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ROI of B2C Marketing campaigns should be get calculated based on a minimum of 5 years

Hi everyone,

The Launch of Jile Health part 2 was released the last week, and you can read it here. However, we thought of sharing a new essay on a topic that has been on our table for the past few months. And I hope you find this informative.

There was a time when I wanted to build products for billion users without marketing - zero CAC. Because that’s how I saw my dad running his business - no CAC and no retention cost. I think I was naive in my thought process (why?). Historically a few products have been able to achieve billion of users at zero cost, however, those are just the outliers. Recently, I realised that even religions need marketing to keep their perpetual faith and demand intact. If marketing is necessary for religions, it is definitely necessary for building a product that can be used by billion of users no? This essay is part of our work on identifying distribution channels and having absolute clarity of thoughts around mediums to reach 1.2 billion Bhartiya. I hope you find this insightful! :)

The purpose of writing and making it public is not to target any brand/company personally (I have referenced a few brands/companies in this essay). The true purpose of this essay is to, we all have a different perspectives on our table when we take such high cost involving decisions. Again, this is not a personal attack on any brand/company.

Let’s get started…

A product and services can be categorized on various parameters, however, categorization on customer’s involvement density is one of the best methods to position and persuade customers to switch, try, or buy a new product. I have written about this in the past: here. But I am adding some new findings, insights, and decision-making processes.

Based on customer involvement density, a product/service can be categorized into two types

  • Low-involvement products

  • High-involvement products

Low-involvement products where we try activating emotions (feeling), and high-involvement products where we try activating thinking (cognitive). This was only true for the non-internet era. The internet made some adjustments to this principle. The internet converted all products and services (B2C mostly) into low-involvement products. Because there is no pressure of generating revenue from day-1. And this is somehow a good aspect of building products and services using the internet.

We must take a few examples. Let’s take an example of Fintech, fintech is a high-involvement product, however, most of the ads in the ecosystems have been created considering fintech as a low-involvement (The distribution is also one of the aspects behind considering Fintech as a low-involvement product, but we will keep that aspect aside for this essay to not complicate the true purpose). This is true for Education, Insuretech, Healthtech etc. It is okay to treat high-involvement products as low-involvement however, forgetting that completely is a big mistake we have been making as an ecosystem.

Okay, we shall return to this point in the letter part of the essay. The one aspect that I find bizarre is this: Not asking the basic question

  • Can I convert users into customers without making a sales call - through persuasive advertising campaigns?

  • If yes, what are the potential obstacles that might force users to drop off without completing the loop - conversion of users into customers? (Recently learnt about the loop concept seems better than the funnel, I have used a Jile Health example in the later part of the essay.). If you ask me, I am not at all a fan of converting users into customers by making sales call. We all love internet-based business because it allows us to scale with a crazy velocity, and adding the sales team in the loop means unnecessary inflation in price points. At Jile Health, we can’t afford to have a sales team because the sales team will inflate the final price against our true purpose.

  • Is the price point affordable/suitable for the audience that the campaign and marketing will propagate among or create a footprint in a minimum of 5 years? (Why is this important?) We can understand this through examples.

There are potentially multiple such companies in the past, in fact, most. However, I selected this company because in terms of gravity - it aligns with our future campaigns. Byju’s sponsoring the Indian cricket team. Now, Cricket is probably the only tool in terms of the medium that has maximum India’s geographical reach. (I have not used the IPL example because it is a periodic event) Being on the Cricket Jersey means - your brand covered almost all villages - 664,369. If we look from that perspective, being on the Indian Cricket Jersey means covering almost all cricketing nations - at least a minimum of 60% of the world’s geography, that’s insane! However, to keep this simple, we will only consider India’s geography.

Now if you pause and think for a second

  • Education is a fundamental need.

  • Being on the Cricket jersey means almost 100% of India’s geographical reach, Brand trust, and the initial spark of the motivation to know more about the brand.

