Updated: May 30
From left Nadhir Ashafiq (Co-founder, TheLorry), Tai Kam Leong (Head of Brands & Marketing, Maxis), Chai Hui Fung (Regional Marketing Director, Nando’s) and Arthur Chan (Managing Director, Endeavor Malaysia).
How would you rate your current omnichannel strategy?
There is a clear trend in many industries toward the use of multi-channel approaches to engaging with customers. Unfortunately, when focusing on multi-channel, companies tend to overlook many factors and fundamental needs that provide an effective omnichannel strategy- a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide customers with a seamless user experience.
In this blogpost, we highlight the key factors to achieve a seamless omnichannel strategy based on the ScaleUp Scoop themed ‘Frontier of Digital Growth' event that was held back in July 2019. In collaboration with Insider (an Endeavor Entrepreneur company from Turkey), the session focused on ‘Building Seamless Omnichannel Strategies’ where we invited Chai Hui Fung, Regional Marketing Director (Nando’s) and Tai Kam Leong, Head of Brands & Marketing (Maxis). This time around, our very own Endeavor Entrepreneur, Nadhir Ashafiq, co-founder of TheLorry Malaysia, moderated the session.
Brand persona & Product ties
Why do we gravitate towards certain brands while actively avoiding others? When does a brand become something more than just a brand? How do we create a brand that connects with your audience?
For Nando’s, the brand welcomes everyone. Nando’s is a place for everyone: very inclusive, welcoming, casual dining category. Their brand persona reflects two contrasting personalities: naughty and cheeky, but also warm, genuine and sincere. Having these personalities, it guides Nando’s in terms of how they can communicate with the customers.
For Maxis, it is a brand that serves a wide array of people, where consistency is key but coherence is more powerful. Tai mentioned, “If you do something based on the values that you genuinely espouse when no one else is watching, then you’re on to the right place.”
It is human nature to connect and prioritize the things that we can relate to, and the things we enjoy. With brands, brand personality is crucial for brands in order for consumers to be instinctively drawn to the brand if there is an emotional or personal connection.
Digital value chain (touchpoints)
A digital value chain helps provide a framework that helps you identify the various touch-points, improving customer experience and business operations. Developing an understanding of each touchpoint means that you can eventually enhance the user and customer experience.
It is crucial to ensure that your channels are productive by serving customers where they want it, rather than just doing what you’re used to.
For Maxis, they are bridging a brick-and-mortar business to one that has increasingly new opportunities in new channels by gradually repurposing channels. For example, years ago, the majority of the foot traffic in-store was entirely to pay bills. Today, only a small percentage of the foot traffic is to pay bills as they saw other incremental values that can be gained through this physical touchpoint, including educating most customers to pay using the app. Tai mentioned, “ It’s a very minor entity but it is an illustration of ensuring that your channels are productive and serving customers where they want it, rather than just doing what you’re used to.”
Channels and consumer touchpoint driven marketing strategy
For most companies, they often fail across digital channels because they usually ignore the real needs and preferences of their customers across omnichannel journeys. Hence, for Nando’s, when building a seamless omnichannel, they always prioritize their customers.
Here are the chronological steps of the questions they ask themselves when building an omnichannel strategy:
What do your customers want? What exactly are the values, benefits, and experience?
What are the experiences that you want your customers to have?
What are the channels you should be in?
What are the experiences that you need to deliver?
How do you integrate the channels?
Nando’s is a brand that builds their business based on building long-term relationships with the customers. Hence, customer engagements are very crucial in a food and beverage industry.
Not every channel directly gives a monetary value
Growing a business isn’t easy and finding the right marketing strategies to fuel your growth, churning a profit and staying afloat takes time. Generally, most businesses struggle to measure the attribution gained from their omnichannel strategy.
Tai mentioned, “I know 50 percent of advertising works but I just don’t know which 50 percent. We are constantly trying to figure out attribution as the value gained doesn’t always mean transaction; it can be a positive sentiment, organic search, etc.”
There are many attribution models approach out there to measure your rate of investment on your omnichannel strategy: custom, position-based, time-decay, linear, single-touch. Some of these models will provide more or less insights for you, depending on your business model, channels and marketing strategies. However, the key step is identifying these attributions or measurable indicators and determining it at the planning stage.
An example given by Maxis is when they spend money on influencers instead of print and found out that they can’t necessarily attribute it to sales but it can be attributed to several different things- brand uplift, organic search, site traffic of the site, which are all measurable and these were the key indicators they have identified at the planning stage. Hence, all roads lead to selling but not everything can be measured by selling.
Marketing innovation is crucial in order for a business to scale. It is not sufficient for the business to provide just their goods and services; it must provide better and more economic ones.
Tai mentioned, “It is important to invest in what you think is better”. For Maxis, an example of what they do, an organic behavior is purchasing reload scratch cards. If they were to solely focus on this, they would be continuously improving the scratch card. Instead, they took an active role in transferring consumers to the app as a primary means of reloading. It was a big gamble at that point but they showed these channel providers that when they move their customers to the app, they would need to find new avenues for these existing channels/ distributors. There’s still value for the channel, but it’s just repurposed.
For Nando’s, this is how they initially started their loyalty program app in 2014, where most of their loyalty members are still on card-based. When they decided to take the risk and transitioned to the loyalty app, most people questioned if the majority of their customers are comfortable with using the loyalty program on their mobile phones and are they sacrificing those customers who are not comfortable using an app.
Today, the majority of the current business for Nando’s is from the loyalty app, which additionally becomes a very powerful database for them to be able to build long-term relationships with their customers.
Developing the right omnichannel strategy is not easy as new developments demand continuous and ongoing adjustments. However, by having a seamless omnichannel strategy, a company will not only create a better customer experience and loyalty but also better brand recognition. Stay tuned for our next ScaleUp Scoop!
The content of the article is summarised from the ScaleUp Scoop event in collaboration with Insider. Our Scaleup Scoop is a series of learning events aimed to bring insights from lessons learned during our closed-door mentoring sessions to the larger entrepreneurial community. Find out more about our upcoming events on our social media platforms or subscribe to our newsletter here.