#GROWTHAsia2021 Highlights: Key Takeaways, Expert Insights and Actionable Strategies

#GROWTHAsia2021 Highlights: Key Takeaways, Expert Insights and Actionable Strategies

2020 was a landmark year for businesses in all geographies. It covered many industries and verticals. In order to provide actionable strategies and bounce-back frameworks to our community of marketers and product owners, we conducted #GROWTHAsia 2020. We organized #GROWTHAsia2021 on the 24th of March 2021 in collaboration with AppsFlyer, Mixpanel, and continued our efforts to provide thought-leadership content.

#GROWTHAsia2021 featured expert panel discussions that focused on customer centricity and brand engagement. They also discussed effective segmentation, leveraging data from users, and building an engagement platform. This event shed light on how businesses can increase customer happiness in a mobile-first and post-pandemic world.

Our illustrious panel included marketing leaders from Asia’s most customer-focused brands such as OVO, Kredivo and KapanLagi Youniverse.

We have you covered if you missed #GROWTHAsia2021 This blog will summarize all the insightful and interactive sessions and provide bite-sized key takeaways you can use to grow your business.

Here’s a quick overview of all panels and sessions at #GROWTHAsia2021. Let’s get started.

Keynote: The Impact Customer Happiness has on Business Revenue

Sarika Tulsyan (Chief Revenue Officer at POPS Worldwide) led the keynote session of #GROWTHAsia2021. Sarika discusses how the greatest threat to a business’s survival in today’s uncertain environment isn’t competition, but poor customer service. She stresses the importance of collaboration and driving customer happiness, with a focus to sustainable revenue. One that is reflective of the overall business growth strategy and aims to achieve long-term organic success.

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#GROWTHAsia 2021 Keynote speech

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Get Actionable Tips:

  • It is a well-known fact that 20% of a business’s revenue is derived from 20%. It is important to know the difference between customer satisfaction, and customer success.
  • Customer satisfaction can be used as an efficiency metric. However, customer success can be used to measure revenue. There is usually a large gap between these two metrics. Every customer is not a success customer. Therefore, satisfied customers will always outnumber those who can be called successful customers. It is up to you to understand why this gap exists and what you can do about it.
  • This can be done by looking at the various metrics that affect customer satisfaction across a consumer’s journey. Businesses need to pay attention to the “micro-moments”, which are key to customer satisfaction and business growth. A micro-moment for an ecommerce site could be an offline experience (word-of mouth or billboard) that prompts a customer to make an online purchase via a smartphone.
  • This should not be a secondary goal. It should be about understanding these micro-moments, and how to leverage them to drive business growth. This will reduce the customer satisfaction gap and increase customer success.

Expert Insights

  • Businesses can sometimes be hurt by over-personalization that is based on customer segments. A great job at creating customized content might lead to increased conversion rates and checkout rates. However, it may not always lead to higher RPOs or average revenue per user/viewer. Why? Customers aren’t discovering anything new. Over-personalization could actually lead to stagnation rather than growth in your business. It is crucial to find the right balance between these two.
  • Next-generation marketers are responsible for driving the business through understanding the next “trigger” that is informed by data. This helps customers to be more informed and enables them to grow their business.
  • Organizations often define success metrics for different departments in silos, rather than looking at it as one common success metric that can be applied to all departments. A common metric can reduce the gap.
  • It is possible to align our organization’s goals with department goals in respect to marketing, customer service, and product. This creates a level of competence between departments in terms of understanding and defining key responsibility towards the goals. You can create a well-oiled, harmonious business by mapping success metrics to departments. This will ensure that everyone works together towards common goals and maximizes revenue. The three P’s, i.e. People, Process and Product must be in perfect harmony.
  • Only if customer satisfaction metrics are being measured by the right people and monitored properly, can they be considered great. Marketers will only win if they do this.

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Session 1 – Effective Segmentation Strategies for Customer Engagement

Divya Jagwani, Senior Manager, SEA and MoEngage, moderated the first #GROWTHAsia2021 session. Indina Andamari (VP), Head of Product Growth at KapanLagiYuniverse), Cahyanto Arie Wobowo (Head Marketing & Communications at Kredivo), Dian Gemiano, CMO at Kompas Gramedia, and Khalid Raheel, CMO at Amar Bank joined as expert panelists.

