The internet has opened new regions, territories, and market opportunities to businesses on a digital scale. Digital platforms, like social media and search engines, have flourished in this technological age. As is the case for any business sector, there is a constant need to find and acquire new customers while at the same time engaging with existing customers. Business strategies need to have measurable results in order to ascertain its success. Performance marketing is the right approach that enables businesses to measure results and analyze not only their successes but also their failures.
Customer acquisition strategy refers to the approach a business takes in order to reach new customers and to persuade them to buy the product or service. The DNA for any effective customer acquisition strategy is Reach – Engage – Convert. This encompasses all aspects of marketing i.e., Targeting, Communication, Channel and ROI, etc. In addition, this helps the business assess the efficacy of the strategy.
A good customer acquisition strategy leverages data to understand consumer behavior and identify marketing opportunities. To understand how businesses can design effective customer acquisition strategies with performance marketing in today’s times, Pankaj Sharma, Country Head, MGID India talks to Urmesh Chandra, Head of Digital Marketing for PolicyBazaar. Here are some excerpts from their discussion.
Pankaj Sharma: How can a brand benefit from performance marketing?
Urmesh Chandra: Performance marketing entails online campaigns where advertisers seek concrete results such as clicks or conversions. For the brand, the first benefit of performance marketing is that it measures the impact of its campaigns very clearly. The second benefit is that it helps give meaningful increments with clear calculations of ROI on a real-time basis of every dollar spent. The results are quick and transparent, and at the same time, it helps in rapid decision-making.
Pankaj Sharma: What are the key aspects to consider when creating a performance marketing campaign?
Urmesh Chandra: The first step for a person setting up a performance campaign is to be clear on the metrics they are looking at – whether it is CPA, CPS, or CPC. This is followed by the next important aspect which is the choice of the platform. The next aspect to consider will be the targeting possibilities on the platform or the targeting ranges of the audience on those platforms. The last, but equally important, aspect is the creativity and the communication being used for the campaign.
Pankaj Sharma: What is the role of content or creative communication in performance marketing?
Urmesh Chandra: In my experience, I have found that 80% of the success of any performance campaign depends on the content or the communication, and only 20% is determined by other factors. If the content is irrelevant then the campaign will not get the desired results even if the platform and targeting are onpoint. But even with broad targeting and with no or limited filters, the campaign can be successful with a targeted or pointed communication strategy. With pointed communication in the banner ads, one can filter out unwanted clicks and move to positive ROIs.
Pankaj Sharma: There is a lot of emphasis on customer acquisition strategies using vernacular or regional campaigns. What are your thoughts on this?
Urmesh Chandra: Making use of vernacular or regional elements in your campaigns is not as simple as people believe it to be. It is far bigger than simply using a Tamil copy to target an audience in Tamil Nadu through banner ads. In my experience, a campaign can be successful in vernacular if the advertiser actively works to make both ends[m7], the initial creative and the landing page, work in the vernacular language. This would also follow if after performing the initial action, the user is required to perform a second action like filling a form, or if from the advertisers end, action is required like arranging a call from a call center. All these actions also need to be in the vernacular language for the entire vernacular campaign to be effective. So vernacular is not just about the language but about the total experience that a user has, which is very important to be seamless. This increases the chances of conversion by a large degree.
Pankaj Sharma: Industry experts say that sometimes it is not about converting the user at the first attempt,which is why retargeting plays a very important role in the overall strategy. What role, as per you, does retargeting play in the overall customer acquisition journey?
Urmesh Chandra: The idea of retargeting cannot be generalized for all businesses. For the digital universe as such, retargeting creates an impulse that increases the probability of the user getting converted. It keeps the messaging and the communication alive for the user, who might otherwise have forgotten about it. From an ROI perspective, a retargeting campaign is always less expensive as compared to a new user acquisition campaign, so it deserves due attention from digital marketers.
Being a part of the insurance sector, PolicyBazaar approaches retargeting very differently. We make use of online as well as offline methods to retarget users. We retarget a large chunk of our audiences through human means, such as call centers. Every new lead that we gather from our digital campaigns has a life during which the person is contacted by human intervention, and this, in my experience, has given us better results. We make use of digital retargeting strategies to create a sense of urgency among new and existing users.
Pankaj Sharma: How crucial is a customer retention strategy to drive revenue and are there any tactics that you would like to share?
Urmesh Chandra: Retention is the backbone of any business. It is the loyal customers who give testimonials about the business and give it a good review, which ultimately attracts new customers. Also, retention helps in giving cross-selling for any organization. For a business like PolicyBazaar where we offer multiple products that can be relevant to one individual like bike insurance, car insurance, life insurance etc., we need to ensure that not just for one, but we keep making the user come back to us for all his insurance needs rather than going to a competitor. As part of the retention strategy, it is not just the marketing campaigns that are effective, but also the experience or the service provided to the user that helps in cross-selling. From that standpoint, retention is extremely crucial.
About the Guest:
Urmesh Chandra, Head of Digital Marketing at PolicyBazaar. Urmesh is a seasoned marketer with 14+ years of work experience across many verticals, including e-commerce, telecom, healthcare, real estate, and gaming. Since 2010, he has been continuously experimenting with and leveraging the strength of different facets of the digital ecosystem. Prior to PolicyBazaar, he was responsible for building the iconic gaming brand Angry Birds (Rovio Entertainment) in Southeast Asia.