little nudge and assist them through the transaction.

Airbnb: A Case Study in Content-led Growth

Airbnb started out as mattress-renting service started by founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia who were struggling to make their monthly rent. Today, Airbnb has become an eponymous brand like Google and Uber for travellers across the globe. However, much of the hospitality industry’s  initial success can be attributed to its clever content marketing strategy. 

Taking an impressive approach to storytelling, Airbnb is perhaps the epitome of great user generated content, an exceptionally well-designed blog, alluring website, and a clear brand voice.

Airbnb makes the most of curated user experiences on its social media platforms, while the blog works as an informative space for travellers. Over the course, the company has experimented with content via magazines (Pineapple) and microsites (Stories) to weave a warm connect among hosts and travellers. 

Airbnb: Case study in content-led growth

From rocky roads in 2009 to pulling off a successful IPO in 2020 (perhaps the worst year for the travel industry), Airbnb stands out as one of the top B2C content marketers.

TLDR? Here’s a quick summary:

  • The purpose of B2C content is to create brand awareness and identity. Sales is the last priority.
  • A well-planned content strategy includes diverse formats relevant to the brand. Among them are email, video, social media, push notifications, and blog.
  • Brands can make the most of their content strategy by mapping it to the appropriate stage of the purchase journey.
  • Ultimately, the goal of content in B2C marketing is to build trust at scale and engage with customers by creating high quality, highly relevant content.

Customer Lifecycle Marketing: All You Need to Know

What’s your favorite app?

Go ahead, take your time. Did you think of one? Or are there too many?

Ok, let’s make this easier. What’s your favorite app for

  • ordering food
  • booking a cab
  • booking for a flight or hotel
  • buying a phone
  • buying clothes
  • buying groceries
  • online payment
  • health and fitness

I bet you have a go-to app for, if not all, at least some of these activities. You don’t have to think about which one because your fingers automatically tap that little icon on your phone. It’s second nature to you.

When that happens, know that an entire industry is behind this, working tirelessly, planning, strategizing, analyzing your behavior, and ensuring a personalized, memorable customer experience that leaves you feeling good about yourself.

Now, let’s flip it. As a product owner, growth marketer, CRM, etc., do you look at your customer’s lifecycle with your product the same way? 

This planning, strategizing, and personalizing of customer experience is called customer lifecycle marketing (CLM). 

What Your Customer Wants

To begin with, let’s look at what your customers want.

Today the customer is not just paying for a winning product but also for the overall experience of associating with a product/brand.

Further, customer satisfaction and happiness also depend on the following – 

  • The frequency of your communication – Regular communication to facilitate easy customer recall
  • Offers and discounts – Discounts and other perks such as early bird access, exclusive access, etc. should be offered to existing and new customers.
  • Good quality and relevant content and personalized messages

All these factors are vital in determining whether a customer will choose your product or go with a competitor.

We now live in a world of hyper-exclusivity and niches. Everybody wants their place in the sun, as do you and your brand. 

You can build that niche for yourself by creating a unique customer experience that fully engages the customer at every step of their journey with you. 

To start building a memorable customer journey, you must first map the various stages of the customer lifecycle with the brand and concentrate marketing efforts to engage with your customers at each stage.

Customer Lifecycle and Customer Lifecycle Marketing

The 7 Stages of Customer Lifecycle

Customer Lifecycle Stages

Customer lifecycle marketing (CLM) refers to a series of activities that a business undertakes to engage with customers at various stages of the lifecycle, starting with the discovery of your product by a customer to the customer becoming a loyal brand ambassador.

“CLM, in a nutshell, is about understanding customer lifecycle and applying marketing techniques to engage with customers at each stage of their customer lifecycle,” says Sagar Patil, a growth consultant, who has worked with retention marketing, CRM and product teams at brands like Flipkart and Jumia (UAE). He is also the Course Director for CELP – Customer Engagement Leadership Program – the flagship customer engagement course of hashgrowth.org.

According to him, the customer lifecycle and its many stages have always existed but what makes CLM different today is the one-on-one personalization of content and customer experience.

“Technical advancement and automation and AI have made it much easier to engage with the customer and create a personalized, highly-engaging experience,” he adds.

Planning a Customer Engagement Strategy

The first point to note when planning a compelling CLM strategy is that each customer lifecycle stage is unique. So the engagement techniques should be driven by the customer behavior within that lifecycle stage. Also, understand that within each lifestage customer behaviour will change based on their demographics, psychographics, preferences, etc.

Further, choose engagement channels (email marketing, WhatsApp/SMS campaigns, in-app messaging, and website notifications, among others) based on the nuances of the lifecycle stage and the customer behavior during that stage.

