On Growth: 5 Growth Hacking Lessons From Rokomari
Rokomari has built its initial brand awareness riding on low-cost offline campaigns such as banners, festoons, posters, wall writing and so on.
In the early years of Rokomari, back in 2012 and 2013, the company had a consistent loud presence in every prominent corner of the city with its colorful banners and festoons and posters. Walls littered with Rokomari posters were a common sight in many parts of Dhaka.
While their effectiveness to generate sales remains under question, with its witty copy and attractive designs, these promotional campaigns have helped Rokomari built brand awareness unmatched by many high profile ecommerce companies in Dhaka.
Time has changed though. We now live in 2019. Rokomari has moved on as well. The company maintains an offline presence but it has moved much of its marketing and communication activities online. Today, the company puts outsized importance on analytics.
“In the first few years of our operation, we did not use any analytics tool,” says Mahmudul Hasan Sohag. “We started using Google Analytics after 2/3 years of inception probably. We now put immense importance on analytics. In the beginning, we invested a lot in off-line branding. We have gradually shifted to digital. Our communication is mostly digital now.”
With the analytics came growth hacking. In fact, Rokomari is one of the few companies in Dhaka that uses growth hacking techniques to perfection.
The company started off with growth hacking in a rather tentative manner. Over time, it has doubled down on it. Today, it has a dedicated growth hacking team. And the company says growth hacking is now part of its culture and informs how it operates as a company.
“Another level of change came when we started testing growth hacking ideas across Rokomari, says Mr. Sohag. “At first, there was no dedicated growth hacking team, now we have one. We have started growth hacking in marketing and communication first and now almost every department uses growth hacking techniques to test ideas and improve.”
Using growth hacking techniques the company has introduced a long list of features that now generate outsized impact for the company. The company did not pay much attention to reviews and ratings in the early days, these features are now some strong engagement drivers for the company. “We have found that people do give reviews and do care about reviews.”
The most significant change would be that Rokomari’s entire approach to marketing has changed. “Our marketing has changed,” says Mr. Sohag. “Initially, we were mostly Facebook focused. We now do a ton of different things. I remember pushing the marketing team for email marketing. Initially, they didn’t care. However, email marketing is a hugely successful initiative now. People like our content and emails because we have been trying to do it right. As a result, the unsubscription rate is meaningfully low.”
Over the past years, Rokomari has built a multi-pronged approach to growth and marketing. The company has shifted focus from mere marketing to a data-driven approach informed by the idea of growth hacking. “We started to rely more on data to make decisions. For marketing, we started to look into data to understand the efficiency of campaigns. It has been a very useful shift for us.”
There are several lessons to learn from Rokomari when it comes to growth. I would note two broad ones. One lesson is at the tactical level where you copy the things that Rokomari is doing and getting results such as put together a growth hacking team, a content team, and an email newsletter. This would certainly bring some results. The second lesson at the principal level where you copy the principles – a mindset to continuous learning and testing. However, this is the most important lesson of two.
Rokomari’s growth hacking juggernaut
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Ruhul Kader is a technology business and technology policy analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at [email protected]