About This Episode
Devam Saxena is the Group CRM Lead at Alshaya, a multinational retail franchise operator headquartered in Kuwait. Devam is a CRM industry veteran currently handling 90+ brands under the Alshaya portfolio. His past experience includes building highly effective marketing strategies for brands like Foodpanda and HCL Technologies.
In this episode…
During the conversation, Devam gives us an insider look at:
i. How GCC consumers engage with B2C brands as compared to Indian consumers?
ii. How CLTV gets affected by your CRM strategy?
iii. How do user data help create better brand experiences at scale?
iv. Which user engagement and retention metrics are important for the GCC region?
v. How to create an effective growth and retention strategy on the back of brilliant CRM practices?
Here are our top 3 picks from this episode:
1. Evolving consumer behavior with respect to geographies
Priyam: You have worked in different geographies and India primarily is such exciting geography when it comes to consumer behavior, you have experienced that when you were a part of Foodpanda. Now you are in a completely different geography with Alshaya which has completely different behavior, what are the most striking aspects when it comes to differences if we talk about consumer behavior? What are the things that stand out when you compare the GCC region with India?
Devam: So far our focus regions that we have are UAE, Saudi Arabia, KSA and we have a lot of foothold in Kuwait; out of all the regions when it comes to the similarity in user behavior, I found UAE to be very similar with India. Given the fact that most of the audience, the largest part of it is coming from the Indian subcontinent. I am sure, you must be aware of the segregation of Dubai’s population; approximately 60-70% of the audiences are from the Indian subcontinent then we have a few consumers coming from European regions and the US as well. So it’s a cosmopolitan area. When it comes to regions like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the scenario is quite different; here the local audiences are quite a lot. Although in India, things are very localized but the local language is not adopted very well which is not the case in the GCC region. So localization becomes one of the most important things which we need to focus on here. Any campaign we run here in English has to be translated into the respective local language. The Arabic language always performs pretty well compared to English. That’s the basic difference between India and the GCC region. Along with that India is highly evolved when it comes to using technology and with respect to e-commerce, here things are little different. People in GCC region do not give away their data easily, they would really love to shop online without giving out their name.
Priyam: Got it! Some really fascinating insights, Devam.
2. The aspects of consumer data and personalization at scale
Priyam: There is a new saying in the market, data is the new gold. It’s absolutely a high valued commodity right now. As far as e-commerce is concerned and as far as customer experience is concerned, how is the data helping you create better experiences for the end consumer?
Devam: Data is something that helps from the first day of launching a brand. A concept that has grown tremendously in the past few years is “personalization”. To provide a customer with a personalized experience on the website or mobile, it’s very important to understand what the customer likes or dislikes; which is not possible without data. People are observing the benefits of data. Let’s take an example, suppose when you log in to facebook and you see an ad, now there is 90% chance that ad is of some product which is relevant to you or some discounts going on your favorite brands which you wouldn’t have noticed if not for that ad. So data is actually empowering to help the consumer with the relevant information and targeting. From a marketer’s perspective data is gold, from a customer’s perspective even though GDPR is making them aware that their data is going somewhere but I don’t think that has created a lot for hindrance the marketers.
Priyam: I agree with you, Devam. I think data is the next big debate right now.
3. CLTV is a major metric, backed by the granular metrics
Priyam: I am sure you must be hearing this term at least 15 times in a day, it’s called “CLTV”. It’s a really big thing for consumer businesses right now. So that brings me to the next question, what is that you guys are doing to maximize the CLTV for your brands? Considering the fact that you are looking after 92 brands at Alshaya, I am sure the strategy can’t be vanilla good for everyone, it must be very complex. How do you go about it?
Devam: Absolutely, CLTV is something that plays a major role in our discussions at Alshaya. It has been a key element since I was working in India for other brands as well. CLTV defines the success and failure of your CRM strategy. It’s an umbrella metric. So we have to break down CLTV for every brand; when you cook something you don’t put everything at once, there is a certain time for each ingredient. My personal KPI includes CLTV and I keep revolving my strategies around that but I do look at much more granular KPIs i.e. activation rate, retention rate, engagement rate, channel metrics etc. I like dividing the overall metrics that we have in different segments. CLTV is definitely the level one metric. Overall, the health of CRM is defined by CLTV but the performance is defined by the granular metrics. This is something marketers need to keep in mind. As a leader, you have to keep an eye on CLTV while making sure that your team keeps an eye on level one and level two metrics.
Priyam: Absolutely, Devam.
During the conversation with Devam, we learned tons of stuff on consumer engagement, driving better CRM strategies, consumer experiences and why is it important for a brand evolve as per the consumer demand.