For most of us, WhatsApp is the most popular app on our phones. Over the years, it has added a lot of cool features – emojis, video calling, day-long statuses, etc., making it an irreplaceable and prime form of communication. In India itself, the app caught on like rapid fire, adding up to about 200 million active users as of Feb ‘17. WhatsApp found out that 80% of Indian SMEs already use the app to communicate and grow their business. Taking advantage of this opportunity, WhatsApp made a new app, namely WhatsApp Business to encapsulate the true potential of customer-brand interaction & relationship.
What to expect from WhatsApp Business App – Features, Tools
As the Business App was released to establish an official presence of businesses on Whatsapp, it entails features that improve the experience of customer-business interaction.
Introduction of Business Profiles with verification (similar to Twitter), alongside messaging tools which deliver quick replies to FAQ, greeting messages and away messages (illustrated by the picture below). This can be done via phone or desktop.
Messages mean data! So to makes sense of what’s working and what’s not, WhatsApp will also provide messaging statistics revealing simple metrics such as no of messages read, clicked and more.
Most importantly, this app is rumored to be using Freemium model which means you can use the basic features for free and if you see the value, upgrade to premium version.
How does it fare in comparison to other platforms?
By entering into the marketing business, WhatsApp is pitted against a range of other social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and LinkedIn are some of the biggest players in this market.
This section addresses some common concerns managers might have, such as: “How is it different from all the other platforms?” and “Do I need to invest in this when I am already on other platforms?”
One real advantage of WhatsApp, over every other marketing app, is its ability to establish an easy and friendly communication between the customer and the brand itself. Other apps work more on the principle of being seen and clicked, whereas this is a direct dialogue.
Hellman’s campaign illustrates a great application of this.
Hellman’s set up a live recipe service, namely WhatsCook. Users sent real chefs photos of their fridge leftovers and in return received live texts, photos, videos, and sketches while they cooked the recipes.
Source: ATMS, Best examples of successful whatsapp services
Result: more than 8,000 amateur chefs registered for the service within two weeks!
WhatsApp makes communication..
Quick and direct
Personal and customer-friendly
Deeper and more meaningful
Furthermore, WhatsApp has recently released UPI payment feature. A successful integration of these two features will open a lot of opportunities for businesses, such as direct sales, EMI payments, and more.
Its customer-orientation and personalized interaction make WhatsApp the ideal marketing platform for communication. This combined with the marketing strengths of other platforms can help devise a comprehensive marketing plan for you. For example, Facebook can be used to increase brand presence through creative ads and then, the interested customers can be directed to subscribe to WhatsApp updates.
Play the different marketing platforms to their forte, your marketing budget will be effectively allocated and your marketing goals will be achieved!
WhatsApp Business in India – Why would it be a great choice?
What about India assures the success of WhatsApp Business marketing? It is a combination of recent happenings in the telecommunication industry as well as the cultural context of India. Here’s how:
Starting off with Jio and its introduction of cheap data plans in 2016. Following that, in order to be competitive in the market, many companies reduced their prices too. This not only resulted in the internet being more readily available in remote areas but also in being utilized for a quarter of the previous price.
Another factor is the increase in the release of budget smartphones in the recent years. This combined with the low cost and widespread internet makes the success of WhatsApp inevitable in India.
A possible creative application of WhatsApp based communication would be in using ‘Hinglish’ with the customers. Although Devanagari and other scripts can be used in your ads, such language is more commonly seen written in English with the Roman script. You are more likely to see “Kya Kar Rahe Ho?” than “क्या कर रहे हो?” when chatting with a friend. Using Hinglish helps in making it an informal and friendly conversation.
The current alternative of this concept, chatbots, are not adept at understanding emotions and hence, make the whole experience very impersonal. The dissatisfaction of consumers is demonstrated by a study wherein 79% of Indian consumers expressed their preference in interacting with a real, live human than a virtual agent or chatbot. This is something that cannot be learned by bots yet and thereby, there is a real place of WhatsApp Business App.
To Sum it up
- WhatsApp provides a brand persona to your company and improves the customer interaction.
- The telecom industry and language used in India, provide a real opportunity for success.
- Using it around other marketing platforms will result in a full-fledged marketing plan.
To get the best out of our marketing efforts: make use of this platform before it becomes overcrowded. Attach a personal touch to your brand with WhatsApp Business App. Use it beyond sales updates in more creative ways to show that it’s a real conversation with an actual person, to unravel its true potential.
Good luck to you from our team, in all your future marketing ventures!