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Editor’s Note: Marketer Spotlight is a series of blog interviews focused on sharing insights and best practices from marketing leaders on the various aspects of marketing in a digital world. In this edition, we catch up with Aditya Mujumdar from Alamar Foods (Domino’s) to discuss about retention strategies of B2C brands and how a marketing automation platform can help. Happy Reading:)
I have been in the industry for a decade. Started my career with a startup that was started by a few ex-google folks in the digital marketing space. Digital marketing was very nascent at that time and then went on to work with Food Panda, which was India’s biggest online food ordering platform. Post that, worked with an in-house incubator of Zee entertainment called Grob. Now I’m with Domino’s in the Middle East, working for Alamar Group.
That has been the journey – being a hardcore digital marketer. And now, in the new role, it’s more of CRM and data analytics.
In terms of my personal life, I have played table tennis and represented at the state level, then I regularly play squash and like to run marathons.
As cliched as it sounds, the cost of acquiring a new customer is higher than retaining a customer. Whether a brand is starting off or at a zero to one stage or one to 10 or 10 to 100 stage, whatever the phase may be, retention always remains a key focus. As a brand, you cannot think of just growing the top line at any time. At one instance, you will eventually start ending up focusing on the bottom line because everyone runs a business to make money.
So eventually, retention has to come into play. And the sooner you focus on retention, the better it is for the business (due to the RoI impact). Then your cost of retaining, cost of acquisition, and the cost of the order, everything gets optimized.
It is also a known fact that a returning customer tends to spend more that a new customer because of familiarity with the brand. So it becomes easier for the brand or the business to retain those customers, and once a customer becomes loyal to a particular service or a brand then they tend to recommend it through word of mouth.
Unlike paid marketing, where you spend today, and you start getting the result today, retention is a gradual, painstaking process where you understand the customer needs to start catering to them. You also fix your services to ensure that each and every customer is treated with the utmost care and priority. So yes, retention is key.
To a large extent, Yes. The strategies are more or less similar, but the problems they are addressing might be different. If you look at retention, the strategies boil down to what kind of data we have on the customer, and how we can segment those customers based on RFM or behavioral. The ultimate question that remains is – How do we engage with them?
Then, of course, communication becomes key as well. Understanding what they will spend on, and how they will spend also becomes a key factor.
Post that, personalization comes into the picture where tools like MoEngage help in terms of giving out communication that is personalized to a certain audience based on preferences, behavior, and RFM segments.
So the underlying fundamentals of the retention strategy more or less are similar across verticals, the nuances will change based on what stage of the journey you are at.
Pro tip: the richer the data, more refined your strategy becomes.
For example, if you’re an E-commerce brand, and you have the data that someone purchases a 30-pack of diapers. Then you know that the person has a newborn baby. So you can actually reach/engage them with a crib or a bib, and then obviously because they had purchased diapers from you, after some time, reach again out to them and offer them the same pack.
So like I said, the nuances would change, but the KPIs would remain the same largely.
I think COVID has been the biggest catalyst. In a way, it’s a blessing in disguise to a lot of businesses. Who would have thought medical consultations could happen online? Before 2020, while there were such businesses, like Practo, but the adoption level has been much higher post the lockdown.
Apart from these tools, channels also matter. Whether it is push notification, Web Push, WhatsApp, or digital channels, like Google ads, Facebook ads, blogs, videos, or content on YouTube, the way people consume content these days is beyond anybody’s imagination.
For example – On YouTube, you have this show by Neil deGrasse Tyson, where he talks about astrophysics. Now suddenly, one is interested in such things because you can consume content that probably you would not have thought of.
Ramadan is a very good topical discussion since it is round the corner.
Some of the insights one looks at during such times are:
It all depends on the data you have, and a lot of it is provided by these marketing automation platforms. They enable you to do A/B testing like sending out a message at 5 pm and then at 5:30 pm and so on and so forth. Then ofcourse, evaluating which one has performed the best in terms of open rates and click rates.
Then obviously, customer behavior comes into the picture. You understand their affinity and how they interact with a specific product or not. Based on such insights, you personalize your communication and rely on relevant channels to drive efficacy.
Since Ramadan is a holy month, as a brand, you talk about empathy, care, and helping people in general. The campaigns, unlike during a shopping festival, do not talk about the price point or the discount. Yes, price remains an underlying factor. But the larger communication is around empathy.
For example – Brands say if you buy from us, we will commit X amount on behalf of you or our target is to reach x amount or x people and you can help us in achieving that. I think even last year, we tied up with the Dubai ambulance and a couple of other charity foundations in the region, where we gave out pizzas to underprivileged people.
So during this period, consumers tend to give back to the community in whatever small way they can, and this complete four-and-a-half week is purely focused on empathy.
And most importantly, it’s the consumers who talk about all these things. So for a brand to resonate with the same kind of communication becomes critical.
Some of the key challenges are:
So today, using a blanket to communicate anything and everything to all your consumers will never fetch you the expected results. It is ultimately a message or a communication which is formed specifically for an individual that will give the desired engagement results.
Thank you so much, Aditya, for chatting with us and sharing your thoughts on how brands look at retention strategies and the role of marketing automation.
Readers, you can connect with Aditya for more tips and advice on retention strategies.