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Customer Engagement Strategies for a Sustainable Clothing Brand

Owning Multiple Touchpoints to Deliver a Flawless Customer Experience

Speaker – Louisa Nicholls, Retail and Digital Specialist, COO and Board Advisor

00:11 – Touchpoints Delivering Flawless Customer Experience

Louisa Nicholls –  Thank you very much, and thank you Shell and the team for inviting me. What a venue first off. I don’t about you, but I was definitely downstairs on Instagram looking at all the Tom Dixon paraphernalia everywhere. What but a beautiful venue and I did mistakenly have a Prosecco.

Before I came on stage, I feel like it was a bottomless brunch on a Sunday, and then I remembered it was midweek. But anyway, thank you very much for having me. Yes, up until last year, I had done 20 years at John Lewis, so I know I don’t look old enough, but I started when I was at school, and kind of as dot com grew, my career grew. So I ended up leading the majority of the customer teams at John Lewis and then left last year and joined them and CO as their chief customer.

So I am here to talk to you about owning multiple touchpoints that deliver flawless customer experience but before we do that, I’m not really going to go through the steps because I think all of us in this room by now understand the power of omnichannel, understand it’s important to find those customer touchpoints.

You know, there is a plethora of data around that too to tell us that. So I’m not going to stand up here and preach to you about that. But what I wanted to do is take a bit of a break and just really focus on the strategy that we need to put in place to enable those flawless touchpoints, and that is the customer strategy.

So there are a number of companies, brands, and retailers still out there that don’t have a strong, robust customer strategy and I don’t just mean a CRM strategy, I mean that end-to-end customer strategy. As we get into the cost of living crisis at the moment, a lot of brands and a lot of retailers will find themselves pushed into the trading strategy.

And trading day in, day out, week on, week out, and losing sight of that longer-term customer strategy. But it is really key to continue to drive this in all of our organizations and for me, it’s underpinned with a really simple message and you’ll kind of see this theme through, throughout this presentation around being helpful.

It’s as simple as being helpful to our customers, being helpful to our colleagues, and being helpful in general to the environment. It all stems from that and from that, we will see the brand growth, we will see customer growth, we will see sales growth, and it really does play into that strong culture that customers want to see from brands from today.

So I started off with three and then I made it to eight. I’m gonna talk to you guys today about my, my kind of eight steps or eight things to kind of watch out and build on when you are thinking about a customer strategy. So I do have as is nature these sorts of events some gifts take you through and don’t worry, I’m not just going to talk to you with that slide up there.

So the first one, qualitative is cool. So we have a plethora of data at our fingertips as brands, as retailers, but a lot of the time we pull that data on what we are currently surfacing customers. We’re putting something in front of a customer or pulling the data as to whether they like it. There’s an old-school thing called qualitative which means that we have to get off our backsides and go out and talk to our customers and a lot of brands don’t do that as much as they should.

It’s coming back to that real old school way of thinking, you know going out and talking to the customers and saying to them, what do you want to see from this brand? What values do you want us to demonstrate and watch touchpoints? And what mediums do you want us to help you to purchase the item or the service that you’re looking for?

And I use Shit’s Creek cause I had to try and get Shit’s Creek in a presentation like this, but the reason I’m using Shits Creek, and hopefully, the majority of you in this room is a bit like friends. Like I’d love to know anyone that hasn’t seen Shits Creek. In all honesty, it’s really good, it’s a really good example of how different every single customer is.

You couldn’t get any more different from Johnny Rose to I don’t know, I, I can’t even remember half their names now, but I have watched it countless times, but what this really tells us is we have to go and speak to more and more customers. You know, you can’t do a straw poll. You’ve gotta go out and really devote time to this.

So it could be through social listening, that could be through listening to phone calls. It could be going out into people’s homes. And at John Lewis a couple of years ago, we went out and we went, we invited ourselves and just forced ourselves into people’s homes. We invited ourselves, some of our customer’s homes.

We sat down, have a cup of coffee, and really talked, got them to talk to us about what they wanted to see out of the brand and what touchpoints they wanted to see from us. The second one is, don’t alienate your core customer. Protect them, inspire them. So there is a lot of noise out there around how do we get the younger customers, you know you look at Soho House and if you’re under 27, you get 50% off.

It’s all very lovely and then you realize when you go in there, a Whispering Angel or lady A is. About 40 pounds a bottle and you think, oh, can’t quite afford it anymore. But the point of it is that they’re trying to attract younger customers, but by doing that, you often alienate your core customers.

And they may not be the cooler ones, they may not be the ones that you want, you know, at this moment in time. But it’s really important to engage with them and make them feel valued, and it is that loyalty piece, but it’s much more than that. You know, they’re the bedrock, they’re the ones that are bringing in the money, and then you’re layering on the top, you know the less loyal customers, et cetera. So really focusing on that, that core customer base and making sure that you protect that.

5:39 – Studying the Industry Disruptors

The next one is studied as disruptors. I’m sure all of us in this room go out and study the competitors. You know, you’ll be looking at next, and you’ll be looking at John Lewis and you’ll be looking at everyone else, but we’re all doing the same things.

You know that it’s not revolutionizing in that sector. We’re all pretty much doing the same thing. So I always challenge my team to think outside the box and have a look at another sector and these are some really great examples. Every single one of these. So Monzo disrupting the financial sector, deliveroo disrupting the food service sector, Uber disrupting the transport sector, and Netflix is disrupting at-home entertainment.

The list goes on Amazon, for retail but what all these guys do really if you take a step back, they’ve just gone, right? How can we help customers get to point from point A to point B? Oh, that’s Uber brilliant. We live our lives on our phones. Suddenly we can see that Monzo is exactly the same.

We can see what we’re spending. We can send instant payments. Airbnb is easy, just go on there, you find somewhere overnight to stay, and literally, all they’re really doing is being helpful and they’re taking a step back and they’re disrupting the industries. So really go out there and, you know these sorts of events are really great as well because there is a plethora of different people representing different industries.

Learn from that, and talk to them. You never know when a spark of inspiration might come from a completely different sector. And then the journey mapping crusade be there when they need you and get out of their way when they don’t. You know, we spend so much time going I wanna be there for our customer.

