How GEEKY Social Has Developed An ROI-First Approach To Digital Communication

How GEEKY Social Has Developed An ROI-First Approach To Digital Communication

There is a saying about marketing that “it is hard to tell which part of your advertising strategy is working.” Until recently, advertising had a bad rap for being mostly guesswork. Big companies invested millions in finding ways to measure the impact of communication spending in the form of developing tools and research. However, this reality has changed over the past years. The rise of digital communication and data-driven decision making have transformed how businesses run themselves. Terms like growth hacking, metrics, conversion, ROI and so on started to slip into marketing conversation and gradually became dominant trends. Companies could see which part of their marketing budget did what. However, this transition from a guess-world, a world of fancy talking and mere storytelling, to a world of real results and ROI-driven approach is still happening. The transition is far from complete. 

There has been push-back to a purely data-driven approach. Rightly so because data is not everything. Data does not tell the full story. People do not act the way we perceive. It is complicated. 

While this debate of data vs the creative nature of communication rages on, one thing companies and agencies across the board agree is that when you are spending money, it is better you know what you are getting in exchange. The arrival of digital has made it possible for brands and agencies to better understand their users, design campaign that takes advantage of that understanding, and see, almost in the real-time, outcome of their communication efforts. 

Despite the opportunity, it is not a wide-spread practice yet. Old habits die hard. A small number of brands tend to care about ROI and even fewer agencies in Dhaka can deliver ROI-driven communication solutions. While this works for big companies and mass brands, it is often a losing deal for startups and ecommerce companies and for companies who want to invest in meaningful growth. 

This is where GEEKY Social, the Dhaka-based digital-first advertising agency, has been pushing the boundary. Over the years, the company has built a reputation for being one of the best result-driven agencies in Dhaka. 

GEEKY has built an excellent team comprised of experienced digital marketers, a culture that priorities results over vanity metrics, and a time-tested process that ensures that whatever campaigns come into the process, it does well. 

“We don’t do guesswork,” says Mr. Sagor. “We have developed a time and market-tested process that allows us to understand the problem of our clients better, take enough time to understand their customers, design strategy that takes the context of every situation into account, and design an execution strategy that takes advantage of growth hacking approach of rapid ideation and testing to find the best ideas quickly and optimize and double down on what works.” 

The GEEKY Social approach 

Marketing communication is going through a major shift globally. We are seeing, for the first time in decades, the great unbundling of TV, thanks to YouTube, Netflix and relentless pursuit of TV ad dollars by major social media networks, slow death of traditional advertising model, the rise of alternatives to banner ads and more.

The Bangladesh market is no different. Over the past several years, from almost oblivion, digital has gained significant prominence and become a mainstream phenomenon. An increasing number of brands are now investing in digital platforms ranging from Facebook, local ad networks to youtube and other platforms.

The internet offers new opportunities and challenges for marketers and brands. The way people consume entertainment and content and interact with brands has fundamentally changed.

This new reality calls for a deeper understanding of the changing reality of communication in the context of Bangladesh. 

A deeper understanding of the medium

“Over the years, we have worked with hundreds of clients from diverse verticals that helped us to develop an excellent understanding of how digital marketing works,” Says Mahadi Hasan Sagor, Co-founder and Managing Director of GEEKY Social. The company has built close partnerships with major digital platforms such as Facebook and Google that allows it to access new features and meaningful insight ahead of the market. 

To solidify its digital advantage, it has built an excellent team of digital marketers and digital media buyers. The combined experience of its media buying team is more than 30 years. The company has launched a training service to disseminate the knowledge it has gathered throughout the years. 

Digital is a relatively new medium in Bangladesh. Moreover, it is an ever-changing medium where what works today does not guarantee that it would do the same tomorrow. A meaningful understanding of the medium in terms of how it works, what works and so on is invaluable for making digital work for any brand. 

GEEKY says it has the insight, capabilities and a strong process to help brands succeed on digital. 

A distinct approach to digital communication 

“We don’t do guesswork,” says Mr. Sagor. “We have developed a time and market-tested process that allows us to understand the problem of our clients better, take enough time to understand their customers, design strategy that takes the context of every situation into account, and design an execution strategy that takes advantage of growth hacking approach of rapid ideation and testing to find the best ideas quickly and optimize and double down on what works.” 

The process involves regular components such as understanding the problem and customer segment of the client and so on. On top of that, GEEKY applies its process to ensure excellent results. 

One of GEEKY Social’s many long-serving customers is “safe food” retailer Khaas Food. Khaas Food was founded in 2016. GEEKY has been its marketing partner since its inception. 

Back at the time when companies used to go after likes and reaches on Facebook, GEEKY devised a result-oriented multi-pronged approach that helped Khaas Food become a pioneering brand in the safe food retailing space in the country. Today, Khaas Food boasts a loyal customer base that places orders amounting to more than 60% of Khaas Food’s daily orders.

