In a shoutout to make Meta the one-stop-shop in the customer's online shopping journey, business leaders, measurement experts and creators shared insights about how the social network can be leveraged to drive business growth at a marketing summit hosted by the tech giant in Mumbai.
Meta’s WhatsApp, which is the largest messaging app with more than two billion users globally, is pushing conversational commerce to drive better outcomes for marketers and growth for its business partners.
Shweta Bajpai, director- finserv, media and travel, India stated how WhatsApp and business messaging come into the gamut of what Meta offers to businesses.
The role that Whatsapp or messaging plays is to engage users in a conversation, so it doesn’t remain an ad that just shows on Facebook or Instagram.
“Within the family of apps we have, Facebook or Instagram is where the discovery of the product typically happens. But where the journey starts is through a ‘Click-to –Whatsapp ad’- an ad that will engage users to go ahead and click to start a conversation,” said Bajpai.
She outlined ‘reach’, ‘engage’ and ‘convert’ as the three pillars of business messaging on the chatting platform to drive growth strategy.
From a consumer perspective, the ability to engage someone to buy more increases when the business uses a messaging platform, as per research conducted by Meta on Brazil, India, Indonesia and Mexico markets, which are the largest users of WhatsApp.
Sharing findings from a Meta survey, she said "74 % of people who discover new brands online typically find them across Meta platforms, while 75% of online adults say they are more likely to shop more with a business they can message. Notably, 79% of online users find messaging far more personal than any other form of business communication, as it doesn’t feel like an ad.
Business messaging on WhatsApp is unique because it’s a marriage of two worlds, Bajpai noted. “There’s a lot of trust involved as that’s where we do all our personal conversations. But there’s also a lot of advantage for businesses as it gives them a reach of over 600 million customers while giving them the ability to get customer loyalty back, which no other ad platform gives.”
However, there’s a cautionary note to it in today’s ad and digital ecosystem.
Bajpai added that it's important to keep privacy at the centre of WhatsApp, and not violate this as part of any 'consumer targeting' initiative.
She further added, "The messaging platform allows businesses to make consumers for a lifetime if done right. To this end, the platform works very closely with businesses to make sure it's only targeting people who have opted to receive their messages on WhatsApp."
Earlier, Arun Srinivas, director & head, ads business, Meta India too shared his thoughts on the role of Meta as a catalyst for brands to partner with creators and more.
“We see ourselves as being centre stage here from a vantage point as shepherds in this digital economy working across our platforms of content, social media and conversations.”
Referring to messaging as another major pillar after reels, Srinivas said that with WhatsApp having a cult-like following in India, people have increasingly started finding the use of the messaging platform quite powerful even in the businesses that they interact with. “Whether its discovery to re-engagement, we have seen significant numbers as businesses start using messaging as a tool,” he said.
“We have seen an increase across India, especially over the last few months and this is only going to continue”, Srinivas added. “92% of Indians use our messaging apps to interact with businesses, of which 77% have contacted businesses for product or service research, 71% have contacted businesses for purchase queries, while 82% have had a customer service interaction with a business.”
"Businesses have also started using this to re-engage customers effectively by sending them promotional messages from time to time," said Srinivas.
Srinivas also shared insights on the creator economy and how brands can leverage it to engage with their audiences.
"82% of people have started following a business after they have seen a reel from that business," he noted, calling Reels a key engagement tool for brands to engage with all audiences, especially Gen Z and millennials.
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