I finally got customer obsession. Sadly, not the best of companies!

The sun had just begun shining brightly, as the day progressed towards a lazy afternoon. Sipping hot tea, I lazed around, reading a couple of articles. Finally, I had a weekend to myself, without classes and assignments from Asia’s first B school for product leaders. (The B school staff ensures to not make me sit idle, while being in pursuit of my passion of becoming a product / digital leader).

A couple of ads placed together caught my eye. Assuming that they are personalized and targeted, I clicked on them with an inclination to experiment.

The Flipkart ad for a shoe ended up in a clothing store. Even the URL indicated to me “https://www.flipkart.com/mens-clothing-store”. At first, I doubted myself, wondering whether I had probably clicked randomly, without really focussing on the ad. I navigated back to the page to check the same. And there it was, the flashy shoe staring back at me!

Right below was an ad from Amazon, and it took me directly to the page of the book. I not only saw the book details, but the prices and the add to cart button. This clearly played on making things easy for the consumer. It essentially nudged me, as an end user, to finally make that purchase.

There does not seem to be much complex tech involved in this. In any case, since this was a facebook ad, the core competency was being taken care by the FB ad business team themselves. Yet, after burning millions of ad dollars, if this is the customization offered to end users, it is surprising to say the least.

Customer obsession involves fleshing out all the touch points across the customer journey and working backwards to ensure that all are met. While we se many errors / bugs / customer complaints across different products, it is imperative that any company works in that direction. Frictionless checkouts are considered default in today’s software products. Failing to oblige the customer in that direction is only a lost cause in the long term.

This post is not biased against either company or team. The pen was put to paper to indicate that customer obsession lies in the simplest of things. Either there is a lack of supply of better product marketing managers, or a lack of better testers.

Or simply better product managers are the demand of the day, to drive the respective teams towards offering value to customers / consumers.




The Coffee Mug Paradigm

The humble coffee mug has become the new hot chick in town for food tech start ups. I noticed 3 startups in my office area utilizing this product in their marketing. It got me wondering! What was so special about it?

Was it the strategy? Was there something about the product itself? Or, was it the cost differentiation?

Data leads to liberation from hypothesis. – Me

Hence, I decided to carry out a quick data analysis to unravel this mystery.

 

Brands Dineout Swiggy TinyOwl
Factors
Staff at Stall 3-5 5-7 3-5
Stall Locations 2 different locations 2 different locations 1 location
Number of Days 2 2 1
Cashback Rs 100 per customer NA 100%  up to Rs 150
Mugs Handed Out 420 84
Stall Decoration Minimalist Grand Ultra
Orders Achieved NA 84 NA

So, let’s take it on a company to company basis.

The Common Factors

Peak Time to interact with Consumers = 3 categories

  • 9.30 – 11.30 AM
  • 12.30 – 3.00 PM
  • 5.00 – 6.30 PM

Total Minutes to Interact = 420 Mins

 

Dineout

Business Case = Install the app -> enter a code -> get Rs 100 cash on account -> get a mug free

Amount paid for rent for 2 days = Rs 28000

How it worked for me? = Installed the app in under 2 mins owing to network issues.

Segregation

Rent

Rs 14000 for a day per building.

Rs 28000 for 2 days.

Installs

Observation =

  1. Network issues
  2. People’s inability to respond quickly (Staff helping them out for installation)
  3. Time taken to register details with staff

Assumption 1 = 2 mins time for installation, code redemption and registering details with the staff.

Assumption 2 = Breakfast time is less crowded but the lunch time compensates for the loss in that period.

Maximum Number of Installs = 210 per day (420 in this case)

Mugs 

Assumption = Procurement cost of Mugs on bulk order = Rs 50 per mug (Max price)

Cost on Mugs = 50 * 420 = Rs 21000

Staff at Stall

I would have done either of the following –

  1. Utilized the existing delivery boys by imparting them basic training.
  2. Hired staff on a day basis.

Why the second scenario is  better?

  1. Day basis staff would not bee motivated.
  2. Delivery guys would feel empowered by being part of the sales team.
  3. Already being a part of the delivery team, they would subsidize the cost of training on the product and the brand.
  4. I would convince them on a lower salary as a leverage for the sales opportunity.

Assumption = Scenario 2

Payscale = 1000 per day plus additional commission on the total number of users captured.

Cost  = 1000 * 5 + 2500 = 7500

Stall Decoration

It’s a one time investment.

Observation = The stall was a pretty minimalist one. A normal background board with tables in the front.

Assumption = Cost spent on stall making and installation = Rs 4000

Cashback

Cost  = 100 * 420 = Rs 42000

Swiggy

Business Case = Install the app -> order for a min amount of Rs 50 -> get a mug free

Amount paid for rent for 2 days = Rs 28000

How it worked for me? = Installed the app in under 2 mins owing to network issues. But I did not place an order.

Segregation

Rent

Rs 14000 for a day per building.

Rs 28000 for 2 days.

Installs

Observation =

  1. Network issues.
  2. People’s inability to respond quickly (Staff helping them out for installation).
  3. Time taken to place order.
  4. Less number of people due to the cost involved.

Assumption 1 = 4-5 mins time for installation, placing an order and collecting mug from the staff.

Assumption 2 = Breakfast time is less crowded but the lunch time compensates for the loss in that period.

Maximum Number of Installs = 84 per day (168 in this case)

Mugs 

Assumption = Procurement cost of Mugs on bulk order = Rs 50 per mug (Max price)

Cost on Mugs = 50 * 168 = Rs 8400

Staff at Stall

Assumption = Scenario 2 (Similar to Dineout)

Payscale = 1000 per day plus additional commission on the total number of users captured.

Cost  = 1000 * 7 + 2500 = 7500

Stall Decoration

It’s a one time investment.

