How Expert Marketers in Southeast Asia are Overcoming Business Challenges

Posted on May 20, 2020

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How Expert Marketers in Southeast Asia are Overcoming Business Challenges

A lot has changed in the app marketing landscape over the last few months. Some app industries are experiencing a surge in user engagement, while others are experiencing a sharp decline in app launches.

For marketers, that means plans for 2020 are out the window. To succeed, marketing leaders have to embrace uncertainty and optimize strategies in real time.

How are marketers from different sectors adapting to these circumstances, pivoting when necessary, and keeping customers at the center of all their strategies? To find out, we hosted a panel discussion with: Bara Brahmantika, Product Manager at Kitabisa; Rossnan Cheong Head of Performance and Product Marketing at TNG Digital; and Anurag Mukherjee, Head of Technology at Matahari.

Watch the complete on-demand webinar, or keep reading for key takeaways and actionable advice.

The discussion explored:

  • Focusing on customer experience
  • Pivoting and partnering to amplify reach and impact
  • Sending appropriate messages to customers

Focusing on Customer Experience

A superior customer experience has never been more important. Not only will focusing on CX help marketers keep customers interested during this immediate crisis, it will have long-term benefits on retention rates and business growth.

Tracking the right metrics gives marketers important insight into understanding the user journey, helping them identify friction points, fix errors, and increase engagement and conversions. “An untrackable metric is a lost opportunity,” says Bara.

For example, the Kitabisa team realized that only 60% of their users completed the onboarding process. After digging deeper, the team realized that users were having trouble validating the one-time password (OTP) and that the error message wasn’t instructive enough. By fixing these friction points, the team was able to reduce new user churn to 20%. Streamlining their checkout flow also enabled them to increase their CTR by 20%.

For Matahari, Indonesia’s largest fashion retailer, social distancing and lockdown led to a massive decline in foot traffic to their brick-and-mortar stores. However, on the online front, they witnessed a 3-4x surge in traffic on their website. To capitalize on this opportunity, Matahari increased its digital presence in channels like WhatsApp and third-party marketplaces.

Pivot and Partner to Amplify Impact

Bara learned that most of Kitabisa’s organic users came from their influencer referral program. Realizing the power that influencers had in exposing their crowdfunding platform to new users, they introduced a new feature that could embed a QR code in YouTube live streams.

Touch-N-Go saw a significant drop in overall transactions as people were not using tolls or shopping in malls. Realizing the need to focus on the transactions people were still completing, they began promoting cashbacks on groceries, takeout deliveries, and e-pharmacies.

Now is the time for companies to create beneficial partnerships with complementary brands. As average screen time increases due to COVID-19, Touch-n-Go cut down on OOH and external advertisements and instead started to advertise in streaming apps. Kitabisa partnered with Gojek, Dana, and other Indonesian app companies to reach a bigger audience.

According to Anurag, this is a good time for retailers to revisit initiatives that have been put on the back burner due to time constraints or other operational reasons. Companies can take this opportunity to reevaluate and strengthen their processes for the post-COVID-19 market. Retail companies should also prepare for an omnichannel engagement model, where the brick-and-mortar model coexists with digital.

While it’s important to pivot when needed and constantly identify new opportunities, marketers shouldn’t jump to implement every trend in the market. “Make sure you do what your users expect,” advises Rossnan.

Sending the Right Message to Consumers

It is of utmost importance for marketers to be consistent, contextual, and sensitive with their messaging to prevent backlash.

Touch-N-Go sent close to 50 campaigns in a single day, segmenting users to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. At the same time, they were mindful of the information overload the average user was experiencing. By combining their campaigns and focusing on the right messaging, they were able to see their conversions skyrocket.

At Matahari, they used several messaging channels including email, SMS, and WhatsApp, to engage their 8 million loyal users with a reassuring message from their CEO that raised awareness about their ecommerce website.

This period continues to be a litmus test for marketers. Brands who are able to reframe their perspective and adjust to the new normal will come through these challenging times in a better position to connect with customers and grow their businesses.