Engagement should be built through relevant content about your product, its value proposition, how it works, and its features, among others. 

Channels You Choose

The channels you choose to communicate through such as email marketing, WhatsApp/SMS campaigns, in-app messaging, website notifications, etc., also matter.  They can encourage or discourage customer response. The choice of the channel depends on the life stage of the customer, the timing of the message, and the channel preferred by the customer.

For instance, during the activation stage, sending a WhatsApp message at the appropriate time with a discount code on the first purchase is most likely to convert into a first-time purchase. Similarly, during the loyalty stage, sending mail campaigns with product recommendations (upsell or cross-sell) or in-app messages every time the customer logs onto the app for higher conversion.

Also, send personalized marketing messages at regular intervals by engaging marketing automation tools via well-executed campaigns. These can help build long-lasting customer relationships and chart a customer journey unique to each customer category.

3 things for effective CLM

An effective customer lifecycle marketing strategy should help improve topline by increasing each customer’s lifetime value (LTV). This is the average revenue generated by a customer during their entire period of association with the brand.

Building the Right Team

Before you get into planning and strategizing engagement with your customer, you need to plan the organization of your team well. 

“Organize the team in such a way that no crucial stage of the lifecycle is missed out,” says Sagar.

Divide your teams based on different stages in the customer lifecycle. Don’t overburden one team with the responsibility of planning and strategizing customer engagement across various stages. This can be overwhelming as well as counter-productive as no single stage will receive the individual attention and focus it deserves. 

Moreover, the organization of your team will also depend on the size of the company you are in, he adds.

“The idea is to set KPIs for each team and each stage, instead of combining them and having an overall goal. Make sure you use the right tactics to engage with customers at each stage,” Sagar emphasizes.

For a start-up or a small brand, acquiring customers should be top priority. So, all strategies must support onboarding and activation activities. As an SME, organize teams based on your priorities. Your strategies should support repetition and habituation, along with onboarding and activation. For an enterprise or large company, your focus will be on all seven stages, and the resurrection of churned customers.

Growth for brands today is unequivocally entwined with good customer engagement.

Every brand aspires to find a spot on the customer’s phone and be among the top-used apps. A good CLM strategy is a good place to start your brand’s journey towards reserving that spot.

100+ Marketers Discuss Insights-led Engagement at KSA #GROWTH Mixer

After a splendid turnout at our first-ever Middle East event, we landed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 5th October to host 100+ marketers across various verticals in a networking event.

Here are quick highlights of the interaction and fruitful discussions:

Keynote Session: Re-defining Your Omnichannel Strategy

Speaker: Samrat Sengupta, E-commerce, Omnichannel, and Product Director for GMG

Samrat Sengupta, E-commerce, Omnichannel, and Product Director for GMG

“Combining technology for both offline and Online is very important. Omnichannel is a mandate strategy.”

Next came a series of panel discussions and a fireside chat.

Panel Discussion 1: Personalization: The Secret to Customer Retention

Speakers:

Ankit Bansal, Head of Digital Marketing, 6thStreet.com

Adam Salem, Commercial and Digital Director, Dur.sa

Ahmad Fahmy, Marketing Manager, Speedi.sa

Personalization #GROWTH Mixer Saudi 2022

Adam Salem – “Entice Them to switch to smarter Segments is very important to grow LTV.”

Fahmy – “Omnichannel engagement helps grow LTV exponentially over the long run.”

Ankit – “Acquisition is for the top line. RETENTION is for the bottom line. Identifying new churn segments and fixing the issues is the hack I have learned.”

Fireside Chat: Turning a New Leaf in Sustainable Growth: Alamar Foods Saudi Story Around Experiential Engagement

Speaker: Shobhit Tandon, COO, Alamar Foods

Sustainable Growth #GROWTH Mixer Saudi 2022 Shobhit Tandon, Alamar Foods

Shobhit touches upon key themes like why Omnichannel has worked over multichannel engagement and changing the habits of customers buying from Alamar Foods.

Panel Discussion 2: Why Omnichannel Customer Lifecycle Management Will Take Lead in 2023

Speakers:

Mohanned Afeef, VP Products, Cura

Kassem Hashem, Marketing Director, Almatar

Dr. Nada Helmy, Head – Digital Marketing, Pharma Life

Omnichannel customer lifecycle management #GROWTH Mixer Saudi 2022

The panel discussion took place in Arabic to cater to the local audience.

Panel Discussion 3: Holiday Marketing: Driving Customer Engagement During and Post Holiday Season

Speakers:

Deepak Kumar, Manager – Digital Analytics, CRM, Jazeera Airways

Selvin K, Growth Manager, Tamanna

Moalla Alfadil, Director, E-commerce and Customer Success, Alsaif Gallery

Holiday Marketing #GROWTH Mixer Saudi 2022

Deepak: “Plan way in advance. Make them warm through multi-channel engagement.” The holiday season is best exploited to build stronger relationships with customers.

