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Know The Hacks to Grow Your Customer Reach How these entrepreneurs devised low-cost, yet effective marketing, brand building and customer-acquisition strategies to help their startups grow

By Mohit Sabharwal

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In the face of looming growth challenges or aiming to make the most from existing partnerships, know how these entrepreneurs devised strategies to grow their customer reach in leaps and bounds.

SACHIN JAISWAL,CO-FOUNDER, NIKI.AI has built 60 percent of its entire customer base of over three million at zero Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). About his strategy, Jaiswal says, "First, we reached new customers through the clients we supplied chatbots to. The chatbots, integrated into the clients' platforms, gave us access to their existing customers, who interacted and shared information with our installed chatbots." Secondly, they took a deliberate decision of not building its own digital wallet. "Instead, we partnered with the existing brands in the domain viz Amazon Pay, LazyPay, PayZapp," he says. According to Jaiswal, these established brands, banking on their huge marketing budget, usually roll out offers and discounts to attract consumers, and Niki, on its own, does not have to roll any offers explicitly. "Having partnered with such brands, our monthly visits have increased by 200k-300k, without spending on advertising and marketing."

"Of late, marketers have been failing to send their content across mobile phones to consumers," says Dodda. According to him, Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) via which most of the mobile marketing takes place, was failing on a number of mobile phone specific restrictions. "As a result, the entire effort of marketers to reach consumers was going in vain," says Dodda. Taking note of this, Dodda decided to develop an indigenous messaging system, on the lines of GCM, but whose functioning would remain agnostic of a mobile device's characteristics. He says, "The outcome has been great. The system's delivery rate has been 100 percent so far, and, thus, is being increasingly deployed industry wide to help marketers reach consumers."

Ludhiana-based Josh Tractors struggled to afford TV ads. Panesar says, "I did not have the budget to advertise my tractors on television. But, I knew that it was essential to build a brand image." Thus, he thought of a low-cost marketing strategy pivoting around farmer's inherent like for music. He says, "I hired a number of budding singers from Punjab. I sponsored their singing shows across villages and rallies in Punjab." Farmers, who in general are fond of music, would often form the major chunk of the audience in such shows, he adds. Panesar says singers began singing by shouting aloud Josh's name. Within a few months, farmers began to recognize and relate with Josh's name. The strategy ultimately worked and Josh was able to sell all its 200 tractors within two years of its launch.

(This article appears in the February 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here. You can buy our tablet version from To visit our Archives, click here.)

Mohit Sabharwal

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India Magazine

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