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Focus on the rapidly expanding Mobile Marketing Automation: Almitra Karnik, Head of Marketing & Global Growth, CleverTap

26-May-2017
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Focus on the rapidly expanding Mobile Marketing Automation: Almitra Karnik, Head of Marketing & Global Growth, CleverTap

In a candid conversation with Almitra Karnik, Head of Marketing and global growth, we get an insight on how CleverTap is positioning itself in the market and what she feels about the Indian market. Since its launch in 2013, CleverTap has helped more than 3,500 customers, including leading brands such as McDonald's, Star, Sony, DC Comics, DealsPlus, and BookMyShow to serve their customers better. These were her views on some issues faced by marketers in the current scenario.

Give us a detailed insight into CleverTap.

CleverTap integrates analytics and engagement into one consolidated, comprehensive and out-of- the box solution. Our powerful segmentation engine allows publishers to segregate and target their users as they perform actions on the app or website, and then send them timely contextual messages using our powerful feature – Live User Segments. We help businesses provide differentiated customer experiences that consider users to be more than mere data points. Our key differentiating aspect is that the entire solutions works in real-time and at scale. One leading Telco trusted us as a partner when they grew from 0 to 100 million users in 170 days. The quickest 100 million users on-boarded ever.  A leading sports app used us to segment and send 40 million messages per minute. Over 4000 clients, start-ups, SMBs and Fortune 500 companies use CleverTap to acquire, engage and retain users every day. We work with global brands like such as Samsung, McDonald's, Sony, Star, Astro, Zomato, BookMyShow, DC Comics, Curiosity, Denver Broncos, and more.

What is the marketing strategy used by CleverTap?

At CleverTap, we use a mix of growth marketing and growth hacking. We use the 4Ps - Product, Price, Placement and Promotion to make sure our message aligns with our offer. Marketing 101 focuses on understanding your customer and we make sure  all our plans have the customer experience as a top priority. Based on the TAM in various geographies and across various verticals, we define a beachhead that helps us to focus and message our product optimally. In order to build strong go-to-market campaigns -  via self-service, high-touch sales or strategic channel partners - we work closely with the relevant stakeholders to craft and execute relevant marketing strategies. We have amazing customers such as Sony, Samsung, Book My Show and more. We are currently in the process of building marketing assets that will help us to amplify the opportunities these brands have uncovered using CleverTap.

How do you plan to expand in the next few years?

Expansion would include positioning and messaging the product across various geographies and verticals. Evolving the product to continue to provide customer value is of paramount importance to us. Our go-to-market will be to enable a product that users can easily use and see insights quickly and take action on them without wasting cycles. Channel partners that will strategically help to position us across various industries and use cases will also play an important role.

 How do you look at India as a market?

According to a report published by MarketsandMarkets, Mobile Marketing Automation will be a $98 billion opportunity by 2021. It’s been growing at a CAGR of 28.1%. With the meteoric rise of the mobile apps and the user base especially in Southeast Asia, I think we’re currently operating in a rapidly expanding market.

Are startups doing enough to market their products?

Start-ups can definitely do more. They can:

A.      Get the right tools:

        i.   Evernote: It helps to organize all the tasks relevant to your business. It arranges all the innovative ideas that make you who you are and keep them synced across all devices so you don’t have to worry about remembering where you put that concept, note, or customer quote.

      ii.   Dashlane: Password management is a tedious task. Also in today’s world, safety is of paramount importance to not only your brand but to your customers too. It is very robust, so you don’t have to worry about your system being compromised.

    iii.  Streak: Streak is a customer relationship management (CRM) Gmail plugin. It manages your valuable relationships with your customers by putting all your conversations, to-dos, etc  in a single place. This helps you keep track of all the particulars you might need to know about a specific customer, salesperson or deal.

     iv.   Invoiceable: This is a great tool and can make paperwork seem like a breeze.  Compared to other invoicing tools, Invoiceable doesn’t have an upper limit on the number of invoices you can create or the number of customers you can send them too. With this tool, you can trace outstanding payments, email clients that have pending payments and reduce the manual overhead by automating invoices in seconds (saving time, resources and complexity).

     v.   CleverTap: CleverTap is a mobile analytics and engagement tool that helps brands analyze, segment, engage, measure and track their app users so they can use the right channel, to communicate the right message at the right time. Start-ups spend massive amounts of capital to acquire new customers. CleverTap helps them to retain, grow, monetize and reduce churn by providing real-time actionable analytics that can help brands to get the best bang for the buck.

B.      Be frugal: It is important to spend money on sales, marketing, hiring, etc but at the same time have defined KPIs on what success looks like for the team. Don't have vanity metrics such as three blog posts, four tweets, etc. Tie all of these to the company’s objective and see how they further your business’  goals. For eg: marketing can be tied to MQLs or revenues, Sales to SQLs  or closure rates, etc

How are you looking at increasing mobile engagement?

Mobile engagement is continuing to grow and brands need tools that provide intelligence in their engagement strategies. A brute-force strategy will only take you so far. You need to understand your user, target your segment, engage them with the right tools, evaluate the metrics and evolve - all in real-time. The CleverTap platform helps you to do just that and more.

What are the changing dynamics of customer’s needs/consumer insights that shape the marketing strategies in India?

The customer is KING. Also, the users are getting smarter each day. They have access to so much information because of technology. In addition to this, getting mindshare and standing out from the crowd is not an easy task.  Hence, your advertising and marketing needs to cater to these changes and make sure your differentiation stands out in a simple, quick and no-shenanigans manner. Trust and honesty and the core pillar of making the customer win, is the new mantra for success.

What is the current scenario of the marketing space?

The current situation focuses a lot on dollar in vs dollar out. Though it is important to do this, it is equally important to find ways that don’t tie your success to your budget. SEO, content marketing, growth hacking, etc should be leveraged to find innovative ways in which one can grow the business and then use budget for SEM, events, etc to make sure your organic and paid activities are aligned and work towards a common true north.

Traditional v/s digital/social media: What's the best way out today?

This is not an either/or choice. It is an ‘and’ equation. Depending on the objective at hand, one needs to use a mix of these channels. The channels are a means to an end and not the end. Marketers need to weave these channels together and make sure to use the right channel depending on their target market and use case.

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