Selvin: “Every industry is different. To avoid a massive drop in traffic, look back at your data. Understand the market. Answers are discovered.”

Moalla: “We have never seen any drop in online sales post Pandemic. Online channel is here to grow bigger and bigger exponentially. Exploit it to the best by building great journeys.”

Parting Note

At MoEngage, we believe a customer-centric insights-led approach is the key to building a highly engaging and satisfying customer experience across segments and brands. We endeavor to deliver various actionable insights on how to better engage with your customers and build a lifetime of customer value through various events in the future.
Broaden your network and deepen your understanding of insights-led customer engagement through peer-to-peer learning by becoming a part of our ever-growing community of growth marketers, product owners, entrepreneurs, and other experts.

How to Build a Brand and Customer Loyalty [#GROWTH19 Wrap-up]

In today’s hyper-connected age, there is no single way to connect with your customer. Customer journeys have become more complicated than before, and marketers have to constantly find ways to break the clutter and engage with customers through multiple channels such as e-mails, SMSes, apps, websites, offline, etc in order to boost customer loyalty.

Bonus Content

???? Customer Lifecycle Marketing Campaigns: An In-depth Guide for 2021 [Download Ebook]

???? Holiday Marketing Guide 2020: Trends & Actionable Strategies [Download Ebook]

How to Build a Brand and Customer Loyalty

We invited Mrinal Singhal, AVP Marketing, YatraSharad Harjai, Sr. Director Marketing, Grofers, and Amit Tandon VP Marketing, HealthKart to learn how they have succeeded in building their brand and a robust customer loyalty program across the digital and offline platforms. The panel discussion was moderated by Yashwant Reddy, VP at MoEngage.

We bring you the excerpts from the discussion.

How do you engage customers across different channels such as paid media and social media? How do you decide what kind of message should be used?

Sharad: With so many channels at our disposal, maintaining the consistency in the brand’s language is important. It is important how you position each product. It’s not just the text; even the design should be taken care of. It should give the buyer the confidence to buy from the portal. To maintain consistency, we have built a team architecture that’s less focused on calling people channel owners such as social media head, or a digital marketing head.

Instead, we have divided the entire team into two areas based on metrics – acquisition and retention. So, if a person is driving a campaign based on one metric, then the focus is not on which channel to use to communicate with the customer. The focus is on the larger metric, and that brings consistency in the campaign. If the campaign is to improve downloads and conversions, everyone involved in the campaign has to be a part of the entire process. Everyone works cohesively for the larger benefit of the metrics.

Mrinal: We have multiple touchpoints to explore, so the challenge is to get the consumer’s attention. At Yatra, we follow two metrics to engage with the customers. One, to keep the messaging very simple. We must understand that we are sending a message to the consumers and not marketers. The second thing we stress upon is the user’s journey.

We ensure that the consumer’s journey from communication to the point where they make a booking is seamless and does not have any broken/slow links. So, irrespective of whether the campaign is large or small or covering different touch points, we ensure the basic principles of simple messaging and simple customer journey is followed. In terms of team structure, we do not function in silos. Whenever there is a business challenge to be solved, all the channel experts sit together to decide on the best channel to work upon.

Amit: Engagement is less of a challenge for us as customer loves to engage in health and wellness especially when they want to know more about particular products. In fact, we get a lot of inbound queries. For us, the challenge is maintaining a consistent omnichannel experience, which we are trying to build now. We are trying to integrate our physical footprint with the digital footprint to provide a superlative experience to our customer.

For example, if the customer buys a product online, they should be able to return it at the nearest store, or they can buy a product online if it is not available at a store. In terms of how our team is structured, we have a common centralized marketing team to provide a consistent experience in both digital and offline stores. We also have a centralized training team that trains every storefront executive about the domain and store ethics to ensure that the messaging on digital medium and in-store remains consistent.

The consistent experience has increased the Customer Lifetime Value (LTV). The customers engage more with the portal because of the relationship they have developed with the store.

What metrics do you measure to track the health of growth besides vanity metrics such as installations, downloads, and the number of new users?

Sharad: For us, the Northstar of our metrics is the monthly wallet share the consumer gives to Grofers. A typical family of 2-3 people spends around 7,000 to 8,000 Rs each month on grocery. Global survey says that the maximum share any offline or online platform can have for the minimum amount spent on grocery by a family is around seventy percent. Achieving this kind of share is a challenging task as you cannot lose track of a customer at any moment. You have to be at the top of things. Your engagement channel should be in tune with how your customer buys.