GEEKY Social has applied this framework in its work with a long list of prominent digital startups in the country and helped them achieve meaningful growth including Sheba.xyz, Pickaboo.com, Bagdoom.com, Priyoshop.com, Repto, Xtra.gift, Gowalafoods.com, Khaasfood.com, Stygen.gift, Eduhive.com.bd, Flybdfly.com among others.

Let’s have a look into the framework GEEKY Social applies to help companies grow using digital marketing: 

1. A deeper understanding of customers, 80/20 rule, and relentless optimization 

GEEKY did two things for Khaas Food, extensive work on understanding the target audience through a series of experiments and A/B testing and a relentless focus on improving the result. 

“While designing digital marketing campaigns for brands, we’ve found time after time that 80/20 rule applies here as well – that 80% of the revenue often comes from 20% of customers. When we started working with Khaas Food, we put the strategy into work from day one.” 

GEEKY ran a series of A/B tests targeting different types of audiences based on interest, custom audience, lookalike audience, and through the work found a TG that was responding the best to Khaas Food ad. Once the winning TG was figured, GEEKY started to double down on the TG allocating almost 60-70% of daily budget to the TG instead of spreading the campaign too thin. It has helped Khaas Food generate an excellent return on their investment. 

Not only GEEKY Social works hard to find the best TG for your brand through using an experimental approach, it continuously optimizes your communication to ensure the best outcome from every campaign. 

2. Funneling the prospects 

In order to generate, 10,000 orders/month you don’t need millions of people, you need 10,000 individuals who are willing to buy from you. Now it would not be easy to find that 10,000 customers. You have to reach out to probably 100,000 people with higher intent to get your 10, 000. GEEKY takes this reality into account when it runs a campaign. 

At the beginning of a campaign, GEEKY approaches to find those higher intent prospects first and then funnel out further and further to push for conversion from those interested prospects instead of reaching the entire universe every time, which saves money as well as ensures result for the client.

While many communication strategists put disproportionate importance on Facebook, GEEKY has developed an approach where it puts weighted importance on a broad range of digital channels identified through a user and target audience mapping for each new campaign and brand.

3. The power of data and the right timing 

Timing is everything. It is important for your business – most startups fail because of wrong timing than the product failure or anything else. In digital advertising, this is one of the most important truths. There are days and hours when certain campaigns do well and it is not easy to identify the reasons. 

The advantage GEEKY has is an excellent team that has years of experience and excellent data analytics abilities that they use to identify the right timing for your campaign. 

In a business relationship, a seller would always try to maximize his or her gain. For agencies, it is natural to encourage a client to continue heavy promotion throughout the month. But for certain products, it is probably unnecessary to run an ad throughout the month. Probably the first two weeks of the month could generate maximum impact and rest could simply be awareness and reminder run. 

“We exactly do this,” says Mr. Sagor. “We use data and deep analytics to understand when is the right time to run a campaign and encourage clients to run a campaign during the period even if we have to forego some revenue in the process. The benefits of the client always come first because business happens in the long run.” He goes on to explain how GEEKY has done it for Khaas Food. 

When GEEKY started working with Khaas Food, the first thing the company did was analyzing Khaas Food’s sales data and finding important patterns in it.

“The first pattern we noticed was that Khaas Food’s sales peaked in the first week of every month. Behavior-wise, we hypothesized that the first week of every month usually marks the “salary week” for the average Bangladeshi professional which in turn plays a pivotal role in determining the consumption pattern. We planned to capitalize on this consumer behavior.” 

Using the data, GEEKY designed a campaign that offered consumer incentives such as discounts and/or free delivery on bulk purchases for the first 7 to 10 days of every month. The agency also changed the promotional budget and allocated half of the entire monthly budget for these 10 days as consumption gradually declined after the first 10 days. At the same time, they also designed campaigns where they coupled “less frequently sold” products using combo offers with other “high frequency” items during the last week of every month.

This strategy worked like magic and helped Khaas Food grow its number dramatically in the next few months.

4. A channel-agnostic approach to communication  

Although Facebook remains the largest social network and most used online platform in Bangladesh, people do spend time on many other platforms such as Instagram to Youtube to local digital channels. While many communication strategists put disproportionate importance on Facebook, GEEKY has developed an approach where it puts weighted importance on a broad range of digital channels identified through a user and target audience mapping for each new campaign and brand. 

“Unlike the conventional digital marketing of only “boosting in Facebook” approach, we at GEEKY Social take a multi-channel 360-degree digital approach when it comes to executing a campaign,” says Sagor. “This does not mean we don’t prioritize. We do. We survey the right channel for a brand and prioritize based on the effectiveness and efficiency of a channel and then go on to execute.” 

