Unlocking new customer engagement strategies for Indonesia

This article is sponsored by Braze.

Image courtesy of Charanjeet Dhiman.

Even in the current data-driven enterprise landscape, organisations are still having blind spots when it comes to understanding their customers’ behaviour. One of the key reasons for this disconnect is the existence of marketing technology stacks, which may add complexity to the process of gaining business insights.

Zooming in on the Indonesian market, marketing executives’ business challenges range from digitalisation to data silos. What strategies could therefore be leveraged to adopt a truly omnichannel customer engagement?

To explore this topic in greater depth, senior marketing and digital executives in Indonesia gathered for a roundtable titled “Data-Driven Customer Engagement— New Approaches,” organised by Jicara Media and hosted by Braze.

According to Julia Lee, VP of Braze in APAC, two of the pressing challenges for CMOs, not just in Indonesia, but in APAC, are customer retention, and customer lifecycle optimisation.

“We are in a challenging business climate. We have lived through the pandemic over the last few years, which has presented a set of challenges, and now we face even more. For example, how can we engage our clients and consumers in a more meaningful manner? How can we optimise every micro moment and touchpoint with our consumers?” she said.

Same old, brand new hurdles

For an online travel agency, personalisation of the customer travel experience can be quite challenging.

“It’s a significant challenge because our audience is distracted with many other items on their phone. As a brand, we need to ensure that we’re communicating at the right moment, to the right audience. It may sound simple, but implementing it is difficult,” noted one of the agency’s marketing executives.

Meanwhile, BPO firm Transcosmos is committed to providing its clients with the best solution, yet not all of them share the same level of enthusiasm when it comes to digital transformation.

“Prior to the pandemic, most incoming data came through voice channels. During the pandemic, the speed of the digital shift accelerated, and we had to migrate from voice to data, which were coming from several other channels. However, we had to recognise that not all customers were ready to make the transition to digital, which presented a significant challenge,” said Ardi Sudarto, Director of Digital Marketing at Transcosmos.

To complicate matters further, the pace of change in user behaviour is so rapid that some businesses are already falling behind in terms of customer engagement. 

Over at an Indonesia-focused B2B marketplace, determining which channel to engage consumers is a challenge, given the archipelagic nature of the country.

According to one of the executives at the B2B marketplace, choosing the right channel is crucial for effective customer engagement. The executive noted that while online engagement is currently the focus, a significant portion of the customer segment may not know how to use online video. The executive also emphasised the importance of selecting the appropriate channel and content to maximise engagement, as different users may have varying levels of proficiency with different channels.

Overcoming complexity

With the emergence of various data and marketing solutions, and the countless ways data can now be leveraged, the role of CMOs and marketing teams has become more complex, Braze’s Julia Lee observed.

“Marketing teams are no longer just focused on the creative side and branding. They are now figuring out what is the right technology infrastructure that could be put in place, how to collect data correctly, and what is the right data,” she explained.

A panel of marketing decision makers discuss how technology, data, and personalisation can improve the customer experience.

Indeed, in a customer engagement study by Braze, businesses in APAC identified data management as their number one biggest challenge.  

“All brands and companies collect so much data, so it’s not a data supply issue, but rather what experience do we throw back to that one individual at that moment in time,” Lee said.

One of the marketing executives at the online travel agency acknowledged that it took them two years to develop an effective customer engagement strategy.

“The first thing is to define the goal as specifically as possible, based on the current business challenges. These challenges change over time, so it’s important to define the strategy needed for at least the next year,” the marketing executive said.

Due to the varied types of flight information coming from multiple platforms, the executive remarked that improved synchronisation is needed to facilitate proper data management, which is not without its own set of complications.

“After the pandemic, we also needed to redefine our customer engagement metrics,” the marketing executive shared.

Transforming offline to phygital 

With the majority of paying customers hooked on their phones, businesses are innovating ways to convert their offline traffic into online. One such company is an Indonesia-based online coffee retailer that is currently focused on customer segmentation for its data strategy.

“People tend to purchase high-value items offline. However, we want to encourage them to also engage with us online so we can offer additional products and services such as cross-selling or upselling,” said the coffee retailer’s marketing head.

The company, which sells various coffee-related supplies, has products without price tags on their physical stores. This strategy, the marketing head noted, was to turn their walk-in customers into online visitors.

“After scanning the QR code, the website or the app will open, allowing you to view the information immediately. Additionally, as a new user, you can take advantage of promotions and make purchases directly within the app,” the marketing head said.

In addition to this, businesses also collect data from customers even when they pay cash, by way of incentives.

“Customers who provide their phone numbers during cash purchases receive points and redeem them via WhatsApp. The company aims to gather data from various touch points,” explained the marketing head.

Ways forward

In addition to finding and implementing the right technology, businesses should also be careful when it comes to data privacy, because nothing fares better when a customer trusts your brand, Braze’s Julia Lee noted.

“We all agree that consumers hold brands accountable to earn and sustain trust. Trust can be broken easily and lost forever, so be mindful of environmental or infrastructural regulation changes,” she said.

If businesses can find a way to democratise data throughout their brand teams, growth marketers, customer engagement staff, and the CRM folks, then that right there is the start of a better customer engagement strategy, Lee advised. 

Finally, Lee concluded that Indonesian enterprises can already begin exploring hyper-personalisation, which would be beneficial to retain and gain more customers.  She also urged businesses to experiment now with the technologies available in order to develop use cases, and figure out their strategy in engaging more customers.