Customer engagement must revolve around how the customer buys every month. For example, customers do monthly top-ups on the day the salary is credited. By the end of every month, we analyze the wallet share we could get from a customer. We also monitor the replenishment cycle when it comes to eatables. One of our best resulting engagement campaigns is where we understand when a customer is going to buy what.

It is easy to find out how does the household look like, how big is it and depending upon when a customer is going to buy a product, we work on the reengagement campaigns. It is one category that has given us great results.

Mrinal: Unlike groceries, travel is not a very frequent use case. An average customer makes two to four bookings in a year and they look for the best deals in the market. Apart from acquiring new customers month on month, the key metrics that we track is the 9O-day repeat trait. We monitor how the lifetime value looks like – is it moving up or down or is it flat? These are the two metrics we measure to determine if we are moving in the right direction.

Amit: We look at two metrics – repeat and new. In our category, we always have new customers. However, repeat metric is equally important for us. Within repeat, we see if we can upgrade the customer’s experience and move them to a more core product. We track repeat records regularly to check out the health of our business and to figure out if there was an event that led to the exit of our loyal customers. Given that the target group is quite finite, Net Promoter Score (NPS) becomes our core metric. We do weekly NPS checks and keep on changing our benchmarks to track the NPS.

Do you want to discuss a specific use case on how loyalty programs can drive repeat business?

Sharad: In 2O17, Grofers moved from a marketplace model which served multiple categories to an inventory-led, grocery-focused e-commerce model. We have become more of an e-tailer than a typical e-commerce company. We have refined our brand positioning with the lowest price guarantee for groceries and optimized the cost of operation as much as we can so those benefits can get passed to the consumer in terms of prices.

Loyalty program was a big step in the same direction. We started a Smart Bachat Club, wherein If you pay a small membership fee each month, you will get access to even lower costs on the products. It strengthens our core proposition of pricing itself. Right now, 66% to 70% of our transactions get done through the members of the Smart Bachat Club. Eventually, we plan to build an online cost structure like DMart who offers products at the lowest price. We aim to strengthen our supply chain, so we can reduce the prices even further.

Mrinal: The category we work in is a commoditized category; so something like loyalty does not work. Customers are out in the market to look for the best possible deal. However, there are a handful of customers who are not deal seekers. They seek convenience and come out of familiarity with the platform. The objective is to drive wallet share from those customers and acquire such customers who make you grow at a profitable rate.

Our call centers offer preferential treatment to high-value customers. These services would include faster turnaround time for complaint resolution, a higher authority granted to customer care agents for making exceptions for these customers in order to reduce the turnaround time and deliver better customer experience. All this has helped us to improve the retention rate of the customers.

Amit: We don’t have a structured omnichannel loyalty program. We are working upon it right now. However, just to give a context; unlike Grofers, our objective is not to offer products at the lowest price. In fact, as compared to Amazon and Flipkart, we sell certain products at a premium, because we are focused on profitability. We are planning to segment our customers based on the frequency of purchase.

So someone who frequently purchases from us will be considered a power user. As their LTV is high, we plan to offer them products at the lowest price. We have a significant one-time user base who come in and flirt with the product and fall out of the funnel. For those guys, the pricing will remain premium. We aim to pass on the benefits from the flirtatious user to the power user to avoid losing them to any other platform.

Somebody has asked this question on Twitter. How do you build a different experience for different customer segments?

Amit: Earlier, our segregation system was more conventional. We used to target the top 10 cities, then the next 25, and finally the rest of India. It was working well in the initial stage. We were dominant in the top 20 or 30 cities, but now the trend is changing. We see a lot of volume from the rest of India. So now we are segmenting the customers purely on the basis of purchase.

We have a power user segment, and then we have a flirtatious user, a deal hunter who looks for best deals on different portals, and a onetime user. So it is like a VIP club (power user) vs. a non-VIP club (rest of users). Our messaging differs according to it.

Mrinal: One segment that we focus on is our high-value customers. The other segment is the SME segment that travels more for business purpose. For the SME segment, we have created a separate platform within our yatra.com ecosystem, wherein customers can avail corporate fares. They also have the flexibility to reschedule their flight tickets at almost no extra cost, get free meals onboard, etc. These are the two different segments that we have identified. The rest of the customer base falls under the regular category, which we try to capture through regular promotional events that we do on our platform.

Sharad: For us, it’s slightly different. We don’t and can’t have different experiences for different customers. We have to maintain consistency for everyone because for every customer the rate at which they get the product matters the most. It is not just one or two products per order. It is a basket of 16 to 18 products per order. So, if we do not maintain consistency for every customer, it will work negatively for us. However, we take a lot of initiatives internally to segment and understand the customer well. We look into different parameters and use algorithms to assign churn scores, conversion scores, etc to drive segmentation. We look at those data and based upon that drive our different initiatives.