For example, for Khaas Food, GEEKY designed a campaign strategy across four carefully coordinated tasks: remarketing to the Website visitors, undertaking aggressive search campaigns in Google with relevant keywords to get all the interested people out there to visit Khaas Food site looking for a safe food item in the Internet, publishing 50+ blog articles on the topics like Safe food & food recipes to attract the right set of people interacting with the brand, and finally funnelling those people to remarketing campaigns for their first acquisition using previously mentioned promotional incentives called website offers and deals. This has helped GEEKY to achieve extraordinary results for the campaign. 

5. Hacking the platforms bid

Almost all digital platforms operate in a complex manner. Mastering these platforms and ensuring the best return for your investment is a critical skill. On top of that, when you are going along with the default setting of a platform, which is the easier option, your chance of winning declines significantly. Digital platforms work in a way that it could earn maximum revenue by serving maximum impressions or clicks it can serve. As a result, default is always not a good option. 

Over the past years, GEEKY has mastered these digital platforms. Using its platform skills, it ensures that it is getting the best result possible for a certain expense. 

Mr. Sagor goes on to explain. “We were advertising high-end home appliances for a reputed e-commerce platform, although the cheapest clicks were coming from mobile, we could see that actual conversions were coming from the desktops. Buying an expensive home appliance is a high involving decision and mobile is not an ideal platform for doing so. “Once we figured that out we manually optimized the entire funnel to generate better ROI.”

Most advertising is short term in nature. You spend on sales and you get results immediately. Once the campaign ends, often its impact also fades away. This is a challenge for most brands and this is an inefficient approach to spending your money. GEEKY has identified that this approach of short-term priority is a challenge for brands, particularly for a segment of its customers – startups and internet companies. Since it has designed deliberate process and strategic initiatives into its execution process to ensure long-term ROI from any communication effort it conducts for a client.

6. Focus and consistent reinforcement – maximum visibility to a specific group of audience to build enhanced brand awareness 

Not everyone is your customer. Regardless of the type of your product, there is a natural immediate market for every product that if you could reach meaningfully you are good to go. Often brands overlook this aspect of communication and put undue importance on reaching out to as many people as possible whereas reaching out to a large audience is probably not a worthwhile endeavor. 

GEEKY has built a process that intuitively takes this fallacy into account and encourages clients to invest in building an enhanced awareness among a relatively targeted group of audience through consistent reinforcement of message and communication.  

The company has done this almost to perfection for Khaas Food. It set aside a small portion of Khaas Food’s communication budget from the beginning to run impression campaigns for a specific group of TG with a size of not more than 10 lakh. To ensure maximum visibility, GEEKY used Google Display campaigns along with Facebook impressions so that proper brand awareness is achieved.

“We served more than 30 million impressions to this specific group of people in one single year,” says Mr. Sagor. “We knew not everyone was ready to buy from a local and relatively unknown e-commerce brand so we kept our primary TG specific and spent maximum to be in front of their eyes. We are proud to say that this strategy played a pivotal role in making Khaas Food a strong brand among this group of people without spending a single taka in conventional ATL or BTL channels.”

7. Building for the long term with a loyalty focused approach 

Most advertising is short term in nature. You spend on sales and you get results immediately. Once the campaign ends, often its impact also fades away. This is a challenge for most brands and this is an inefficient approach to spending your money. 

GEEKY has identified that this approach of short-term priority is a challenge for brands, particularly for a segment of its customers – startups and internet companies. Since it has designed deliberate process and strategic initiatives into its execution process to ensure long-term ROI from any communication effort it conducts for a client.

Retention is the key to sustainable growth. You are an agency working with a startup means, you have to ensure sustainable growth for your clients, otherwise, they would not be able to grow and you are likely to lose a client. “We have realized this reality from day one of working with startups,” says Mr. Sagor. “We know that it is in our best interest our clients do well and do so in the long run. That’s why we pay tons of importance in building loyalty in customers.” 

When GEEKY Social started working with Khaas Food, the first target the company set itself was to create a group of at least 5000 recurring customers as soon as possible. “If we could achieve that for the food retailer,” says Mr. Sagor, “we would be able to spend money in many other areas. We created continuous offers and communicated through emails, SMS, Facebook Sponsored Messages, Newsfeed remarketing campaigns to our previous customers and eventually made them recurring loyal customers which have enabled Khaas food to reduce its marketing budget by 50% within 3 years.” 

The importance of systems thinking 

The world runs on systems. Organizations run on systems. Everything in between runs on systems. If you could design effective and efficient systems, you could achieve things that’s hard to achieve otherwise. The important part of a great system is that it is replicable and it evolves routinely. 

GEEKY says it has been doing both – that it has designed an approach to digital communication that works and continues to evolve. 

The company says it aims to help its clients to grow. That it is not interested in playing marketing games and instead wants to deliver results that would allow its clients to grow and in the process allow it to get more business. 

Turning marketing from guesswork into math is certainly a good idea. 

Khaas Food is one of the many brands that GEEKY Social has helped to achieve meaningful growth through effective digital communication. Interested in learning more about GEEKY Social and learn more about their approach to digital communication, click here. 

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