The business should have exploded like Sahara ( I know what you are thinking, I should have not added Sahara in the example. But sometimes, we must study a CON artist to prevent other CON artists from playing/cheating with a large population) or Oppo. However, numbers are not giving any signals, does it?

Here are a few potential missteps (you may disagree)

  1. Forgetting Education is a High-involvement product.

  2. Ignoring the fact that the brand could have converted users into customers without sales calls/teams.

  3. Not thinking in terms of loop and possible obstacles that could force users to drop off without being converted into customers.

  4. Not giving any thought to the price point (Is the price point affordable for every Indian?). There could potentially be two reasons behind this. A. The company might have only considered India-1 as the potential target group. (In that case, I would say being on the Cricket Jersey is not a good decision from the ROI pov and B. The company might have overestimated the purchasing power of Bhartiya.

I have already discussed the first point, a bit, what I would like to add further is that considering a high-involvement product a low-involvement product is okay, thanks to the internet, but forgetting this fundamental truth is the biggest mistake. Remember we can’t change the fundamental nature of any product or service. There is encoded mental-model formation based on the years of visual, sound and other forms of data that humans take. And when we are challenging them after a time, they would not even bother to look or it takes a long time.

[Jile Health building principle] Once we realised there was an opportunity to build a large impactful company. We started saying to ourselves - it is easy to solve, easy to solve. Because that was the only way we could have gathered the courage to solve it. But then, we can’t be delusional about the fact that - it is probably the hardest and most complex problem. Even for the fact that what you are reading is the months of work of finding the below answers

  • Hey, if we are saying: making Healthcare affordable for 1.2 billion Bhartiya, how are we going to reach them at the lowest possible cost? (A high CAC means a higher final price)

  • Even after reaching out to them, how are we going to convert them into our customers?

  • Can we convert our customers into brand ambassadors so we can retain them at zero cost etc?

each question is a problem for us, and there is no way I can delegate this to someone. That is my strength, I understand them at a very emotional and fundamental level, and I empathise with their need, no one can understand the way I can. Because my mind has gathered terabytes of visual, sound, and text data for 16 years. And therefore, streamlining all these into a simple mission statement that can work as a decision-making principle for our org is what we are working hard for. (One of the principles of Build to Last :))

Sorry, I get pumped up every time I think about Jile Health, and I think about 27*4 (lol, sorry). Okay, let's come back, yes, we were at human’s fundamental constructs - technically, we can change because evolutionary knowledge can’t be stopped, but it takes multi-decades. For product/brand, we have a few years (10 years), and once a brand still promotes a high-involvement product as low-involvement, customers start doubting the authenticity of the product and brands.

The pricing was another point. I can bet, after seeing Byju’s logo on the jersey, most Indian parents might have tried asking, searching, or knowing, but to their shock - the price point was not affordable for 90% of the Indians. Not asking this question, once a campaign and branding material will create its footprint how the journey of that potential customer would look like and why they might not purchase or whether they can even purchase or not - is the biggest mistake a brand or product can commit. Byju’s price point was not affordable for 90% of the Indians - not checked recently.

We can understand this through an example if you are sending a telegram through a courier - what is the most important information on that envelope? The receiver’s details - address and phone number. And the extent to which it will reach the receiver depends on the accuracy of that information if you keep every detail right and made some mistakes in Pincode and phone number - the probability is the telegram will return. This is how advertisement works when we are trying to convert them into customers. Through an advertisement, we are sending information (telegram) to N number of people and not giving thoughts on the cases in which it might get returned - is a mistake.

Even though thanks to being on the Cricket Jersey BYJU’s telegram reached the entire nation but it failed to get into the hand of potential customers because price points were not affordable (we can call the pin code). And it returned. Now if any of you are from the e-commerce or Logistic space, you would agree reverse logistics is the demon that cost’s double without any outcome. And I think this is what happened. Matter of fact is, for the initial good years even after sponsoring the cricket team, Byju’s tagline on motion media was - The Learning App. Now it says: Starts with your free class today. Better. It seems the org has started learning.

Here are the historical sponsors of Indian cricket Jersey - you decide.

