Marketing During and Post-Ramadan: Insights From Apparel Group (Sanjeev Nichani, Head of CRM and Loyalty)

  • UPDATED: 12 March 2024
  • 3 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Editor’s Note: Continuing with our special edition of Ramadan Bytes, where marketers from known brands in the region share their thoughts on Ramadan 2023 and the changes they expect.

In this marketer spotlight, we chat with Mr. Sanjeev Nichani, Head of CRM and Loyalty at Apparel Group, and understand his thoughts on Ramadan 2023.

Please share a brief about your background and your role at Apparel Group.

My name is Sanjeev Nichani, and I am currently the Head of CRM and Loyalty at the Apparel Group where I run the Club Apparel loyalty program. The program is valid across 7 countries, over 75 brands, and over 2000 stores. My background has been in the loyalty space, where I have run programs across Retail, Hospitality, and Banking.

How do you anticipate this year’s Ramadan Season to be? Are you observing any new trends in 2023 compared to 2022?

2022 was when most of the protocols around the pandemic began to be relaxed. There was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm since celebrations were, after a long time, going back to what used to be normal.

The top trends that we noticed were:

    1. Online Content was in Focus: Consumers were looking for inspiration online, whether from content creators, influencers, and brands. This led us to create and deliver more content across channels.
    2. Willingness to Experiment Remained High: Consumers were most open to trying new brands during this period. As a result, we created content and communication around the brand introduction and discovery, and these assets had high engagement rates.
    3. Consumer Preferred a New Channel: WhatsApp as a channel grew to be very important. Consumers were open to interacting with us over WhatsApp as long as we were sensitive to what they were looking for and did not over-communicate.
    4. Inactive Users Became Active: It was a great time to win consumers back into the fold. Those consumers who had not shopped with us for a while came back once they were shown newness in communication.

Ramadan Marketing Consumer Trends

Another aspect we’ve observed is the preference to shop during a certain time of the day, with sales spiking accordingly.

Similar to these, what insights do you look at while building a Ramadan campaign?

Consumers have been stepping out and shopping during the evening in the last couple of years. However, they tend to research (before purchasing) earlier in the day.

Seeing this as a trend, we’ve scheduled our communication to be sent out a few hours before fast breaks. That is when we’ve observed maximum engagement!

Owing to the wide repertoire of products, the categories we promote during the course of the day also vary with time.

There are three things that marketers should keep in mind:

  • What the customer is responding to (in terms of offerings)
  • When they are responding to it and
  • What channel(s) are they responding on 

As a follow-up, what is the role played by a customer engagement platform in providing you with actionable insights?

The role of an engagement platform is incredibly important. It is the quickest way to validate your marketing and communication strategy and a great way to understand consumer preferences.

We extensively use A/B testing that enables us to communicate only the best version of our marketing assets while obsessively monitoring response metrics. Apart from campaign optimization, the insights-led engagement platform also helps in identifying the best time and the best channels to send communications on, thus greatly improving engagement metrics.

Ramadan Marketing

What are some strategies to avoid drop-offs in engagement metrics post-Ramadan?

It is critical for consumer brands to stay relevant during and after Ramadan. Marketers should be ready with new and refreshed communication right after the peak season has been wrapped up. Depending on the brand (and product), tips or ready reckoners on how to care for your new purchase or ways to use your latest purchase will help drive engagement. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out for feedback. Give consumers the belief that their opinion matters (on the products they’ve purchased), and they’ll be hooked on to you for life, and you will be part of their habit loop.

Thank you so much, Sanjeev, for chatting with us and sharing your thoughts on how brands can engage with customers during such a special time.

Readers, you can connect with Sanjeev for more tips and advice on customer engagement during and post-Ramadan.

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