Want to be there at every touchpoint in their face. Oversaturation, you know, often they don’t want you in their space. That’s being helpful too, and it’s really understanding at what point it might be when you’re servicing an ad, when they’re searching online, it might be, you know whatever the strategy is for your programmatical display teams, it may be just as simple as when you surface that buys buying guide on that customer journey, but it’s making sure that we’re not saturating, but there’s so much content out there at the moment.

How can we make sure that whatever we are surfacing is helpful to them? Because as we are seeing this shift away from brand and product and more into the customer space, no longer are we going out there and saying, come shop with us. We are having to go out there into the customer space and present our values to them. You know, we are having to convince them as to why they would even. And give their money to us regardless of what product or service we have. And we are really starting to see that the Gen Zs are really pushing at this values.

They’re really wanting to know more about what customers stand for. So communicating that through the customer journey, doing what you say is absolutely key. Otherwise, you’ll have this moody cat who, which some of you probably weren’t even born when this was a massive meme, but anyway.

8:41 – Content Is King

The next one is content is king. So building a content-focused community, and we all know by now that you know, content’s expensive to produce in-house, right? We have the photo studios, and we can build the big sets, but it’s expensive. But what we’re seeing is this huge rise in customer-generated content or consumer-generated content.

And that might be from influencers. You know, MNS has just launched their virtual influencer and at John Lewis, we launched a number of years ago now hashtag we are partners and that’s where we upskilled key partners across, we call them partners, employees across our store estate. A lot of them, you know, beauty advisors or fashion advisors, and we armed them with an Insta account and we gave them the tools in which to then speak to their customers so that they can engage them at a different level.

But more importantly, they could create loads and loads of content for us to then surface across all our channels and this isn’t just how quickly can we react to Kate Middleton wearing the latest jeans that we stock in Peter Jones, for example. It’s how can we continue to be really fresh and really relevant and hashtag We are partners who generated about 80% of our user-generated content at one stage.

So it really did become big business, but including your customers in this journey as well, and in this content creation is key. Everyone loves to see their picture up there. We’re being used, everyone loves to be involved in curation. So Boohoo for example, I don’t know whether they’re anyone from Boohoo, but they’re quite well known for sometimes using their Insta channels and their social media channels to curate assortments or ask customers what they think of.

You know, and then you start buying into the brand and feeling like that I Care effect. So the I Care effect is basically, for those of you that have bought a Malmo cabinet, you probably spent out four days of your life trying to get a bloody thing together. By the time you’ve done that, doesn’t matter how much you’ve spent on it, and it’s relatively cheap.

You’ve invested so much of your blood, sweat, and tears. You love that product. And so that’s what they call the I Care effect. People like to be but you’re probably wondering why I’ve got Beats Dr. Dre’s film up there, and I was at a talk in the States a couple of months ago, and this really inspirational guy you can imagine in the states, is very fancy.

And this guy comes up very cool, had worked at Nike. Had worked at Beats, knew Dr. Dre personally, and we were all going, oh, it was very impressive. And so he told us this incredible story. So he’d been CMO at Beats when Beats sat back and went, right? How do we disrupt the marketing community? How do we make tech fashionable?

Because at that stage, tech wasn’t included in fashion. You didn’t think of it as a fashion item. Right? And they said, why don’t we give our products to sports stars? Why don’t we give the Beats headphones to Serena Williams when she walks out on stage at Wimbledon? Why don’t we give them to Michael Phelps when he walks out at the Olympics and suddenly overnight beats became a fashion item?

You started seeing it in Vogue. You started seeing it on, things to have for the weekend getaway, and so it really started to build up that momentum. But one day, Dr. Dre, this is his story, not mine, gives him a call and goes, mate, I’ve got a film that’s coming out called Straight Outta Compton and we need a really quick marketing campaign that will engage the masses and you’ve only got $30,000.

Oh, and by the way, we want you to work with Universal, which is unheard of for brands and, you know, film houses to work together. So off he went and he took the three youngest people in his team at the time and said to them, this is the brief. There is no brief. You’ve got $30,000. We need something that’s gonna go viral.

So off they went. And for those of you that are old enough to remember, do you remember the CDs with the explicit lyrics box in them? Yeah. There are some nods at the back from the old people. It’s very good. Um, they went away and a week later he sat down and said, what have you got for me? And one of the guys early, in their early twenties walked up to a chalkboard and drew out the explicit.

Box, which you see there. And he put straight out of Compton in it. And this guy went, okay, I can see what you’re doing here, but not very exciting, is it? The guy from Korea got up and walked across the room, robbed Compton, and put Korea. Then the guy from Brooklyn got up, walked across the room, wiped out Korea, and put Brooklyn.

And from that, it generated a huge mass community of people generating their own content. Sports stars, brands, everyone was doing this. JLo from the block was doing straight out of Brooklyn. Even President Obama when they were, they were at that point trying to convince, I think it was the senate or the US around backing an Iran deal, back uranium.

And so they put straight out, straight out of Uran. And posted that and it suddenly became viral. And the point I’m trying to get across is to think outside the box about what we can do with content because that content then touches every single touch point in that brand’s portfolio, and customers really start to resonate with it.

13:55 – The Human and Digital Sweet Spot

Next one is really quite obvious, the age of blended experience, the human and digital sweet spot. So AI can’t replace humans and humans can’t replace AI, but each brand has to find that sweet spot. So Dominos in Australia were starting to get complaints about the quality of where the pepperoni was placed on pizzas.
Customers were not happy. They people making the pizza just slap the dash with a pepperoni, and so they bought in an AI function that helped the pizza makers make sure that they were distributed fairly, the pepperoni had gone all out and gone, right, okay, we’re just gonna, we’re just gonna mana, we’re just gonna get a computer in and a robot to make all of our pizzas.

That wouldn’t have solved the problem. Cause one of the reasons people like it is because it’s freshly made pizza and it’s done by humans. But what they did was they found that sweet spot, that blend of where AI can help but the human can still deliver. And so it’s so important to take a step back and every brand will be completely different than this.

