Customer-centricity – more than just an idea
Customer-centric marketing has entered the mainstream. There’s no denying it. The prevailing view is that the customer holds the power and now that Pandora’s box is open, it is hard to imagine how we ever thought anything else. However, knowing what the customer wants is half the battle, the other half is creating products and services to meet this need. Investment is needed and a long term view and this is often the challenge for companies.
This quarter, Ding’s head of online marketing, Kevin Stagg, talks customer-centricity, app marketing, and how putting the user first is an investment worth making.
At Ding, customer-centric marketing is more than an idea – everything we do is focused around the user. Everyday we work to build a customer-focused culture across our business – ingraining it in our culture and all our teams. From our ever-evolving web experience to our meticulously optimised mobile app, we put the user first to maximise every interaction they have with us. Today, that user-first mindset is central to our app marketing strategy and has been a key driver of the app’s 32% year-on-year growth in monthly active users.
User acquisition is a handy proof point for the bottom line conversation, but this is not always possible with a more customer-centric long-term approach. Paying attention to what the user wants and anticipating their needs with new products and services takes time and investment. And buy in from senior management. Research is at the core of this. To know the user, means you can create products which fit their needs and wants – and stand more chance of success.
“The Ding mobile app puts the power in the user’s hands……this is what they want”
It is this knowledge gained from ongoing research with the global diaspora which has led Ding to this customer-focused approach. Our users live and work in over 150 countries, and in this expansive world, fast and efficient communication technology is essential – they have told us – particularly while on the move. Traditionally, sending top-up to friends and family required time, effort, and a visit to a bricks-and-mortar store. The Ding mobile app puts the power in the users’ hands, enabling them to send top-up to over 500 networks and operators worldwide, in moments, from their mobile device. This is what they want.
Striking the balance
With over two million apps on Apple’s App Store, and almost the same again on the Google Play Store, our focus on delivering a best-in-class mobile top-up app is higher now than ever before. Whether existing Ding.com users or new users unfamiliar with the Ding brand, our marketing initiatives and customer communications are designed to showcase the features that our technology and product teams have developed following user research and feedback, as well as our continual data analysis.
We encourage existing Ding.com users to experience the app via owned and operated communication channels – email, web browser push notifications, and through the site itself.
New users are introduced to the Ding app directly through a number of paid media channels, including social media app install campaigns and Google Universal App Campaigns, supported by app store optimisation (ASO). This ensures that we strike the right balance between paid introduction and organic discovery. We regularly trial additional providers to explore our options and drive optimum results.
“We use data-driven decision making and a touch of intuition to highlight the features and benefits that are most important to users…”
A range of app-specific features quickly surprise and delight our users. A dynamic onboarding flow guides them through their first app experience, and a carefully curated series of lifecycle communications highlight additional features to enhance subsequent app opens. We invest a great deal of time and care into iterating and improving these messages, to ensure they add tangible value to the user experience. We use data-driven decision making and a touch of intuition to highlight the features and benefits that are most important to users, at the most relevant time.
Timing is everything
Our investment in the app extends to our belief that good technology solutions complement each other. To further enhance our users’ perception of the Ding app and brand, we recently upgraded our communications tools to an industry-leading provider. Equipped with the latest advancements in machine learning and campaign optimisation, this allows us to deliver the right messages to users at the right time, for the most engaging experience possible.
To maintain this high level of engagement, we embed deep-links in outgoing communications that bring users into the exact section of the app that we believe matters to them most in specific moments in time. This increases the app’s relevancy to them and speaks to them in a way that feels natural and personal.
To instil a sense of welcome and familiarity, device language detection automatically displays the app in the user’s preferred language. This is currently available in our top 6 languages; English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and German – with more on the way. Going one step further, users can easily switch language in-app at any time, and we tailor our communications to suit each user’s selected language.
A friendly reminder
Top-up is often sent to friends and family for special occasions and many of our users send top-up to several different people throughout the year. Keeping track of who needs how much (and when) can be a challenge! To make life easier, we offer a reminder function so users never miss the opportunity to stay connected. As an added bonus, the app recalls the most recent transactions and invites the user to re-send the same top-up to the same user in just a couple of taps.
Finally, we have recognised our users’ need for a level of trustworthiness in technology, specifically when it comes to payment processing. We make a concerted effort to highlight and hero our exceptional levels of in-app security. We regularly remind users that their payment methods are handled with care, and their app can be secured with fingerprint and facial recognition log-in.
As our user base continues to grow and as their needs change, so too will the Ding app and our marketing strategy. We are eyeing the long game with our customer-centric approach.
Contributing editor Sam Kirwan (Ding’s App marketing specialist)