D2C Marketing

Building Blocks for Website Business

Parasar Sarma is the ex-VP-Growth at Wakefit. He is an amazing growth marketer who, with his level of knowledge and expertise, has been a key contributor to the success stories of many brands.

What is the first thing you want your customers to do when they come across your brand? Be it from paid ads or any other marketing strategy, as a D2C brand, your goal would always be to direct them to your website. 

But, is your website strong enough to hold that much traffic? Is it appealing enough to capture the attention of your audience till they reach the checkout page? Is it fast enough to guide them through before they change their mind?

According to a recent article, “47% of customers generally expect a maximum of 2 seconds for a website page to load.” This means that your website has to tick all the above boxes so as to convert your potential customers to lifelong buyers. 

Getting your customers to the website is a struggle but making them stay is what resembles the real challenge.

This week, we had the opportunity to listen to Mr. Parasar Sarma, ex- VP – Growth at Wakefit, who answered the above questions, put down ways and strategies on how D2C brands can scale their websites, share valuable insights about CRO and much more. 

Listed below are some of his many learnings from the session:

Key elements for website scale:

Though every website is unique in its own way, there are certain elements that are important for all. Now that you know the “WHY” of website scaling, let’s move forward to the “WHAT” part. 

What are the key elements that are a must-have for every website? How many have you already implemented and how many have you missed?

  1. Navigation & structure – It’s very crucial that when a new user lands on your website, with or without the context of your products, he gets a very distinct structure of navigation. As a D2C brand, if you have a set of categories and sub-categories, guiding your customer throughout their website journey is very beneficial. 
  1. Design – Nowadays, most of the products are discovered on mobile phones. 

 As per an article, “57% of users say that they are most likely to not recommend a brand if its website is poorly designed on mobile.” 

Whenever you are creating your website, make sure it is both desktop and mobile optimized.

  1. SEO hygiene – SEO is an inevitable part of marketing that needs to start its course from the very beginning. It is a door to a sea of opportunities (in our case, customers) that needs its sweet little time to unlock. But when it finally does, the quality of customers that it will get you will be the best of the lot.
  1. Product story – What makes a customer trust you? How can you make your approach a bit personal so that it doesn’t seem like a sales pitch?

The answer to all these questions is your story. When you bare a piece of your heart to your customer, they feel connected with you. They start trusting your brand and push them to be your loyal buyers. A product story is one of the key anchors of website scaling.

  1. Upsell & Cross-sell – When you are buying traffic at a cost, you need to capitalize on every customer. For eg, when a customer is buying an X product, you need to show him that there is also a Y product available. 

They might not need it at the moment but the combo will be beneficial for them.

  1. Social proof – If you have built a new site or are not present in marketplaces, then it is important for you to have some kind of social proof. You need to publish the publications you are covered by, how does your social media community work, what does your old customers talk about, etc. 

 These are the basic things you need to have to get an outlook of increasing your conversions. 

Home & product page:

The home page is the first page your user sees when they land on your website. Always try to show all your offers and discounts on the home page. Customers are more likely to increase their stay with a list of offers in front of them.

The product pages consist of all your products and services. The key elements that every product page should have are:

  1. Feature image 
  2. Gallery/product photos 
  3. Product overview, title, price, features, CTA’s, customization (if any)
  4. Product description 
  5. Reviews 
  6. Upsell & cross-sell 
  7. Chat & click to call 

Key enablers for conversion improvisation: 

Your product is obviously the main lead of your brand, but there are many other factors that a customer considers when buying a product. It is very crucial that you understand all these factors to enhance your conversion and the customer’s experience. 

Some of the key enabling factors are:

  • Delivery timelines based on pin code search.
  • Building product or service-led benefits on the website – like 100 days free trials/custom order.
  • Personalization around product selection & usability.
  • Reviews/ Pricing/payment gateway flow in detail. 

Make sure you keep all these points in check while designing your next product page.

Improve live traffic conversion with or without any automation tool – 

You might have a lot of traffic coming in from paid ads on Google and Facebook but the conversion rates are too low compared to that.

So, how do you convert these window shoppers into real-time customers?

Some of the ways to improve these live traffic conversions are:

  1. Run surveys for product learnings from non-buyers without incentivization. 
  2. Run banners to increase on-page conversion – reviews, delivery, etc.
  3. Touchbase bounce traffic (non-buyers) through automated flows. – 
  4.  Notification/emails/SMS
  5. Personalization of content based on the previous visits. 

Reviews library on the website In-depth 

Reviews are the most critical lever to improve your conversion rate. The first thing a user does when coming across a product is check its reviews. They want to know from real people about their customers with your product. 

Present a list of the following elements on your website:

  1. Review library from Amazon, Flipkart, Google, etc.
  2. Neutral presentation of all reviews from 0 rating to 5-star rating. 
  3. Influence only stacking of reviews for videos & images as first.
  4. Notify new reviews for the SKU’s to the non-buyers. 
  5. Filters to the user in order to reach the right reviews.