Thank You, Sharad, Mrinal, and Amit for sharing your valuable insights with us on how you have built customer engagement for your respective organizations. We have come to understand that measuring the right metrics, building customer loyalty programs, and communicating the right message to the right audience is the key to successful customer engagement.

Mobile-first Marketing Perspectives from Asia with Anand Chandrasekaran [#GROWTH Wrap-up]

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Smartphone adoption has skyrocketed in the APAC regions in the last few years. If you look at the number of mobile phone users worldwide, China and India occupy the top two slots on that list. Consumers in these countries turn to their mobile devices throughout their purchase journeys, and that’s great news for marketers. To cater to these mobile-first users, companies need to bring about a shift in their approach to customer engagement at all touch-points.

What factors define the mobile-first markets of Asia? What are some cutting-edge growth strategies that companies in these regions implement? What metrics should you focus on? We explored answers to some of these questions in our #GROWTH MIXER San Francisco with Anand Chandrasekaran, who’s an experienced product leader and an angel investor.

We are happy to share a summary of that discussion in this blog.

About Anand Chandrasekaran

Anand has led teams that built products that impacted millions globally. He has the unique experience of leading product teams for Yahoo and Facebook in the US as well as unicorns in Asia such as Snapdeal and Airtel. Owing to his experiences with internet first companies on both sides of the globe, he brings an interesting perspective, comparing the business landscapes and trends of the West and the East.

The center of gravity for mobile businesses is shifting to Asia

In 2018 alone, China had 100 new unicorns, the number in India went from 8 to 26, with six new unicorns created in Indonesia – and these numbers just scratch the surface of Asian markets.

The center of gravity for mobile-first businesses has started to shift towards the East. A few years ago, every founder based in the Philippines, India, or Singapore would go to the Valley to learn from the US businesses. Today, everyone goes to Beijing, Shanghai, or Schengen to understand how new companies run and how consumers are operating on their smartphones. Even investors turn to China and other Asian countries. In fact, five out of the top 10 investors named in the Forbes Midas list have made their primary deals in China.

Key factors that define the Asian markets for online brands

  1. Android cannot be an after-thought: When companies operating out of the US, venture to the Asian markets like India, Indonesia, or China, the first thing that shifts is your user-base. As much as 90% of your customers will now be on Android. So you need to be Android-first, unlike markets like the US where you build for iOS first and think about Android in the second year.
  2. A diverse audience: Asian countries are not homogeneous. One needs to cater to 20 different personas at a high level, each of which speaks a different language, might not have traveled to other regions, and has local behavioral attributes.
  3. They’ve skipped PC: A lot of these countries are mobile-first. What this means is that the users have skipped using computers and went on to adopt the mobile. In India, for instance, there are about 250 million smartphones and about 150 million televisions. For many users, mobile is not only their first screen but their only screen as well.
  4. Localization is not an option: There are millions of English-speaking users in Asia. So, a service built for the US can primarily work out of the box in these markets. However, the next 50-100 million online users consume content via videos, using voice search, and post voice notes. Next, these users will start using e-commerce, online hotel booking, and other services. Companies need to be equipped to localize their communication to be able to cater to these users.

Companies leading the way to growth

  • Internet companies such as Flipkart and Ola, which started as the Amazon and Uber of India, respectively, built a considerable user-base before the companies Amazon and Uber turned their focus to Asian markets.
  • OYO Rooms, Asia’s largest hospitality chain, and a member of the Unicorn club create immense value for consumers by bringing together consistency and convenience.
  • Another example is Sharechat, a regional language social networking app, caters to the non-English speaking population, has grown to 50 million users in a year.

3 key takeaways from Asia, for marketers world-over

  1. Data cost in countries like India is lower than those in the US or the UK, and there are millions of new users beginning to browse, consume content, and shop online. Services built for these new users are growing from zero to a hundred million users in a year. This means Asian markets offer an excellent opportunity to learn about new users, their online behavior, and new business models.
  2. Companies looking to go global cannot afford to ignore the Asian markets, given the massive user-base coupled with an increasing disposable income.
  3. Consider the LTV of Asian consumers against the cost of acquiring them.

Key metrics to focus on

All businesses need to identify and measure the North Star metric that best captures the core value your company delivers to customers. Identifying the right business metric is perhaps the toughest and the most complex conversation within an organization. Nevertheless, it is of utmost importance as it impacts several business decisions at the highest level. It is a matter of what you want to see versus reality. While the right metric depends on the respective business models, some examples are:

  • For a messaging app, the number of two-way messages between users.
  • For a music subscription app, the number of songs played.
  • For an e-commerce app, total sales minus returns.