#GROWTHAsia 2021 Session 1 Segmentation

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This session will discuss the many practical and effective segmentation strategies that can make a big difference in driving customer engagement. This session also demonstrates the importance of having a strong segmentation strategy. It also explains how different industries use segmentation strategies.

These are the actionsable takeaways

  • Segmentation is a key engagement strategy for organizations. Organizations that segment effectively experience higher profits than those that don’t.
    Segmenting users is a way to give personalized experiences, rather than generic and spammy communications.
  • Start small by using unique preferences and behavior patterns to create your segmentation campaigns. Focus on the following: behavioral patterns, year-on–year aggregated consumer data and current preferences (at a granular scale), repeat behavior, purchase drivers, incentives that resonate with the audience, communication channel. Advanced segmentation can be done by looking at the user’s predicted lifetime value.
  • You can run targeted campaigns by looking at the user journey. Then, work backwards depending on your business goals.
  • The GDPR is the gold standard when it comes managing the fine line between privacy and personalization. Transparency with users, which must be a part of every organization’s DNA, is crucial.

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Experts Insights

Agnes Lie

  • The behavioral segmentation approach is the most sophisticated form of segmentation. It involves dividing audiences based upon how they behave on our platforms, from their in-app behavior to actual transactions.
  • This allows us to target more precisely and makes it possible for A/B testing.
  • This yields better results, as the treatment we give to users is based upon real data and not on presumed knowledge.
  • This allows us to combine behavioral data with predictive and deterministic modelling to achieve business goals
  • Segmenting users requires that you look at the product funnel journey to determine where traffic originated and whether it was acquired via big channels like TikTok or Facebook.
  • Before you dig into transactional or behavioral data, look at the segments of the channels.

Indina Andamari

  • We look at cash transactions of users and map out the customer journey to identify key drivers for each stage. Then, we prioritize users according to which group will have the greatest impact. This could be the pool’s size or the ones with the highest revenue. It is important to collect enough data so that you can make a more precise hypothesis.
  • To score demographics, geographical, and psychographic data, we use a data science model. The heat map is what we use to help us prioritize which segments to focus on. After collecting this data, we profile each segment in order to create a user persona. We then look at the segments to see if they have similar characteristics. Then we personalize messaging to test with a control group. This is where you test your hypothesis before making it a fully-fledged campaign.

Cahyanto Arie Wibowo

  • We have three categories of user data based on the data we collect:
    i) Demographic data, such as gender and/or age
    iii) behavioral data used to split our user action
    iii. Technographic data that shows which technologies are used by our users.
  • These factors are used to analyze our internal theme. To improve the features of your product, you can factor in metrics like usage frequency or time spent on-site.

Dian Gemiano

  • Because we all cater to different audiences in the media industry our segmentation strategies differ. We have three types of customers at KG media: the flyby, moderate and loyal. We study the content consumption habits of our customers to determine what content resonates with them most. We aim to make the fly-by customer more loyal and moderately loyal.
  • Advertisers are more passive. We look at basic demographics, consumption behavior and segmentation of purchase intent to help them understand their needs.

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Khalid Raheel

  • Segmentation is about looking at need-based segments (people who “need” a loan), but also taking into account outliers who may be ‘want-based users (for instance, someone who wants to purchase a second-hand smartphone and might be interested in a loan).
  • Segmentation at Amar Bank tells us what our Tg is. It is also important to understand what customers don’t want, and what they want.
  • Segmentation is essential. It is crucial to know what the need, necessity, and demand are at each stage of life. All three elements are constantly changing. Once you have the user data, you can start to create micro-moments that reflect the needs and benefits of the user.
  • Segmentation should begin with empathy. Understand what the customer needs in order to fill that gap. It is important to integrate the product backwards into a forward-integrated behavior, or vice versa.

Session 2 – Using User Insights for User Retention

Arijeet Rana, Senior Manager, SEA and MoEngage, Rajeshwari Kanesin, Innovation Manager at U Mobile, Joshua Tan (Head CRM at NTUC) and Vineth Kallarakkal, (Head Marketing at theAsianparent), moderated the session.

