Marketer Spotlight: The Role of a Robust CRM in OYO Rooms’ Growth Story

By akshatha-kamath
29 May 2019 | 5 July 2019

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 our recent #GROWTH19 conference, Pranav Kumar, the head of CRM at OYO Rooms, shared his insights on the role of a CRM in engaging users and driving conversions. We’ve covered that insightful conversation in this month’s Marketer Spotlight. Read on…

About OYO Rooms
It is safe to say that OYO has disrupted the way hospitality industry functions. With a chain of 18000+ hotels across 500 cities in India, OYO has kept its customers at the center of its business and has managed to offer them a hassle-free and standardized experience.

MoEngage: What is the role of the CRM in OYO’s growth story?

Pranav: With a presence in over 500 cities across ten countries, and with more than 18000+ leased and franchised businesses, it was crucial for OYO to manage the properties efficiently. OYO has a mobile-first approach. We found the conversions and Lifetime Customer Value (LTV) to be 2x more through mobile than through other platforms such as websites. It also led to an increase in revenue by 5x.

We realized that we could drive conversions by personalizing the customer’s experience across the website and mobile app. We leveraged upon the power of CRM to improve customer experience.

OYO CRM growth story

CRMs aren’t built in a day. What does it take to build a robust CRM that can drive growth for a business?

There are three phases of any CRM journey before it can contribute to your organization’s growth.

Phase 1: Before building a CRM, choose the right CRM tool carefully. Drawing a parallel between the human body and the CRM tool, One must look for two components while choosing a CRM tool.

The brain of the tool, i.e., it should be able to provide insights on customer journeys, smart segmentation, analytics, strategy and execution of campaigns.

The muscle of the tool, i.e., the tool should be scalable and should be able to support various aspects of the campaign such as delivering campaigns across different geographies in different vernacular languages effectively.

Phase 2: In the second phase, we added a layer of personalization to our campaigns. We carried out four experiments to add personalization.

City Prediction: Unlike e-commerce or a cab-hailing app that knows in which city the user lives, we found it challenging to predict the city of the user. This posed a challenge in personalizing the offers for the user. City prediction enabled the company to provide the right offers to the user.

Personalization: The second experiment dealt with identifying the user’s intent to personalize the offer. Based on the user’s browsing pattern and the events they are engaging with on the app, we were able to find out the intent of the user and deliver them the right offer.

Recommendation: As a consumer company, OYO had to find ways to make the lives of the user easy. Based on the browsing patterns, we identified the user’s intent and used that data to recommend hotels in the right city, right locality, and the right category. It helped us to increase revenue by 2x.

Engagement: The nature of OYO’s business is such that users would not engage with the app daily. However, OYO wanted to remain on the top of the user’s mind. We began a flagship program called OYOQ, a quiz-based program to drive engagement on the app regularly. The results were positive as we witnessed a growth in conversions and revenue. We have also expanded our team to engage with users of multiple campaigns across different verticals.

Phase 3: Once the campaigns were personalized, we had to integrate them with the customer life cycle management. For example, power users are almost the advocates for OYO and are different from a user who uses the app rarely. And so you cannot engage with both the type of users in the same way. We created a Recency, Frequency, Monetary model (RFM) that comprised details such as the booking patterns of the user, their willingness to pay, and in what stage of the customer lifecycle is the user present. We then integrated it with the personalization layer built in phase 2 to personalize the customer’s journey. This helped OYO to recommend the right offers to the right customers.

How important was the team structure in driving growth?

The team structure has undergone a massive change from the time OYO began its operations. Once the acquisition team brings the users to the app, the CRM team takes over. The CRM team is divided into three parts.

  1. Babycare CRM: This team hand holds the new user right from the time they install the app to signing up and booking a room the first time.
  2. Retention CRM: This team is responsible for generating repeat business based on the preferences of the user. The objective is to move the user from early stage to a power user.
  3. Churn team: The churn team helps in bringing back the churned users to the app again by tracking them based on their life cycle, use cases, and their frequency.

OYO CRM growth story

Your final thoughts, Pranav?

The personalization layer to our campaigns has helped OYO double up the conversions and LTV. We are still in the learning phase, and the company is looking at learning more and evolving.

Thank you, Pranav for sharing actionable advice on building a robust CRM for online businesses. CRM is the central piece in any marketing stack and forward-thinking marketers have realized the importance of a robust CRM that is integrated as one unit with their marketing stack. We hope to connect with another marketer and touch upon a different aspect of marketing in the next feature.

Is there someone you’d like us to feature? What topics would you like us to cover in the Marketer Spotlight series? We invite your recommendations and feedback via the comments section below.

Akshatha Kamath

About me
Akshatha Kamath leads content marketing at MoEngage. She's one of "LinkedIn Content 50", has been recently featured on the list of "The Most Influential Content Marketing Professional" by World Marketing Congress and is among the “100 Fastest Growing Marketers” identified by Adobe. She is a content marketing specialist with close to 12 years of experience in writing, strategizing, and managing content for various organizations. Before MoEngage, she’s steered content marketing teams for companies like Simplilearn, Vizury, and Conzerv helping them with content, brand, and communication strategies that are aligned with their business goals. Akshatha volunteers with AMA SF as a writer. She is also a published author with publications such as Clickz, Digital Market Asia, Get Elastic, and e27. She is an avid reader and a traveler who enjoys experiencing the flavors of life in different places.

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