There are some brands where as consumers, we are very happy to talk to a robot. There are others that literally people will go spare if they think that they’re talking to a robot. John Lewis is a prime example, a core John Lewis customer when they’re, they’re missing their order of ready-made curtains.

I’m not gonna wanna speak to an AI. Someone else, the other brand, absolutely fine. So it’s really finding that sweet spot. Anyway, the next thing is don’t get distracted. Side-step shiny things and get the basics right. I know it’s really boring, but we have to get the basics right.

You know, if we are going to adopt an amazing VR solution, let’s make sure that we’ve got the product rendering in 3d that will feel feed that you know VR solution. Don’t get distracted by those shiny things one of the most important things I think as well is, and we hear it over and over again in the businesses that I work with is whatever your strategy is to the wider business strategy.

Again, I know it sounds really obvious, but if you want to get things over the line, make sure that they’re attached to one of those business pillars because you convert your bottom. The executive that’s responsible for that business pillar will be delighted that you are making them look better by finding a solution for them to deliver against it.

16:26 – Building a Team of Master Orchestrators

Then there’s a culture piece I’m having done so many years in John Lewis, as you can imagine, I’m very much around team and culture. But more and more are coming out of kind of the wider marketing space and CX space. It’s how we build a team of the market, master orchestrators, you know, none of us, none of our teams now have the solution.

We’re so dependent on other teams, and it may be internal teams, it may be agencies. But how do we make sure that we upskill teams to be able to orchestrate, orchestrate across projects, and orchestrate across campaigns? And doing that will break down those silos, but we have to think more holistically.

And then, does anyone know what Hippo means?

Okay. Shoot. Go for it. It’s the highest-paid person’s opinion. That’s right. So hippo means highest paid person’s opinion. So it’s actually part of agile terminology and it is the counterbalance to always being data led. So what I mean by harmonized with the hippo is don’t alienate the highest-paid person.

Don’t alienate the exec or the boss. Bring them in, because if you don’t bring everyone in at the point in which you’re going forward with your strategy, they will disrupt it along the way. I thought I would, I would share that one with you. It is wildly widely known. It’s not something that I’ve made up that hires, paid person’s opinion.

It’s quite useful. And we used to band it around quite a lot at John Lewis if one of the hired pay person was giving an opinion. So became a bit of a joke and a bit of a kind of a sense check. So it’s a, it’s a good one to bear in. And then that’s finally it. It really genuinely is how can we be helpful to every subset in society.

How can we be helpful to all of our customers and how can we have helped our teams? Thank you very much.

Customer Engagement Strategies in Today’s Competitive Market


Hannah Scott, Group Product Marketing Manager, Infobip
Greg Turtle, Head of Growth, what3words
Aykut Subekci, New Channels Lead, Product Madness

2:18 – Overview of Customer Engagement at a Personal Level

Moderator – Absolutely! Thank you for this introduction, guys. Let’s talk about the first topic. It would be great to have an overview of what you think is customer engagement for you, maybe on a personal level. Aykut, if you want to start.

Aykut Subekci – Yeah, sure. So for me, I guess customer engagement is changing every platform you see, any kind of ads, because, for example, when you use Facebook or Instagram, I mean the audience is totally different than TikTok.

So that’s why you need to produce some kind of ads, which will be attractive to those types of users. Personally when I see any kind of, really TikTok trend video ads, So I am just like being engaged with this ad and the actual product. So yeah, I can say this is really important for me that like they put some, materials which is really suitable for the audience they show.

Greg Turtle – I think for me, normally when I’m being kind of message to, it’s from a business that’s trying to sell me something or trying to get me warmed towards selling something, push me down some kind of funnel, or ultimately purchase or get interested in some kind of new product. At what3words it’s pretty different because like I said, we don’t treat them as customers, we treat our users as users.

We don’t sell anything to them, we don’t even monetize them through advertising or anything like that. We’re just interested in getting people to open the app and use us at the most relevant time. So for us, customer engagement or user engagement is more around just politely nudging or reminding people that we are a service that’s there and to remember to use us in situations where your words might help them in their day-to-day life.

So yeah, for me, like when people are engaging with me on a customer engagement, I normally think of that as like a sales thing. But for us, we have to be super careful when we engage with our users not to piss them off too much because we know they’re helping us.

Hannah Scott – Yeah, for me, I guess customer engagement is changing. So, I think it was very kind of marketing-focused, very sales-focused before, but we’ve got to think of customer engagement across the whole entire customer journey and every touchpoint they have with the business and that’s what with digital channels you can definitely do in terms of having that kind of touch points with customers throughout every kind of you know the interaction they have with you throughout the customer journey.

So that’s kind of how I see customer engagement now.

4:47 – How Does Multichannel Marketing Translate

Moderator – Great. Thank you, guys. So you’ve been having great success with your growth in the last 18, 12 to 18 months. To get that customer engagement, of course, involves being able to get the users to a multitude of different channels and I know you have some great successes based on that which I’m really excited for the audience to hear about.

So yeah, I’d be curious to hear about like, what is multichannel marketing for you and how on a daily basis this translates. Greg, if you want to start.

Greg Turtle – Sure. I think for us multichannel is super important because, through words for it to succeed, we need many, many, many millions of people to be using us on a fairly regular basis and those people are not all gonna be the same as each other. So say, for example, someone in a field in Glastonbury who’s trying to find their friend meet up at the event, that person’s gonna have very different media consumption habits to the 75-year-old who is concerned about an ambulance finding them quickly in an emergency at home.

Both users are equally as important to us. Maybe the 75-year-olds are a little bit more important, to be honest, if they’re an emergency. But both users are equally as important and we need them to remember, to use us in those situations. So we’ll be using a large array of channels both owned and paid to make sure that both those users understand what through words like implicitly, but also that they’re comfortable enough to use us when that situation arises especially as it could be quite a tense situation.

Either for the lost person or for the person in an emergency. So yeah, so we use a wide range of channels. I, I don’t think we need to go into too much of them now, but as I say, owned and paid to make sure that level of understanding’s always there.