#GROWTHAsia 2021 Session 2 user insights

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The session focused on huge data volumes about user journeys and how these can overwhelm modern growth and product teams. It is important to avoid analysis paralysis and understand the key user insights that must be monitored, as well as how they tie into the overall goal of increasing engagement.

These are the actionsable takeaways

  • Customer retention is a key aspect of today’s business environment. One surefire way to achieve this is to leverage user insights to increase user retention. Product teams and growth teams often get lost in the mountains of user data and don’t know which user paths they should be following.
  • The real question is: What are the most important metrics for engagement that you should track and monitor? You can use the RFM model to guide your digital buyer journey.
  • However, user paths and journeys are getting more complicated. Businesses need to be able to identify the key user insights that they are trying to obtain, as well as key metrics to monitor engagement and create feedback between the lifecycle, marketing, and product teams. They must also analyze the warning signs for users who are about to become cranky so you can know the extremes of a user’s lifecycle on your app/website/anyother medium.
  • These valuable data can be used to increase user retention through referral programs, better personalization, optimal frequency of messages, building a community with like-minded users, and so forth.


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Expert Insights

Kushal Manupati

  • It is important to consider engagement metrics from both the perspective of the stakeholder as well as across different stages.
  • With the multitude of channels and users having their own preferences, the user journey is becoming more complicated.
  • A lifecycle framework is essential to determine the life stage of the user, where they want to be, and the relevant KPIs for each stage. A robust tool can help you achieve this and many more.

Rajeshwari Kanesin

You should have separate user journeys for different users to be able to classify them as trusted, verify them and ensure that your user data is accurate. The data can then be scored accordingly.

Joshua Tan

  • Before you can understand which engagement metrics to look at, you need to first identify your North star goal.
  • Next, consider what the job of each channel is to achieve that goal. Then look at how users interact with the channel to determine the engagement touchpoints you really want to capture.
  • It is important to consider not only what engages customers but also what disengages them.

Vineeth Kallarakkal

  • Your engagement metrics will vary depending on which channel you’re measuring, whether it is an app or a site. It is also important to consider how you cater to different user segments. It is also crucial to determine what metrics are most relevant for your user segments.
  • Because users’ needs change at every stage, you need to create user journeys and map them out. A path can be tailored to different users and ensures that your product is well-received by them.
  • To assess the risk of churning you should first examine the usage patterns and determine if there is any decreasing trend in the use of your product. Learn more about why engagement has dropped.

Session 3 – Building the Best-In-Class Customer Engagement Technology Stack

Scott Pugh (APAC Director at Mixpanel), Bibaswan Banerjee, Mark Birch (Startup Advocate APJ, AWS), Khairold Sfri Ibrahim (Digital Products Manager, TM) and Dr. Raymond Chan (Head, Data Science, Chope), as experts.

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Session 3 building engagement stack

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This session brought together subject matter experts to discuss the evolution and design of customer engagement technology stacks.

These are the actionsable takeaways

  • Modern customer engagement has seen a paradigm shift, and new technologies and tools have been created to give brands the cutting-edge they need.
  • No matter if you are a startup or a telco company, every company must decide what tooling is best for them at each stage of their lifecycle. The customer engagement stack must be continuously monitored and updated.
  • It is crucial to hold tech providers accountable and maintain a constant dialogue. Consider technology as an extension to your team when you buy it.

Expert Insights

Bibaswan Banerjee

  • We are always trying to solve the biggest problem, which is how to connect things. It can be dangerous to work in silos of technology. Why? It paints a partial picture. It is important to use a constantly-evolving tech stack to make sure that they all talk to one another properly.
  • Look for tech stacks that offer customization and scalability. Big providers have the ability to provide a solid foundation through cloud-based solutions. This could be the foundation. Next, you should add layers that are specific to your business. To be more flexible in customizing your solution, you can leverage a hybrid stack.
  • It is important to strike a balance between what can be taken over from third parties and what parts you need to be highly agile so that you can do it in-house.

Mark Birch

  • Startups in the early stages should concentrate on their core product. They also need to focus on getting the right features.
  • When choosing the right tech stack, you must not compromise the uniqueness or differentiation of your product. Look for solutions that don’t require you to create your own analytics.

