WebEngage’s Ankur Gattani explains why brands should focus on customer retention strategies early on

During the recently concluded YourStory Brands of India initiative, Ankur Gattani of WebEngage explains why developing and deploying consumer insights is important to survive in the market.
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Keeping up with the trends and understanding the customer is the key to branding. At YourStory's Brands of India launch event, Ankur Gattani, VP - Growth and Marketing at WebEngage, discussed strategies needed for branding.

“Developing and deploying consumer insights isn't about growth, but survival in the market,” he says.

For context, Ankur gives an insight into the 1990s, when TV was the biggest medium. It was a time when consumers had no distractions and were homogenous. According to him, sorting, distribution, and advertising were enough to create a brand back then.

Ankur Gattani, during his session at the event

“However, the brands of tomorrow have a different story,” Ankur says, adding that India’s niche sectors have the potential to be Rs 100 crore brands, which means the sophistication in marketing will be much higher than in the 90s.

Today’s customers are distracted, and thus, brands will have limited chances to get their attention. “Not using what you already know about the customers is marketing Hara-Kiri, and instead should be utilising every weapon available to get the users attention,” he adds.

D2C explosion

Over the past five years, there has been a D2C explosion, where a lot of capital is invested. By their virtue of business, this capital needs to have an exit. “While many of the startups have IPO ambitions, the majority aim to be acquired by large brands like Global Bees or Mensa,” says Ankur.

This, he explains, will lead to fierce competition, where every brand tries to be outstanding from others to be on the top. Hence, one needs to do something beyond the ordinary.

Moreover, there will be an eagerness to do things better and bigger than others — where you will be bidding against each other in keywords, on search, social media, etc. These platforms will be loyal to the highest bidder, and that’s where retention comes in.

Ankur compares retention to a runway. He says, if a brand focuses on retention early enough, it can extend the runway meaningfully because brands will have all the learning processes, which will make it understand its customers better.

The brand will also focus on spending on customer acquisition better, and eventually, make it a better story for the next round of funding.

“One needs to invest in loyalty to get a strong customer preference and make them like you very much,” Ankur tells YourStory.

He also emphasises the fact that a brand needs to start early on to keep the data models and consumer insights ready rather than waiting for the brand positioning to happen first.

Ankur concludes by saying, as a startup and a D2C brand, one needs to prioritise data-driven marketing as life depends on it.

Edited by Suman Singh

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