#AsiaeCommerceAwards highlight: DataSunday's strategy to acquiring B2B customers in SEA

 

DataSunday with its agency partner TradeMonday took home the silver for Best eCommerce Campaign – Cross-border/Multi-market and bronze for Best eCommerce Campaign – B2B. DataSunday.com is the AI-enabled All-in-one Data-Driven E-Commerce Solution and Analytic Application made to help small-to-medium enterprises SME automate their end-to-end e-commerce business activities. In order to acquire the desired target audiences in Southeast Asia, DataSunday and TradeMonday embarked on the “Southeast Asia Digital Customer Acquisition Campaign”. 

Challenge

The total retail value of DataSunday’s market is estimated to reach US$52.6 Billion in 2023.

With its target audiences being the online retailers and entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia (SEA), its key objective of acquiring targeted online retailers and entrepreneurs in SEA by increasing its customer base in SEA and the proportion of the customer base of online retailers, consultancy and entrepreneurs alongside with its aim to improve customer satisfaction to get customer feedback for content marketing strategy was met with several challenges.

The first challenge was the difference in language across SEA that hinders content marketing. The next challenge presented was the difficulties in target marketing due to the fragmented SEA regions. 

Strategy

DataSunday established a partnership with TradeMonday to develop a cross-border marketing plan to reach out and acquire the targeted customers in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia across Southeast Asia countries.

The cross-border campaign was developed based on the customer journey: discover, explore, on-board, usage and advocacy. In order to target the niche audience in different SEA countries, digital marketing was used instead of traditional media. This is because digital marketing can precisely reach the niche target segment based on keyword search behavior, customer interest groups, specific interest forum as well as re-marketing through digital ad networks. SEM, SEO and Facebook ads were also heavily used in this campaign.

The campaign focuses on three key areas:

  1. Content marketing: With content marketing being king, the team upgraded their marketing content by developing website content in different languages tailor-made to each SEA region to improve its conversion rate, for example, Malay for the Malaysia market. This was implemented to address the issue of language barrier across the SEA market.
  1. Customer review: As a brand-new product, customer review is a huge determinant of its conversion rate as customer review is key in persuading consumers to try the brand’s product. With that in mind, the team ran several reward programs to encourage customers to leave reviews on Google, Facebook, Shopify, etc. The reviews were then collected and utilised by the content marketing team to prepare content marketing materials. 
  1. Social media: TradeMonday set up a brand-new Facebook and YouTube channel for DataSunday to post educational content that will attract traffic and maintain consistent visits. The teams purposely did not set up a corporate Facebook page because they believed that the tone and manner in social media should be friendly and not subjective. Therefore, the Facebook account was repositioned as an eCommerce online advisor. Not only did the team publish educational content through Facebook, it was also used as a medium to provide answers to prospect inquiries on e-commerce activities. The ultimate aim was to build a community to engage prospects and potential audience. 

Execution

The launch of the cross-border marketing strategies were based on the customer journey: Discover, explore, onboard, usage and advocacy.

  1. Discover stage
    At the discover stage, it is crucial to ensure that general information is disseminated to arouse prospects’ interest. This was achieved through building a responsive website that enabled the best customer experience for desktops, mobiles and tablets.

    Localisation of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Facebook Page and Advertisement was also implemented in this stage. The team utilised localised languages for SEM advertisements as it was vital to get potential clients through search engines based on the local languages of SEA. By leveraging on SEO, through link building; getting backlinks, hyperlinks, using keywords, outsourcing, etc. the team was able to put the brand out there in different regional forums and social groups of online sellers and entrepreneurs.

    Lastly, by utilising social media channels such as Facebook, the team marketed content that focused on e-commerce advisory. It provided e-commerce 101, basic content to soft selling the brand’s products and create brand awareness through videos and blog posts. Unlike publishing company news, the team believed that posting educational content on social media will be more aligned with a customer's behaviour in the social network.
  1. Explore stage

    In the explore stage, customers tend to evaluate and compare similar products and the team’s objective is to convert users to subscribe to the brand’s products. Content marketing is key in this stage. The team published useful content on YouTube, Corporate sites and Facebook. Similarly, the content revolves around the basics of e-commerce. These contents were useful to trigger the prospect's interest and their didactic trait allows prospects to understand the competitive edge of the brand’s products.

    Multi-languages of SEA were utilised for cross-border content marketing localization.  This was vital as the team was targeting a wider audience where language barriers needs to be minimized. In order to deliver the right languages to the right regions, besides localizing the marketing materials, the team implement a real-time translation function on its website based on various IP addresses. This ensures that the web content is customized to conform to specific regions based on their IP location.
  1. On-board Stage

    To ensure that there was a seamless onboarding experience from subscription to the first-time usage of the application as well as handling the subscription drop-out mechanism, the team developed a rule-based Customer relationship management (CRM) system to proactively communicate with prospects. With the system, an automatic email would be sent to customers who didn't complete the subscription within 24 hours while a welcome email would be sent to customers who have successfully subscribed within 24 hours. This was also useful for performing scheduled based customer surveys, customer interaction and customer support.
  1. Usage Stage

    It is important to ensure that customers using the brand’s application isn't facing any issues and is seeing a great business benefit before the team implement the cross-sell and upsell strategy.To ensure that customers were able to see the benefits brought about from the application, a 24-hour live chat was incorporated to directly respond to questions needed by prospects and customer inquiries were usually resolved within an hour or less. In addition, as the platform was an avenue for customers to get answers through FAQ and other useful info, it enables customers to resolve problems by themselves.  The team also developed a series of step-by-step guidelines on YouTube either in module-based (function) or journey based (overall dropship step by step) as customers were able to understand videos easily more than text.
  1. Advocacy Stage

    To ensure that customers share their good experience with DataSunday which would lead to additional traffic to DataSunday.com or renewal of subscriptions, it was of utmost importance that the team is able to ensure customer satisfaction while implementing the cross-sell or up-sell strategy. In order to enhance the brand’s products to fit customer's needs, as well as improve customer retention, the team would send an automatic satisfaction survey to customers and hold virtual interviews with loyal ones to gather reviews and feedbacks.

Subsequently, the team implemented rule-based cross-sell and up-sell marketing where the team clearly define a customers’ journey through customer surveys. With the understanding of the customers’ buying process and pain points, the team would then schedule the automatic subscription renewal reminder. This CRM system can be based on each customer profile, their spending, the number of days on-board, usage, etc which helps in delivering specific email marketing messages. This enables the team to improve their conversion rate based on the moment of truth.

Result

DataSunday.com's application and customer journey based cross-border marketing strategy yielded significant business results and customer satisfaction.

In terms of user-based growth, each SEA region records significant growth within the campaign period. In Singapore, the conversion rate was 9.15% with a user based growth rate of 480%, while in Thailand, the conversion rate was 12.09% with a user based growth rate of 1155.6%. Similarly, in Vietnam, the conversion rate was 4.05% with a user based growth rate of 75% and a conversion rate of 3.01% with a user based growth rate of 195.8% in Indonesia.

The customer feedback on DataSunday’s chrome extension version predicates customer's satisfaction. Referencing to the customer feedback on the Amazon Chrome extensions, it affirms the significance of the download. With the customer feedback and the chrome store search result, it proved that DataSunday's application is perfect in meeting the quality standard and exceeding the customer's expectations.