See, Jile Health is a mass-market product (90% of Bhartiya) - I am not saying anything! :)

I think we as an ecosystem can learn from brands that have inspired me to approach advertisements from different angles - Google and Amazon. Some of the Google advertisements make me crazy because, in 30 or 40-sec videos, the number of persuasive principles that they apply is unimaginable. We should take an example.

Google’s last year's #BolneSeSebHoga campaign with Nikhat Zareen and Prachi Shevgaonkar

Let me decode this, it is mind-blowing. Nikhat Zareen’s video is 42 seconds long however, in most of the campaigns, it played just for 20 or 25 seconds. And in that 25 seconds

  • A story

  • Product benefit

  • Association

  • Product demo

  • Activating Thinking (Cognitive)

  • Activating emotion (Feeling)

  • Message

  • Call to action

  • Distribution

No, No God, please. Why I haven’t thought of something like this before - feeling dumb, that I am? If you remember my last essay, I talk about the activation of either cognitive or feeling. This is the next level Boss. Even most of the world's best advertising experts would suggest - just focusing on one or max two persuasive principles. This campaign is executing 9 of the best persuasive principle. I don’t know how many of you understand marketing - but this is a masterpiece! It creates goosebumps every single time I think this in terms of the advertisement's pov. The same goes for Amazon’s campaigns as well.

A few days back, I was watching the women’s cricket world cup match. And an electric wire ad campaign was trying to activate my emotion. I couldn’t stop myself from lol. Are you kidding me? If the brand wanted to do comedy, the campaign was good - I indeed laughed, but I am sure that was not the purpose. :). One narrative that we have in the ecosystem is - it is for awareness purposes. No? Why would you want to leave money on the table in the name of awareness? If we can effectively, convert those users into customers or directly pursued our potential customers to try our product.

All these problems can be solved if we start measuring the ROI of advertisement campaigns for a minimum of 5 years. We are still developing this framework, we shall share this soon. :). We must learn from the campaigns of Amazon and Google India.

Before we wrap up this essay, here is an example from Jile Health that helped us to improve our Play store conversion ratio.

I hope this example will prove, the user’s journey doesn’t start once they download/signup for your product, or purchase your product, it actually starts way before - when they are getting exposed to your brand and product the very first time. And the probability of dropoff can be at each subsequent step. And identifying, optimizing, and understanding those steps can do its magic for the next five years.

We have an internal doc “What I have learnt from Users - weekly reflection on Users behaviours”. This document has records of almost all insights/abnormalities. And I have not missed even a single weekend to update this doc. I am directly using the screenshots from that doc, to save time.

Our inorganic conversion rate was 5.33% compared to the peer group’s 53.04%. The conclusion of the discussion was - there is a deficit in expectation (after seeing the ad) and reality (after landing on the Jile Health Google Play store listing). Technically there can’t be any other reason for a user to click on the ad and not install Jile Health after visiting the Play store listing. And therefore we decided - we must adjust the content of the ad campaign.

However, after a week, we realised that the organic conversion rate was only 13.98%. And it was shocking.

One of the best decisions was to launch as soon as possible. And we launched in two weeks with whatever build we had. And in that process - I designed the logo from Canva and took the mobile screenshots as Google Play store assets listing.

Jile Health's old play store listing assets

However, we were short of resources and time. There has to be a strong why behind allocating resources to update Jile Health Play store listing assets.

This was the strong why - reduce the Cost of installation by half

So, we spent INR 1000 to design

  • New Logo

  • New Mobile screens

  • New Banner

I would be really honest, I wanted to get this work done in under INR 500 (lol).

On 25th Jan, we pushed new store listing assets.

Jile Health’s New Google Play store listing with updated assets

In The past 30 days conversion rate has improved significantly. We still have to optimise to match our peers.

This is the wrap of the Essay. And if you find this essay informative - please share this with your network!

I want to write about a few non-tech, non-startup essays. The topic that I want to write about is - Power, Love, Subjectivity etc. Let’s see what I am writing next. :) I shall see you all with a new essay


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