How companies successfully use the North Star Metric to drive growth

Take a look at these three real-life examples of companies that have successfully leveraged the North Star Metric.

1. 2-way Sends in a messenger platform

One of the world’s leading messenger platforms uses 2-way sends as the North Star Metric. To determine engagement, they count the number of times that a user has messaged a business, and the company has responded. Similarly, they measure the number of threads where two people have messaged each other. This helped them avoid counting Spam messages and focus on real interactions.

2. Daily orders minus returns minus cancellations in E-commerce portals

One of India’s biggest e-commerce marketplaces uses a North Star Metric- daily order minus returns. The company launched a new category of FMCG goods and saw their orders soar from 0 to 1000 in just three weeks. However, a closer look determined that the company was feeding the growth of small-time sellers who bought the company’s goods at 70% discount and sold them to the neighborhood at almost 50% profit; plus they returned what they couldn’t sell within seven days.  The daily orders minus metrics indicated that 85% of the orders were returned.

3. Song plays in a music subscription app

Wynk, a music subscription app in India had an entry pricing at  1/10th of the nearest competitor. Wynk’s team decided to use song plays as the North Star Metric for every feature they launch. This helped them determine that with the right programming and pricing, they could get people to shift from pirated music consumption to authorized channels for music consumption.

 

Changed Customer Behavior and Marketing Practices in Post-COVID World

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The world has changed in an unprecedented fashion, and so has customer preference. Essential, functional, and emotional spending have taken precedence over luxury expenditure. How should the marketing teams prepare for such a world where customer preference and behavior has changed?

We aimed to find the answers from the co-founders, CMOs, Marketing leaders across India’s top players in the online marketplace, local business discovery platforms, travel & accommodation, IT, and equity investment firms.

In this roundtable we discuss

  • major changes in marketing communication tone in keeping with the current scenario
  • addressing business challenges in accordance with the changed rules
  • anticipating and dealing with changes in consumer behavior
  • reorganizing and planning for marketing & advertising spend in a post-COVID-19 world

Our speakers for the event:

  • Dhruv Mathur, Co-founder, LBB
  • Manan Bajoria, AVP – Growth & Marketing, Ixigo
  • Tarun Davda, Partner & Managing Director, Matrix Partners
  • Olive Sen, Director – Marketing, OLX
  • Gaurav Mehta, CMO, Girnarsoft

Without further ado, here are the key highlights and insights from the session:

Impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior

Urgent need to go digital from localized businesses

  • Localized businesses have been deeply impacted which has pushed them to go digital more aggressively
  • LBB has noticed inbound requests from local businesses doubled on a daily basis
  • On the consumer side, services that required stepping out have taken a massive hit but searches related to home delivery have picked up tremendously.
  • While the traffic has dropped in absolute numbers but engagement has picked up since people are spending more time at home, posting a lot of information that the community is consuming.
  • The key to ensure growth right now is adapting to the changed environment and being opportunistic in taking chances

Digitization in the auto industry and renewed interest in pre-owned cars

  • With discretionary spend curtailed and supply lines disrupted, the auto industry has been affected.
  • The positive however is that OEMs earlier hesitant in going online are now proactively looking into digital avenues for research & discovery as well as transactions
  • Owing to the changed behavior of the OEMs, the whole industry can be expected to be digitized in the next 6 months
  • SEO insights are interesting as the used car segment has been getting good traction, a trend previously evidenced in China
  • The trend can be attributed to lowered user confidence in shared mobility services over health concerns. Users now prefer to have their own vehicle for emergency purposes
  • From a revenue perspective, March was the strongest month for CarDekho following which there has been a steep decline.

Buying & selling marketplace expects renewal in popularity of pre-owned goods

  • OLX has interestingly retained traffic to the portal despite a significant dip in supply-side
  • Various categories on the platform have been affected differently, with the auto being affected least while electronics and furniture have suffered majorly
  • Real estate has been hit the worst-hit both from traffic and revenue perspective
  • This can be attributed to the fact that neither users nor the sales teams are able to step out
  • Due to the mandatory lockdown, the offline inspection centers viz. Cash My Car has also been closed down disrupting the business further
  • The online buying and selling marketplace is optimistic about a bounceback to pre-COVID-19 business capacity in the next 1-2 quarters as the economic situations seem favorable to buying value for money, pre-owned goods