Aykut Subekci – To be honest, for us it is all about reaching new users because when you stick to one platform or a couple of platforms like Facebook and Google, it is getting harder and harder to reach new users. So you just always have the same type of audience and for our social customer gaming, games actually, I can tell that like we had to reach new users and so that’s why we started TikTok, Snapchat, Tinder, Twitter.

So this kind of platform has different types of users and when you use this multi-channel strategy, so it is giving us this opportunity and advantage over our competitors that like we can get all new users before than them. So I think that’s why it is important for us.

Hannah Scott – Yeah. For me I guess, you know, multichannel, omnichannel, you’ve got to be looking at all your channels in terms of both online and offline and seeing how they kind of interact with each other. So you know, just not taking one channel on its own but actually having a holistic view of how each of those channels works across the customer journey and how they can really kind of support each other and work together rather than you know going against each other which sometimes you know does happen in organizations where you haven’t got every kind of touchpoint in terms of how you are communicating to your customers.

Getting that kind of holistic view of where your customers are interacting with you and then working out what the best kind of channels is to use to talk to your customers. So, there might for example, you want to send out notifications, so something like sms might be a good thing to use. Whereas if you are wanting to have something that’s more kind of conversational with your customers, which is definitely the way the market’s moving then you would use, more kinds of digital channels in terms of WhatsApp, RCS, something like that where, where your customers can interact with you, more closely.

Greg Turtle – I mean, everyone’s learning this as they go, right? Like it changes all the time. Yeah. Yeah. Um, I know WhatsApp, for example, is something that we are looking into at the moment that’s super new for us, and it’s bigger in some markets than others. Yeah. New tech partners with new in-app notification software and all that kind of stuff, like it’s adding those extra strings each time when you’ve already got, like, you’re already trying to perfect what you’ve already got going.

It’s hard, and I don’t know if anyone, maybe you know better than I do, if any, like who’s doing it really well?

Hannah Scott – Yeah, I mean I think there are certain brands that are doing it better than others. Probably more kinds of e-commerce retailers are definitely kind of taking digital channels on board and really embracing them.

But I think one of the key things that you need to keep doing is revisiting that customer journey because it will be changing. Technology will be changing and you’ll need to keep re-evaluating where those touchpoints are and what you can use to put into those areas. Just keep it as a kind of cyclical thing where you are constantly re-evaluating what you’re doing.

9:46 – Rise In Customer Acquisition Through TikTok

Moderator – Yeah, absolutely. I think I’d like to bounce back on, I quit as well because chatting together and what I’ve seen on social media, I think we’ve all the different channels you’re managing.

You have some really great stories to tell about when it comes to acquisition and engagements later on, if you would like to tell us a word about, for instance, the rise through TikTok or the other partnership deals that you’ve been managing.

Aykut Subekci – Yeah, sure. So actually I can just talk about our TikTok journey for our social customer games. Two years ago when I joined product maintenance, we didn’t have any activity on TikTok and it was quite a new platform for advertising actually, but as product maintenance, we are kind of early adopter companies ao we always have some budget for testing.

I can say that’s why we started to test on doing tests on TikTok and it just didn’t perform well, but we just understood that like it looks promising and we need to change our optimization waste and after a couple of months, we started to produce some influencer creatives.

And actually, we were the only social customer company that uses TikTok ads. Started to work with agencies and many huge secretive, some TikTok trends. After all, we reach really high amount of budget per month, and then right now, for example, I can say that we are the number one social customer company in terms of budget and actual performance on TikTok.

So which is good but I think everyone needs to think to change their creativity. I mean for every platform or every athlete. For example, this kind of creatives never worked for Facebook or Google in our marketing weeks but when we specified them for TikTok and Snapchat, actually both of them have almost the same audience so it worked well and we are working more and more to produce this type of creators for those channels.

I can even give another example. For example, this month we will start this Tinder activity and everyone is just like it, finding it funny because, you know, as no one knows, even like this ad on Tinder or they swipe left.

Maybe by mistake, they swipe right. Yeah, so we just produce a concept. For example, for Tinder, we have two characters in the game, John and Linda, and they’re falling in love in that video. So this specific video actually is only can be good for dating apps. So that’s why we will test this and maybe we will get this performance from Tinder or not, but we will see.

So we always see opportunity and we just change our way and then adapt and look for success actually. Yeah!

Moderator – Very interesting. I think if you have the chance, there’s a grandmother video for one of the games of product manners. I really recommend ending up on it on any social media. It’s quite good fun.

I’d like to come back to something, especially for you Greg when it comes to both of your brands in the last 18, 24 months, you’ve seen quite a rise and, and really good successes. Could you share with us what were the key leverages to achieve those results?

Greg Turtle – Yeah, I think, excuse me. So for us, we got to a certain place with performance marketing. We acquired a lot of users. We got a lot of big PR stories, and a lot of people installed the app, but to get to that many millions of users we realized that we needed to go further. So we wanted to do tv, and we got a lot of great creative people in the house, that big TV background.

So that’s what we wanted to do. So one of the biggest levers for us or kind of strokes of luck for us was during the pandemic. We struck some media for equity deals with ITV and Channel four here and for those that don’t know immediate record deal is, when a media owner invests in a company but instead of giving cash, they give media space.

So we suddenly had 4 million pounds worth of TV air time to play with across ITV and, and channel four and actually, at that time, TV air time was pretty cheap. So that formula went a long way so that got us a lot. That got us like a mass reach in the UK and actually abroad as well. You know, people talk, funnily enough, and British people get out there and other countries.

We’ve started to see more usage. But this media for equity model is something that we’ve re-replicated in quite a few markets now. We’ve done two more deals in Germany with pro-Seban, and some other large media owners in Germany. Out of home especially. And we’ve done a big $10 million deal in India with the Times of India which are a big multi-channel media owner over there.

So it’s has been a real like fun toolkit to have available to the growth team to play with, and it’s been a challenge for the marketing team to get all the different creative assets together, et cetera, but that it’s, especially in this time now when investment is quite difficult to come by.

We’ve got quite a lot of credits in the bank to keep us going and kind of like keep our brand awareness high in some of these crucial markets for us. So yeah, as a lever that’s been most useful for us over the last couple of years, I’d say.

