By Raviteja Dodda, CEO & Co-Founder of MoEngage
Ramadan month is a unique festival. It stands for equity, prayer, and abstinence and brings cheer, joy, sharing, and giving at the end of it. Globally, almost two billion people observe the holy month of Ramadan, which means there’s a change in the everyday habits of a large group of people for close to 30-45 days.
Unlike Black Friday or Mother’s Day, the Ramadan sentiment extends for over a month. During Ramadan, many shoppers prefer to spend their day fasting and praying, leaving them with more free time to browse and discover new brands and products online. This creates a unique opportunity for businesses to reach out to and connect with customers in a highly personalized way during the 8-10 hours that they are fasting, but [they have to] do it in an appropriate manner.
Tweaking campaigns during the holy month
Shopping during the holy month in 2023 will be different from what it was pre-COVID. First, shoppers have started stepping into physical stores like before, but this time round, are coming in with the ‘convenience and comfort’ experience of digital shopping. Digital marketers have already flooded shoppers’ devices and email boxes with offers and discounts from new brands and products from across the globe.
“This new setting, post-COVID-19, demands that brands in the MEA region be agile and responsive to changing consumer behaviors and preferences, with omnichannel marketing strategies and hyper-personalization to gain a competitive edge,” said Lalit Ratnala, Director Digital & Growth at NorthLadder.
Retailers also have to focus on building smarter marketing strategies without disrupting or eroding their brand value while catering to a customer’s shifting behavior pattern.
A study by Meta’s insights and research division, in partnership with global public opinion and data company YouGov, is relevant here. It says that seven in 10 consumers make unexpected discoveries of products during Ramadan, and 62% of shoppers want to see content in their local language. About 27% of shoppers find content creators most influential during Ramadan/Eid al-Fitr as they help them discover new content and accounts that they might like. And 83% of cross-border shoppers say they make serendipitous discoveries while shopping during Ramadan.
To fulfil the demands of customers who are temporarily altering their lifestyles and ending the fasting month with great offers, is indeed a tall order. Brands need a powerful insights-based engine to reach out to customers during this unique and special period.
Making use of a smart customer engagement platform (CEP) is the winning strategy
A CEP plays a crucial role in providing insights and developing marketing campaigns. The platform allows marketers to harvest relevant data for each region and community, and develops relevant customer views that allow marketers to build the right communication at the right time and communicate to them through the right channel.
Brands can also build an omnichannel engagement, time and place personalization, send out relevant communication at appropriate times during Ramadan.
Brand searches for Ramadan are as intense as those for Black Friday, say reports. This means marketers need to upload product details constantly and keep offers and discounts running through the holy period, but with a focus on community.
Shoppers in the MEA region during Ramadan are both unique and [similar to] regular customers, comparing product features and prices, being choice-conscious, seeking value for money, and wanting convenient payment options. This presents itself as a challenging opportunity for brands to reach out to customers with powerful analytics and insights:
While this period falls under a holiday shopping category, it is very different from other festival periods. Brands have to develop campaigns keeping the underlying communication around community living and sharing. A smart CEP becomes critical at such times because it lets brands analyze data points and gain valuable insights by centralizing data, segmenting customers, tracking and measuring campaigns, providing predictive analytics, and facilitating omnichannel engagement.