Lockdowns and restrictions disrupt travel and accommodation segment

  • ixigo has noticed a drastic impact on their business owing to the travel restrictions
  • Ixigo Trains App has taken a hit to the DAUs/MAUs, frequency of app launches/day, subsequently affecting the ad monetization revenue
  • Fall in impressions and advertisers curtailing digital spends has affected the ad bidding further reducing revenue/impression to one-third of pre-COVID-19 numbers
  • Limitations imposed (e.g. airlines planning to keep the middle seat empty) will mean hiked prices to make up for reduced inventory thus reducing demand again.
  • Business travel is expected to reduce with personal travel taking time to bounce as consumer confidence has taken a severe hit

Various industries noticing a permanent shift in consumer behavior

  • Travel & mobility sector is expected to have a slow recovery with unavoidable business travel likely to start sooner than leisure travel
  • The change in behavior can be attributed to dip in consumer confidence combined with worries of a 2nd and 3rd wave of the pandemic
  • Businesses will need to change plans depending upon recovery models viz. U, V, or L shaped.
  • Investors suggest planning for 3-4 months of zero revenue, 3-4 months of 30%-40% recovery, 3-4 months of 80%, and 80-100% of pre-COVID-19 revenue after a year.
  • Brands bouncing back quickly like China’s Didi (revenue back to 80% of pre-COVID-19 peak) have done so by gaining back consumer confidence
  • Didi provided sanitized cab offering with camera detecting if the car has been cleaned before, temperature check of the cab driver, mandatory masks for the driver and rider along with gloves and disposable hand sanitizers
  • Private mobility (self-drive vehicles) is expected to go up while shared mobility (taxis and public travel) will take more time to bounce back.
  • Similarly, with health concerns looming large two-wheeler used vehicle purchase is expected to see a spike
  • In the e-commerce space, certain categories like online grocery delivery are benefitting with increased digital interaction between consumers and local vendors
  • The telemedicine industry has seen greater acceptance by the doctor’s now more than ever, as they are happy with video-consultations, virtual waiting rooms, recorded online medical history, a library of drug combinations for diseases, etc.
  • These one-time shifts in user behavioral trends are expected to stick forever unlike a fad

Solving for consumer’s lack of trust once normalcy returns

Gaining consumer trust in the usage of pre-owned goods

  • In the current scenario, it is essential for a business like OLX to gain audience trust in using pre-owned goods given the overwhelming health concerns
  • OLX is planning internally on how to implement safety checks in peer to peer selling to build consumer trust
  • The brand might have to intervene in peer to peer selling for ensuring proper sanitization
  • Such efforts are much easier implemented at inspection centers Upcoming project ‘OLX people business’ which deals with staffing of blue and grey collar employees will aim to resolve the delivery problems amid lockdown
  • Business models will change and evolve depending on recovery systems, i.e. U or L shaped recoveries

Curating user experience to address the changing customer dynamics

  • Auto classifieds have relied on a Low Touch Model which comprises of users taking charge of the whole buying and selling process of used cars
  • Curating experience for used cars purchase is essential to gain the trust of the consumers and address the changed dynamics
  • CarDekho is working with dealer partners to provide a curated experience to the users in their offline Gaadi stores, whether it is hygiene or documentation
  • The aim is to make the user experience low touch while offering high touch, high engagement from the delivery perspective.

How to grow business the right way during these times?

There are 3 phases any business should consider right now:

  • Phase 1: How to cut burn, manage runway, communicate with suppliers, clients, teams, stabilizing the company, expecting the worst-case scenario. Matrix Partners created a quadrant with COVID-19 impact and cash in the bank as two parameters. Different strategies were devised for companies falling in different quadrants
  • Phase 2: Examine if the product is going to be relevant or not in the post-COVID-19 world. Figure out the use cases and work on them. Add or tweak product offerings or pivot depending upon the above assessment
  • Phase 3: Figure out how to take advantage of the fact that market share has been brought down to zero (due to the pandemic). Decide what does it take for you to gain a disproportionate market share? What would you do today if you knew this is where the market will start. Do whatever is necessary to accomplish that, whether it means strengthening teams, reprioritizing product roadmap, etc.

Adapting marketing communication in response to changed user behavior 

Understanding your user and churning content to delight them

  • Focus on the customer segment, understand your consumer, and make a dent into their anxieties instead of using the same ‘stay home, stay safe’ narrative.
  • The key is to figure out where your business wants to gain disproportionate market share and try to be super relevant to the users
  • Try to cut through the clutter by adapting your marketing communication effort to pick a topic and provide delight to the users through that.
  • One example can be how VCs are supporting businesses, helping them learn and communicate with each other, and advising them to be in their mind space.
  • LBB has recently launched a program called ‘local gifts’ which enables users to buy gift cards from favorite local businesses (which customer can use later) to help the struggling business survive during these tough times