Moderator – Very interesting, very interesting. Ayukut, I think share with us maybe about the TikTok rise and the wave that you followed.

Aykut Subekci – Sure, sure. Yeah. I mean, I think I should start with Covid again. So it helps us. So I know that it’s, it was in good times, but you can imagine that like our users, our players were gamblers and in the covid time, they couldn’t go to casinos.

So that’s why we started to see a really huge uplift in our DAU and the MAU, it help us. Then they started to, they stayed at home and they played, this help us to just generate more than more revenue than previous. And secondly, we started TikTok activity and the other channels, the new channels, and right now new channels are 25 percent of our marketing matches budget.

So you can imagine that like, with this activity actually we started to reach all new users before then our competitors. So, and it helps us for the last, last four, last year and a half. It helps us to just beat them in this competition. Yeah.

Moderator – Nice. I think I believe On TikTok, you told me last week you reached out to a number one social game, did I get it right?

Yeah! So right now, in terms of spend, I think when we look at it and when you guys go to TikTok Ad Library, it’s like Facebook ad Library and it’s quite new. You will see that like seven out of 10 ads actually belong to the product Madness right now.

I mean, I’m so happy with that, but it just like took really long time. But we did it.

16:47 – Re-evaluating Customer Engagement

Moderator – Very interesting. Hannah, we’ve been learning very good insights about what were the keys to success, but what would you think would be the important piece when it comes to let’s say if you have any advice to give for someone that wants to reevaluate their customer engagement? Would you like to share some insights as well?

Hannah Scott – Yeah definitely. So I guess, you know, I kind of mentioned before about, you know, we’re moving more to conversational messaging. People are kind of looking more, to digital channels and just to kind of give you a flavor of what consumers are kind of expecting now.

A lot of people are obviously using apps like WhatsApp in their day-to-day lives. I think we’ve probably all got you to know, a lot of groups on WhatsApp in terms of school groups, family groups, and friends groups, but people want to use those chat apps when they’re communicating with businesses now as well.

So I think it’s like 75% of people would prefer to work with businesses who are on these digital channels and that they can communicate with them. So you know, that really kind of shows you how people are starting to change the way they communicate with businesses and what they’re kind of expecting from businesses and brands.

Just to kind of give you a bit more of a flavor of what we are seeing in Infobip at the moment. So we’ve recently, um, conducted a market, messaging trends, report where we’ve looked at all of the interactions on our platform last year. So we had 153 Billion interactions last year. So we’ve evaluated all of that data and we’ve had a look at where the trends are going with messaging now.

So obviously previously, sms, is a huge channel in terms of what businesses we’re using it for. But moving on into now, what we’re seeing in comparison to last year is that WhatsApp has increased in interactions by 80% on our platforms. So, we’re really seeing this kind of big, rise in people using these chat apps.

The reason why they’re using these chat apps is as I say, we’re moving towards this more conversational messaging. So people want to chat with businesses as they chat with their friends. They don’t want to have to, you know, just. Get this one-way communication, um, through traditional channels. They want to be able to be at, you know, chatting with businesses and brands, to get those interactions from them.

We’ve had quite a few good sorts of customer stories recently in terms of where we’ve seen some businesses really utilizing WhatsApp in their kind of customer journeys and their use cases that they’re using the channel for. So just to give you an example, we’ve been working with Deal this year and they actually used WhatsApp.

So they basically got their Instagram followers to sign up for their WhatsApp, channel, and then they basically interacted. Through a brand ambassador. So this brand ambassador was interacting through WhatsApp with their followers, and it actually really increased the engagement that they saw.

We haven’t got results just yet, but we’ve had some really good feedback from Dior on this campaign. It was a really kind of disruptive campaign in terms of how much engagement they saw from customers. Another good example was Unilever.

So they actually used WhatsApp in another campaign. So what they did was they posted some billboard posters around the city. They put a WhatsApp number on there and they had like a teaser on these posters and then consumers basically messaged this number through WhatsApp, and then they had this interaction with the brand in terms of getting tips and tricks around laundry and how to look after your clothing and stuff like that.

They were also getting information about product launches and product updates as well, and they actually saw 14 times in sales leads and in growth. So yeah, we’ve seen some really kind of good things coming through with how people are starting to use WhatsApp as a channel and I’d say a lot of it’s around the kind of brand loyalty, brand advocacy, that kind of use cases. But also, we still see a lot happening with customer support as well in terms of people still wanting to interact with companies 24×7. So you know, they’re using WhatsApp as a chatbot so that customers can engage at any time of the day with the brand.

So you’re kind of getting both promotional and customer support, use cases coming through. We’re definitely seeing a massive increase in promotional cases at the moment because meta changed their pricing at the beginning of the year to really look toward promotional use cases but actually, it helps across the board in terms of the customer journey.

Moderator – Do you guys want to say a word?

Greg Turtle – No, that was very comprehensive. And I need to get across WhatsApp. That sounds amazing. We need to do more of that, and I know, like I said, in certain markets, WhatsApp is increasingly like the standard.

Yeah. When we moved into India, for example, we just, like our push notification, open rates are just shockingly bad. All of our customer engagement, and open rates are pretty bad, but WhatsApp like seems to be the one.

Hannah Scott – Yeah. And I think, as I say, I’ve been speaking about WhatsApp and that’s really the digital channel that works across the board with, the customer journey, CU sales support, and marketing. But you know, there are digital channels out there as well. You know, you’ve got RCS which is really growing in the UK at the moment. You’ve got Google and Apple as well which are really kind of up-and-coming as well. So you know, when you are looking at your customer journey, just take all of these channels into consideration, and really kind of obviously keep those traditional channels that you use in terms of email and SMS, but mix in those digital channels as well to really kind of cover off the whole customer.

Greg Turtle – We’ve made a lot of developments in this space look for us, and having the right tech stack in place has been basically key. Our push notifications weren’t in a great place. Our retargeting wasn’t in a great place and now because we’ve got these analytics platforms on our side to chop the audiences up have they done this within the app?