Observation = The stall was a grand one. Background board with an LCD TV. And tables with 3D Swiggy logo.

Assumption = Cost spent on stall making and installation = Rs 10,000

Cashback

NA

TinyOwl

Business Case =

  1. Get coupon worth 100% cashback up to Rs 150
  2. Play a dart game with a limit of 5 chances. Get cashback up to Rs 300 depending on the amount the user hits. And also get a mug.

Amount paid for rent for 1 day = Rs 14000

How it worked for me? = Simply took the coupon from Scenario 1.

Segregation

Rent

Rs 14000 for a day per building.

Installs

Observation =

  1. Network issues
  2. Time spent on playing the game.

Assumption 1 = 3 mins time for playing game, code redemption and registering details with the staff.

Assumption 2 = Breakfast time is not included here.

Assumption 3 = All players win a minimum cashback of Rs 100.

Maximum Number of Installs =

300 minutes available / 3 minutes per player = 100 installs

Mugs 

Assumption = Procurement cost of Mugs on bulk order = Rs 50 per mug (Max price)

Cost on Mugs = 50 * 420 = Rs 21000

Staff at Stall

I would have done either of the following –

  1. Utilized the existing delivery boys by imparting them basic training.
  2. Hired staff on a day basis.

Why the second scenario is  better?

  1. Day basis staff would not bee motivated.
  2. Delivery guys would feel empowered by being part of the sales team.
  3. Already being a part of the delivery team, they would subsidize the cost of training on the product and the brand.
  4. I would convince them on a lower salary as a leverage for the sales opportunity.

Assumption = Scenario 2

Payscale = 1000 per day plus additional commission on the total number of users captured.

Cost  = 1000 * 5 + 2500 = 7500

Stall Decoration

It’s a one time investment.

Observation = The stall was a pretty minimalist one. A normal background board with tables in the front.

Assumption = Cost spent on stall making and installation = Rs 4000

Cashback

  1. 100% up to Rs 150. On checking the minimum order that can be placed is at Rs 100. Assuming, all people use their coupons for the basic order, TinyOwl saves up on the Rs 50 per order. So, the company pays a minimum of 300 *100 = Rs 30,000 for the coupons distributed.
  2. Assuming all players win a minimum cashback of Rs 100.Cashback = 100 * 100 = Rs 10,000
  3. Total = Rs 40,000

Business Justification

Let’s pool in all the calculations and draw out a basic cost analysis of the Marketing campaigns

Brands Dineout Swiggy TinyOwl
Tangible Factors
Staff at Stall 7500 10000 7500
Rent 28000 28000 14000
Cashback 42000 NA 40,000
Mugs Cost 21000 8400 5000
Stall Decoration 5000 10000 12000
Orders Achieved NA Rs 8400 NA
Total Rs 61,500 Rs 64,800 Rs 78,500
Non tangible Factors
Stall Attraction Moderate High Ultra
Customer Profitability Ultra Moderate High

* All values in Indian Rupees (INR)

Conclusion

Paradigm Winner Runner Up
Customer is King Dineout TinyOwl
Overall Balanced  Market Strategy Swiggy Dineout
WOW Factor TinyOwl Swiggy

 

Note

*TinyOwl’s method of the dart game will involve the use of probability to determine the cost of customers acquisition.

*Market Strategy and Wow Factor ratings are subjective.

*Staff Cost might vary but the factors contributing to their salary will remain the same.

I am working on a more detailed analysis and will soon be publishing it.

Why I did this Case Study?

For the Love of Start Ups.

Why I am eligible to work at Startups / Product Based Environments?

    • Have always dreamed about growing along with the company I work for.
    • Have the ability to spot opportunities, build respective strategies and execute plans in different scenarios.
    • In the 10 months of my start up journey, I performed the following roles –
        1. Developer
        2. Business Development
        3. Product Guy
        4. Pre-Sales
        5. Digital Marketer
        6. Recruiter
        7. Branding
        8. Content Writer / Blogger
        9. Recruiter
        10. Tech Analyst

Why I belong to such Environments?

Engineer making an airplane…Boring!

Engineer making a mobile…Boring!

MBA winning an investment case competition Twice…Boring!

But an MCA who has done all of the above…

I am sure you wanna hear more…

Airplane
Airplane
« 1 of 3 »

I strongly believe that there is always scope for people like me who have –

    1. Been on the ground.
    2. Love working for the growth of the organization along with their own.
    3. Invest time even after the sale has been done in giving their utmost to the client.
    4. Focused on the greater vision in mind.
    5. Look for opportunities in all scenarios, and build strategies to capitalize on them.

Where would I fit in?

I would be an asset to the following roles –

    • Product Management
    • Digital Marketing
    • Analytics
    • Business Development

 

I also realize that there are many talented people willing to try it out at such companies.

But, I believe I can give them an equal, if not greater, competition.

And if still nothing works out, I am a big fan of chai (tea) and nimbu paani (lemon water).

I would not mind refreshing everybody around me with such beverages. 🙂 😀

* I can be reached at hello@nitishgulati.com

 

Coca Cola’s assault!

This 30 second advertisement from Coca-Cola seems to press all the right buttons.

It’s a direct assault on all the senses of vision, smell, taste, sound and touch.

Sound – The music titillates the senses with parallel sensuality and thrill.

Vision – The way the bubbles prance around the bottle and within the cola itself can make even the strictest diet control plan go haywire.

To top it off, Alia and Sidharth fighting over it is a delight to watch.

Touch / Smell / Taste – The above three collude in attacking the consumer’s mind. They nourish the desire of actually having the bottle in one’s hands.

Great advertisement! Cheers to Coca Cola!

https://youtu.be/aQ3uhnByS1k