Focus shift from one category to ancillary ones might yield results

  • Insurance wing of Girnarsoft, InsuranceDekho is benefiting from great returns
  • The brand is now looking at consumer behavior, the goals driving that, and are adapting their Marcom strategy on top of that
  • Health and safety sentiments for oneself and family will increase in an uptick of insurance policies (purchase of used cars as well as new entry-level cars)
  • The brand is also focusing on ancillary services of used cars, standardizing the buying and selling experience and organizing the used car industry

Strengthen customer relationship through informative communication

  • Ixigo stopped sending sale communication i.e. cashback offers and instead focussed on travel safety advisory, a checklist to follow while traveling via flights/trains
  • The brand reached out proactively to customers and informed about travel policy changes
  • Introduced dedicated sections for COVID-19 news and a live tracker (which gets maximum clicks in a day) to keep the user engaged by providing legit information
  • Ixigo’s communication revolves around COVID-19 do’s and don’ts, explainer videos, debunking myths about COVID-19, refund policies, latest travel updates, and more
  • The communication has noticed good organic and huge social media traction
  • Ixigo has added a section about airline advisory, which is updated with information about policy changes, reaching out via WhatsApp about changes in bookings made, etc.

Rethinking marketing budgets, driving more business from existing customers, and figuring out key spend areas

Spend wisely and on cash positive and good ROI assets

  • Marketing spends at LBB haven’t been curtailed but has become more focused and is driven by product change, market share orientation, and performance orientation
  • Telemedicine and other categories are still advertising because it is a land grab opportunity
  • CPM/CPC rates and ad shares are dropping. Users will leverage it since these are never seen before bid rates
  • With big advertisers from some verticals stopping advertising, others are leveraging the open inventory
  • In fact, LBB hasn’t noticed any change in spend patterns of vendors who advertise on their platform except a slowdown in decision-making time
  • Some of these advertisers have already planned for the post-COVID-19 situation, figuring out what to do, and they’re certainly not stopping thinking about marketing and advertising.
  • There has been no change in the tactical approach at LBB but the marketing strategy has been adapted according to the behavioral changes of the user such as increased community engagement.

Online selling and buying marketplace prioritizing product innovation

  • For brands like OLX, the focus is on product innovation rather than marketing
  • The brand is, however, reaching out to existing customers via empathy-driven communication and driving CSR fundraising initiatives to help the migrant workers
  • The new user acquisition and performance marketing activities have taken a back seat.
  • The brand will start marketing spends once lockdown eases and things go back to normalcy
  • OLX is informing users about the validity extension of their listing and subscription packages

Building a platform based on genuine connections rather than advertising spends

  • A lot of marketing spends at Girnarsoft and it’s offerings like CarDekho have been curtailed
  • Only project-based marketing where partners want advertisement done on their behalf are operational
  • User acquisition efforts have been put on the back burner for now.
  • The organic play is going strong with the brand at 70-75% of traffic even now
  • The focus is on investing in building the brand which is the best defense against any upheaval be it a crisis or competitor pressure In the B2B domain, the brand is extending insurance to regular dealers through InsuranceDekho
  • The aim is to help the stakeholders with their working capital as an outreach program On the B2C side, the brand is ensuring that the video content churned out brings positivity to the users and in turn are getting a lot of love and traction from the audience
  • Girnarsoft is focused on building a platform through genuine connection rather than a transactional connection generated through advertising.
  • The brand has in fact doubled down on content marketing efforts as this is the right time to do a lot of these things

What is the biggest priority in the next 3-6 months?

The immediate priorities for the brands affected by the pandemic are to ensure cutting costs in order to extend the runway, devising contingency plans to revive the business, survival planning, tweaking the business models to be ready by the time normalcy returns. This is also the best time to implement a good operating rhythm, cultural agility, and decentralizing decision making as much as possible. Brands should also focus on understanding the new, thereby figuring out business solutions according to changed consumer behavior.

In conclusion, the speakers also shared their takeaway on remote work and its future. While most felt that there has been a boost in the productivity of teams like marketing, technology, and product, they lamented the lack of human contact, cumbersome process of setting up meetings. The unanimous feeling was that certain teams like sales need to get back on the ground owing to a more customer-facing aspect of their role. Most companies will now be more open to WFH scenarios and workspaces will be used for operational reasons that can’t be achieved at home.

What’s Next?

Check out the highlights of our exclusive virtual roundtable on the impact of COVID-19 on Indian businesses Find out how the global coronavirus pandemic affected the acquisition and LTV of apps in Europe? Wondering what is the coronavirus business impact on your vertical? Find out in our geography and business vertical specific COVID-19 impact quadrant! Register now to learn the tips of driving successful customer-centric marketing in the post-COVID-19 world!