In an interview with Omar Rebhan, Vice President – PR & Business Development Spokesperson at Hunger Station, the team asks him about the importance of data analytics, the challenges with regards to digitisation, and why growth hacking is a popular marketing trend in the region.
1. Give us an insight into why the Kingdom has some of the strongest mobile marketing penetration and how investments in technology and innovation are critical factors for brands such as Hungerstation?
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has one of the highest smartphone mobile penetration rates globally, specifically in Saudi families, according to the Saudi Arabian General Authority of Statistics. This value proposition alone paved the way for unlimited potential in the online digital space and marketing is no different.
Continuous subscription and usage of social media outlets and digital platforms coupled with consumer purchasing power result in a very attractive market in terms of scalability.
HungerStation is a local company eight years in the market that secured investments through local and global networks and grew to be a market leader in the MENA region.
Communication with the local customer base is built-in in the core of all of our marketing efforts by teams with the same local identities and understanding.
When a company employs a manufactured local marketing strategy, it’s destined to fail. HungerStation satisfies customer needs and provides the most efficient and innovative tech solutions to people in Saudi Arabia from people in Saudi Arabia. That’s the key.
2. What is the importance of data and data analytics?
Data is a currency that only holds value when monitored, analysed and used for organisational business development. So the importance of data today is undoubtedly clear to anyone in the e-commerce or digital services business.
With an abundance of data that flows from and to different platforms, commercial companies have an opportunity to optimise all business aspects, whether it’s operational or otherwise.
Entities that are data-driven utilise their data continuously with analysis to drive short and long term goals and objectives; this gives these entities an edge against all competitors.
3. Can you give us up to 3 instances where and how you have used data inputs to better your marketing strategies?
In Hungerstation, we design our services based on our customers and partners needs by providing custom made solutions that achieve a valuable and happy customer experience.
That said, we regularly collect customer and partner satisfaction unique datasets through dedicated software platforms and measure it against global benchmarks then set our goals higher than the global standards.
These datasets show us what our customers love and want, which is then implemented in our marketing strategies. This could be as small as a colour of user interface or as launching a new city location, for example.
4. Hungerstation’s performance can have a significant impact on a customer and their opinion about a restaurant and their food. How do you balance delivering exceptional CX to both?
We proudly cater to both customers and partners (restaurants) simultaneously; however, both partners and Hungerstation have a common goal which is delivering the best food and the best customer experience, which creates a great synergy.
When customers communicate their opinions about the food or the menu, we work closely with our partners to provide what customers need.
This is evident in our huge selection of partners (18,000 points of sale) and Hungerstation only menu items across the platform.
5. What are the current challenges marketing teams face in the region with regards to digitisation and innovation technologies?
Well, assuming that the majority of commercial marketing teams are not as well established or financed as Hungerstation’s team, most SMEs find access to market data very challenging in general which is very critical to the business and marketing particularly. This could be because of the cost of marketing technology or the lack of access to open data sources to implement into their strategies.
Innovation can’t be bought with software; however, software could be a great tool for innovative ideas to materialise faster.
6. How important is collaboration between Marketing and Other Departments Heads of Technology and Finance?
Collaborative environments are essential across all departments. For marketing, departments are at the forefront of communication with customers and their reaction to marketing efforts such as digital campaigns.
When a customer reacts positively to a specific element of marketing, it’s only natural that marketing would focus on this element more and dig deeper.
For example, if a newly added feature to an online eCommerce platform generated more customer traction, collaborative work environment would necessitate that marketing team shares insights and suggestions for product and tech teams to implement similar products (backed up by data) that in theory would increase customer traction.
This case is also valid for finance and operations models, and this is how, for example, Hungerstation is known in the market with seamless user experience and affordable food delivery.
7. What are some of the upcoming marketing trends in the region that excite you?
There are a couple of exciting trends, but for me, especially growth hacking tops the cake. When marketeers think of growth hacking, they get extremely creative however chances of growth are still slim due to lack of smart built in house software. But when growth hacking is powered by big data, predictive analysis and high volume low-cost marketing experimentation that is digital, chances are higher.
This is why growth hacking is not only a marketing effort but also tech development that needs to be part of the business strategy that, when done right is a game-changer.