They’ve not done this within the app. Have they searched for an address if they navigated to an address, if they saved an address, yes or no? Yes or no? Yes or no. By building out these decision trees, we’re finally now in a much better place. But then, the tech stack too, um, to help us do that was vital.

And it’s important to invest in the right pieces of kit.

Moderator – Um, for sure. Absolutely. Aykut, do you want to add something?

Aykut Subekci – I can just say one thing that like gaming is not using WhatsApp. So I mean, you know, like you cannot reach players with WhatsApp. Yeah, unfortunately. I mean, even with I’m not even sure that like we tried as a company, but yeah, maybe one day. Maybe one day.

24:31 – 2023 For User Acquisition, Growth, and Customer Engagements

Moderator – I have a final question. Quite an open question. We are 60 days to 2023, and I would be curious to hear about like what would be your advices, recommendation, or maybe predictions for the next year to come when it comes to user acquisition, growth, and customer engagements.

Greg Turtle – I know for us something that’s very core to what three words is the localization and doing it like properly and really committing to it, and that doesn’t just mean language, although obviously in our case we’re like a language-based app. So it’s super really important that we are like very localized and we take things quite deep. So we advertise in the 12 different official languages of India.

For example, most big companies will only do one or two, probably two or three, maybe. Um, but we do all 12. We work across like 50 languages + I think the app does. So it’s important that we are very localized in all our coms and that’s not just in pay, but it’s also in owned as. So I think everything is just becoming increasingly global and even the ecom strategy, you kind of have to think locally and globally at the same time.

But for us, just continuing down that hyperlocal, hyper-localized like delivery on both language and also imagery, culture, all of that for us is very cultural to us and we’ll be continuing that next year.

Moderator – Are there any markets you want to really put a priority on for 2023?

Greg Turtle – That’s a good question. For a priority, I mean, India is a priority right now. For us, it’s, growing rapidly. I told you we’ve got that big $10 million deal with times of India that we are spending the money and we’re utilizing. I think Asia, in general, is very interesting for us.

That whole like last-mile delivery and rapid delivery is growing very fast over there. So what three words have a lot of use and those are markets where traditional addresses don’t necessarily work as well as they do in western markets? So Asia is super interesting for us. We are also looking very much to consolidate the efforts that we’ve put in in the UK and Germany, and other western markets.

Moderator – Yeah, they’re interesting. Hannah, maybe?

Hannah Scott – Yeah, so for us, I’ve mentioned it before I mentioned it again, but I think conversational messaging’s gonna be massive in 2023, so, you know, keep it in your mind all the time and not just conversational messaging, but it’s basically conversational everything.

So conversational AI, conversational messaging. So just really kind of interacting with customers on their level. So, having those conversations with them rather than just kind of sending one-way traffic out to them. So that’s kind of where we are seeing 2023 really kind of moving towards and it, we are already going in that direction, but we’ll see, a big spike in it next year.

Aykut Subekci – Yeah. Um, I think I agree with Greg about Asia market. Right now we are working on new games, which are actually localized in Chinese. We are just trying to join this Asian market because our core games were only in English and it wasn’t localized. So right now we are working on localization and the second thing, I think is social platforms like everyone should be aware of this burial app. It is quite new, but it is growing a lot and it’s quite exciting for us right now.

They are not letting us advertise our games or no one, but I’m pretty sure that like next year they will start to just pull their product for the advertising, and then we will start to use I think this two is the biggest opportunity for us for the next year.

Greg Turtle – I could obviously touch on it a lot, but TikTok companies like yours are smashing it on TikTok, but most of the big companies are still not and like you might think that this was the year of TikTok, but I think next year is when we’re really gonna start seeing TikTok take huge shares of ad revenue because their product is getting pretty good now, and if you’re not there then you’re really missing out.

I think companies are finally now starting to understand that creative bit that you were talking about. Like you can’t treat TikTok the same. Yeah. You have to test more, you have to refresh more. That understanding is now there. So I think people are ready to pull their ad, they’re ad pounds and dollars into it.

Moderator – Yeah. It’s very powerful. I could, I think you said you renew the creative every one or two days?

Aykut Subekci – Yeah, every two days. I mean, we are just trying to rotate new creators because TikTok is a kind of video platform, right?

It is totally different than Facebook or Snapchat because the users are not consuming that much video. But on TikTok, users are only consuming video and if you are doing video ads, so in the end, in two days, they will all already forget about your video and ads and they will get bored if you, for example, we tried this, TikTok made me buy it trend actually.

We just changed it. TikTok made us play it. So we just generated this content, but in the end, two, or three days later, so we started to see a huge drop in the performance and conversion rates because they just got bored. And so now, we are working for the TikTok team. So they just share trends and real trends because there are many trends, and they are just being lost in the system, right?

So they’re sharing the real trends with us, and then we are just, uh, applying those changes to our creative way. And in the end, we are getting really good performance. But yeah, as Maxim told me, it is really hard to just like rotate those new creators and produce them. So right now we are working with I think three different agencies and TikTok team as well and also we have in our creative team, which is huge. Yeah.

Decoding User Behavior and Trends to Delight Customers

Moderated by: Sirish Krishna Pallaveda – Country Manager – Philippines, MoEngage

Harm-Julian Schumacher – Co-founder & CEO – DART
Donald Saurombe – Head of Business Development – MPT Mobility
Nathalie Salcedo – Growth Lead – MetroMart

Moderator: I would like to have my first question to Julian. So with the quick commerce industry, there is a lot at stake. Sometimes it’s to deliver in 29 minutes, sometimes it’s 11 minutes. How important is it to understand user behavior and predict what has happened?

02:27 – Importance of Understanding User Behavior

Harm-Julian Schumacher: Understanding users is obviously at the core of our business and we are at a quite interesting stage at the moment. So we were founded three months ago. We are growing at the moment, for last month we had 150%. At the moment, we are going with 200 kmph on the other one.

And at the same time, we want to go faster. And we want to make the cart look nice and shiny. So really understanding what are the right decisions because it’s going to take long months or this could end up in a disaster. Understanding customers was like a super key for us. SAR said that, understanding the different customers, what are they doing here? How are they working from new customers? Going through registration process, existing customers ordering, like putting stuff into the basket checkouts – and that’s something where I spend every week basically looking at customer skills and seeing how they’re behaving in the app and understanding what is going on.