Khairold Safri Ibrahim

  • The first thing you should ask when deciding on a tech stack is whether it is necessary at all. Also, do you need to automate these integrations or can they be done manually?
  • You will also need to change the culture within your company in order to encourage people to try new things.
  • It is important to keep your stack of tasks simple. Do not try to do it all at once. Instead of focusing on technology, modeling, or other aspects of the business, start with customers.
    The framework.
  • We discovered that attractiveness is only half the story. The other half is how it works within the company’s context–taking into account the culture, openness to new technology and the availability of resources.

Dr. Raymond Chan

  • Our engagement stack was primarily driven by the need to learn how to personalize search and recommendation. This is why we use event tracking tools to track individual behavior.
  • Here’s how it works: We collect a lot of data and then store it in data warehouses. The models are then used to predict the interests of users. The app then integrates this information back into it, so that our tech style is optimized.


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Session 4 – Recalibrate and Recover. Reopen. Recovering from the Pandemic

Ronen Mense, President and Managing Director of APAC, AppsFlyer moderated the session. A panel was comprised of Lakshmi Harikumar, Dyah Wulandari, Marketing Director, SEA and MoEngage, and Alicia Vo, User Acquisition Lead, Amanotes.

Session 4 bounce back

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This session will discuss what it takes for businesses to recover, recalibrate and reopen after the pandemic. This session summarizes how the pandemic has increased the digitalization of businesses over the past several years, and addresses the important questions:
i) How can businesses recalibrate?
ii) Should businesses recover?
iii. What’s next in digital marketing when regions reopen fully?

These are the actionsable takeaways

  • The AppsFlyer & iPrice report shows that overall online spending in SEA rose by 19% in 2020. People who have never purchased online are now more open to shopping online. The pandemic has increased the speed of digitalization in businesses, not just by a few weeks but over many years.
  • Businesses need to rethink their marketing strategies and see if every industry and segment behaves in the same way. Mindful marketing is about being happy and not insensitive to people’s feelings.
  • Each brand may have its own reality. However, the common theme for the future must be ‘positivity’, ‘agility’, and ‘adaptiveness’.

Expert Insights

Lakshmi Harikumar

  • Brands that are successful differentiate themselves from others by being agile in adapting their business models is what makes them stand out. This meant that mobile was not only considered as a channel, but also as a business model.
  • Jimmy, an Australian client, is a good example. He’s in the online delivery of alcohol. Given the increasing demand from consumers, he quickly added toilet paper to their entire inventory. This is how brands can be flexible and remain relevant over the long-term.
  • A report we published recently shows that one of the major trends in this pandemic is digital and mobile adoption. Organizations that are not digital were forced to adopt mobile or digital technologies. Additionally, organizations that were digital were required to reinvent themselves in order to stand out from the rest.
  • Businesses need to be innovative partners, make changes in their business models, and communicate openly with customers. It’s about being one with customers and being transparent about your business. Let’s say, for example, that your supply chain is down and orders may be delayed. Businesses will be able to communicate this information with greater transparency, which will strengthen their image and quality.
  • For obvious reasons, there has been an increase in marketing budget. Brands want to keep their voice heard and don’t want to lose the momentum they have built over the years. Paid activities also have an impact on organic traffic. They want to maintain brand positivity.

Dyah Wulandari

  • Businesses must be flexible and focus on the short-term (say, for the next three month) instead of long-term planning. They must also be positive and refocus their attention on “maintenance people”, which is the greatest asset of the company.
  • Our marketing strategy is to balance user needs from the discovery phase to the point when they make a purchase. We are providing enough information in our apps for users to be able to make informed decisions when they reach the ‘consideration phase’.

Alicia Vo

  • We have created lighthearted, cheerful, and warm campaigns that revolve around the “stay at-home” theme. However, we are also sensitive to the stress and anxiety that users are constantly exposed to. We make sure that our messages are not serious and encourage our users to use our apps as a way to escape.
  • We need to build a solid foundation with industry partners. To create a supportive business environment and to offer mutual support.
  • Communication and coordination between various stakeholders can improve the efficiency of your business and provide positive opportunities for the future.