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