And if we understand that, then we can act upon it. And one thing is, with our products, push notifications are just to remind the customer to stock something if they’re out of stock, but then you can also really leverage the data and act upon how customers are behaving.

If someone really likes snacks and is always looking for it in the afternoon, so we send them a specific push notification and let them know – you want some chocolate? You crave something? Just order and we’ll have it delivered in a few minutes. And then linking it to some other product, for instance – to this specific customer, I can actually give a chocolate for free.

Well, that’s basically how we look at this. Really understanding the customer data on an individual level, also aggregated, and then based on that taking decisions on how we want to build the cart, our app or our product.

Moderator: Very interesting. So Natalie the question is, the holiday season is coming. So what do you anticipate as a quick commerce or an on demand delivery service. What to predict during the shopping season?

Nathalie Salcedo: Christmas is the biggest holiday in the country for Filipinos and our Christmas actually started last September. So I think in terms of e-commerce and grocery delivery platform, last year was kind of different and we’re anticipating the different behavior of the consumer spirit as it stands because it’s the new normal.

We don’t know what would be the trend that’s going to happen by this year. It’s super different from last the last two years. So basically, if the Christmas season is coming, there’s a lot of demand, there’s a lot of bulk orders, there’s a lot of people coming out, there’s a lot of traffic as well.

So we also have to consider our logistics partners, our supermarkets. There’s a lot of people going out, but how do you really make sure that we provide the best service for our consumers at the same time? So it’s more on the planning really that has to happen holistically, not just on the marketing side, but on the operation side at the same time.

And then with our marketplaces, with all the partners that we have currently for our app, with the supermarket and specialty source, everything should holistically be altogether.

Moderator: So one question to both of you. Many people are saying that there will be revenge shopping because not many people went out and shopped for the last two years.

Do you think they’ll still order from you or will many people be moving to supermarkets to shop?

Nathalie Salcedo: Well I mentioned, I think in terms of the customer behavior, you really want to create the assistance. This is the first year that we’re experiencing the new normal coming from the high demand of the last two years. So the question is, how do we make sure that the customers are satisfied with the service we’re providing.

So basically we have our loyal customers, those customers who still prefer shopping online even though it’s a new normal. And those are the type of customers that we want to hold onto. So it’s like, how do we keep them interested within the app? We provide different promos, we provide different supermarket stuff, we make them interested.

Harm-Julian Schumacher: I think for us, it’s not really a problem. I see that in Germany, obviously people were always allowed to order in. And even when lockdowns actually ended, people were still ordering.

Because our model is not about – you have to plan and build your day, around groceries and you don’t have any other way. So instead of getting into a car, going somewhere and being there for an hour and then going back home takes two hours and you spend a lot of gas.

Just whatever you want, you order it and you get it, super easy. So yes, things are changing, but not really fast.

Nathalie Salcedo: I think even coming from the pandemic, their messaging has always been stay safe, stay at home. It’s more like online shopping and providing convenience to you.

Moderator: Okay, now the question is to Donald. I found that they don’t have any competition, then why do you think customer engagement, customer experience is so important for MPT DriveHub or MPT Mobility?

09:17 – The Power of Customer Engagement and Customer Experience

Donald Saurombe: I think that’s a common view that people would say we don’t have any competition, but when it comes to winning the hearts of our customer, we still have to take that very seriously. So sometimes it’s even harder when you don’t have competition because there’s nobody for them to compare you against.

So we hold up to very high standards and because of that, we actually take a lot of time and effort in making sure that we gather customer data insights and that we act on them and that our customers are always happy. So from DriveHub, we created the digital platform in order to
connect what is usually considered a transactional kind of business.

You just get on the to road, pass through the tollgate and that’s it, you’re done. But still, if we don’t deliver the service in a way that pleases our customers, they get angry. And nowadays on social media, they do go out there and rant and that tarnishes the brand’s image and it then spills over to other brands within the group. So that’s why we are very concerned about custom engagement.

Moderator: You talked about this initiative, MPT DriveHub. It allows users to plan the journey ahead. So how do you think the real time insights on graphic also helps customers? How you can analyze customer behavior as there are externalities also in play. So how do you use these real time insights?

Donald Saurombe: So real time insights, let’s talk about traffic for one. I was coming from the office to come to the event here today. I know how to get here, but halfway through I opened Google Maps and that’s because I was stuck in a very long traffic jam. And it’s at that moment when I needed that real time data just on the traffic conditions to try and figure out what’s the best route.

Although I knew two routes off the top of my head, but I have to figure out that is it worth it for me to try the other route? So that was an example of how real time data is important for our customers, which are predominantly motorists. When it comes to customer behavior, one scenario could be our rest stops along the expressways.

So these rest stops have very different establishments, ranging from coffee shops to gasoline stations, fast food chain restaurants. We don’t want to be sending push notifications or promotions to people about a McDonald’s or a Starbucks in Angeles when they’re somewhere in Makati, it doesn’t make much sense.

That’s something that annoys our customers. So getting a platform like MoEngage is something that we’re looking forward to helping us out in delivering relevant and timely messaging. And not only that, but also through the right channels.

Moderator: Okay, thanks for that. So even people from MPT Mobility get stuck in traffic. So I have question for Julian and Natalie again. So similarly, the externalities that traffic can have, even you might face externalities apart from customer behavior. So how do you leverage these externalities into your advantage?

13:16 – Leveraging Externalities to Your Company’s Advantage

Harm-Julian Schumacher: For us it’s actually something which we can really use to our advantage, because we are so instant. Just today, all of you have been out there, it started raining and that was something where we like try to step in on that and say like – ‘Hey, don’t want to leave your house?’

Well it just started, right? And that’s something where we can really go in on that one. The other thing is as you said, negative externalities and we talked about traffic. I think there’s a reason why the Philippines is the only country where traffic is an adjective. So normally during rush hours, we inform our customers that we could take be bit longer. But at the same time, we also use it for advantage because customers are actually super surprised about how fast we are.

They don’t see that coming. So now we are going in the way that ‘Look, your riders already on the way’ and your rider is arriving, and now your rider is there. And that helps us to get the customers sort of ready for their order. Because otherwise we have cases where our riders are calling them and they’re like, what? You are already here? And that’s obviously something we want to avoid. We want to be fast and then also like do the next customer very fast.

Moderator: Natalie do you want to just mention how you leverage or you predict these externalities?

Nathalie Salcedo: I think pretty much the same, it’s really looking forward. It’s rainy season, there’s storms coming in. It’s how we inform our customers as well. But also with service an added advantage is in terms of how do we create a campaign out of it? It’s like leveraging on the current thumb state and then provide promo codes and then you provide discounts and all that. I think pretty much the same.

Moderator: I have an interesting idea for Donald actually. I mean, definitely you can have the toll fee calculator, but we should also have a time calculator from traveling from point A to point B, predicting the traffic. So that’ll be interesting to know.

Donald Saurombe: Yes, that’s actually coming up with some additions to that to make it better than just to show you the traffic. So we are actually adding more experiences to it, tailoring better experiences. So that’s something that you can expect to see in the next few months.

Moderator: And this question is relevant to all three panelists. With the quick commerce and transportation industry, all these industries are based on location, right? So if you want groceries, you want it to be delivered at your doorstep and if you want to go to office, you have to use any of the toll roads. So how do you think we can leverage geofence or the location based notifications, how do you think it will help?

16:36 – The Role of Geofencing in the Quick Commerce Industry

Donald Saurombe: For transportation, example on the toll roads, one of the businesses that MPT Mobility is into is now into also real estate. So the service facilities that you find along the toll roads are usually the kinds where you just find a gas station and a few fast food restaurants.

But they started up this concept. If you’ve ever gone to the Balintawak area, just before the Balintawak tollgate, there’s this establishment called NLEX Drive&Dine. Now, NLEX Drive&Dine is a concept where they’ve basically beefed up what is the usual, toll rest area into something more of a destination place.

So people actually spend more time there. Not just stop, fill up some gas drive through and they’re off. They spend hours there and they’ve actually added restaurants that provide fine dining. And even one of the biggest Nike factory store is located there. So people actually go there to buy sneakers.

Now because of that, geolocation allows us to basically send relevant messages. Like if somebody is passing by Balintawak, we can actually direct them to NLEX Drive&Dine. And that’s something that we can use geofencing for. We can do the same for any of the toll gates, knowing that a person has passed the Pampanga toll plaza, and we are delivering messages about things relevant to Pampanga, not things that are happening in Makati. So those are some of the use cases for geofencing,

Moderator: The next time I buy sneakers from Nike, I will blame Donald for that. Julian, you want to take this?

Harm-Julian Schumacher: For us, we follow a hyper local approach. So we are not active everywhere. We’re in Makati, Mandaluyong, BGC, now adding Pasig and a few more cities.

So for us, it’s like being able to target users locally because we on one hand need it. Let’s say we open up a new area, we already know users who downloaded the app but weren’t able to order. So now we can directly engage with them and tell them – ‘Hey look, we are here. We are live now, order from us.’

But at the same time, what we’re also seeing is we have very different user behaviors depending on the city. Like a very easy example, Makati is more in the morning and Mandaluyong are the night owls. So we really want to communicate with the users at the most relevant times. We are not planned, we are instant.

So if people in Mandaluyong are normally ordering at 8 or 9PM, then we will communicate with them at that time and Makati while they go earlier. So based on this one, on different user behaviors and then being able to segment them, we can really put the full potential of our model to use.

Moderator: So you are selling groceries in Makati and selling beers in Mandaluyong, is that right?

Nathalie Salcedo: I think for us, since DART is also focused within the local Makati area and then with MetroMart, we’re starting to really expand also to different provinces currently.

So we’ve been present in Cebu, Davao and I think in terms of geofencing, how it contributes to us is on how do we personalize those messaging based on those provinces. So each customer’s location differs. So they also have different purchasing capabilities. They have different intent in terms of the supermarkets that they wanted to purchase on.

So it’s really how do we personalize each messaging through emails and push notifications as well. And that is how it’s important for us that we get to geo target them based on locations.

Moderator: This will be my last question. So how can the feedback be collected from the customers? You are into quick commerce, so how important is it to collect and how do you manage to collect the feedback?

20:57 – Collection and Utilization of Customer Feedback

Harm-Julian Schumacher: For us, everything is data driven. I have an opinion about customers like you, my marketing team has it. They probably have a better one because I really like the local cultural knowledge. But ultimately everything I say, let’s look at the data. And there are three different layers you can be looking at.

Like one is aggregated data. Which categories will get clicked more? What are customers really looking at? The other one is then getting on the individual level. So to really understand how individual customers are behaving and that you can also do with data.

And then the third one is well, why do customers do that? And for that you really have to go into customer interviews, rationalizing what they’re doing, talking with them, and also finding the right customers for that. You have to firstly identify them and that’s where data is key. So what are your biggest problems? Why are they there and how can you solve them?

Moderator: Then how are you collecting feedback, from your customers? Is it through the app or a different platform or through offline?

Donald Saurombe: Well, currently we utilize both the app and also offline. We track certain events on the app. So by that we are already getting some feedback, although it’s more passive but then also we do it offline. We’ve utilized things like FGDs and surveys, and that’s how we do it for now.

Moderator: Natalie for you?

Nathalie Salcedo: I think pretty much the same for both, we utilize it by the app. We integrated this every time you shop, you get our ratings as well, just so we evaluate our shoppers and riders.

And then we also have the tipping system. So we get to acknowledge our shoppers and riders because we don’t get to see them when they really provide services. And apart from that, we utilize the offline as well as, as tacky it sounds, we still call the customers directly. So we cohort them based on strategy and then we call each of those customers through different questionnaires, survey forms, and then through it we get to evaluate what could be their pain points from these locations and how can we possibly solve these problems as well?

And that at the same time, I think everyone’s really social. There’s a lot of comments and feedbacks via social media, so we’re trying to maximize all of those feedbacks as well, because we really believe that the customers are key essentials here and how we really retain the business.