Pricing/Payment Flows –

As a D2C brand, your primary focus will always be your website. You might list your products on various marketplaces but your end goal is to always drive substantial traffic to your website. 

One of the most important levers of any product is Price. One of the ways you can maintain and drive more traffic to your website is by keeping your price lower there as compared to Amazon and other places. 

Some of the tricks you can use are:

  1. Try to have the lowest pricing on the website comparing market places.
  2. Its imp to show multiple layers of pricing discount – MRP to special pricing.
  3. Multiple payment gateways health & success is the key – use aggregator layers to optimize. 
  4. New payment platforms/modes unlock a new set of user bases – BNPL etc.

We are so thankful to our expert for conducting such a valuable session. 

Want to be a part of such sessions in the future? Join our next cohort:

D2C Marketing

21 Immutable Laws of Digital Growth for D2C Brands

Prathamesh Dembla is the Head of Growth at Licious – Born to Meat. He is the best person to guide D2C Founders in their journey of growth and has been doing the same, helping many brands build their business.

Why do mothers pester their children to drink milk every day when they are young? Why do your seniors challenge you with new tasks every day? Why, as a Founder, do you push your brand to try new horizons and prepare them for every possible outcome? 

The answer to all the above questions will be one & the same: GROWTH.

Be it for your development or your brand’s, consistent growth has always been the key factor we strive towards. As Founders, our brand is like a child to us and their steady and speedy growth is what we want for them.

We had the privilege to have Mr. Prathamesh Dembla, Head of Growth at Licious – Born to meat, who walked our cohort through his journey at Licious, shared his insights about various revenue models and most importantly, put forward the 21 Key Principles Of Growth as listed below: 

  1. Organic is dead on Facebook (& Instagram soon): In your initial stages, organic returns may work wonders for your brand. But with time, organic growth has the tendency to reach a saturation point. As a Founder, investing too much time & focus on organic might not be a good idea.
  1. Video is the future: According to an article in Hootsuite, “People spend billion hours worth of time watching videos on Youtube every day”. Today, the whole content platform is shifting to videos and that should be enough motivation for you to start investing in videos. 
  1. Digital Marketing is driven by video: The main three types of content that we focus on are Text, Images, and Videos. On one hand, where texts content generally depends on the search terms of the audience and images get to showcase only half of our brand story, videos eliminate the pain points of both and get us the best possible results. 
  1. Influencer Marketing is useless (unless you are in Fashion or Cosmetics or operating at a 75% Gross Margin): Though Influencer Marketing has created quite a stir in the marketing world, it has been noticed time and again that it might not be as useful for most of the industries. 

For fashion and cosmetics, it might hit the target once in a while but it should not consume much of your brand’s capital and time. 

  1. Affiliates – Can be your Worst Enemy: Affiliates can be your friend or your enemy depending on how you pursue it. As a Founder or as a Marketer, you need to stay aware of 3 important red flags when working with them, namely:
  • If it is more than 10% of Marketing spends.
  • You are working with more than 5 Affiliates.
  • They claim to scale your brand faster than Google.

       If you noticed any of these red flags in your affiliate marketing strategy, think again.  

 6. Ideal mix of channels: When you are at an early stage of your product-market fit, around 70-80% of your returns will be organic with 20-30% from paid advertising. As you grow, the mix of both organic and paid will start to reach a midpoint with both of them generating around 40-50% returns.

7. Lookalike audiences work best on FB: For any D2C Founder, 2 types of audiences work typically well namely, Lookalikes and engaged shoppers. Engaged Shoppers are those who have made an online purchase in the past 7 days. 

Make sure to always target at least 1% of both these types of audiences in your Facebook Marketing Strategy.

8. Emailers are not dead – Newsletters come with 10%+ Open Rates:  Don’t stop investing in your emailers or start investing if you haven’t yet. Email Marketing is kind of that ignored kid in school that no one expects much from but does wonders when given the right opportunity. 

4 things to keep in mind when working with emailers are:

• Keep Testing subject lines

• Be Consistent – every Thursday / Saturday

• Keep replies open

• Founders should write to consumers

9. Don’t go for Big Creative Agencies for the Brand Story – best videos are created at less than Rs.1 Lakh/video: No one knows your brand better than you, so no one else can tell its story better than you. Instead of paying agencies huge chunks of your capital, make 4-5 small videos in-house and some of them are bound to get you amazing results.

10. Vernacular Communication matters when your core audience is in AP, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala: Only and only invest in vernacular communication if your core audience lies in any of the mentioned states. You will notice the following upgrades in your returns soon enough:

• View Rates – at least 2X – 3X

• CTR – at least 2X

• CAC – less by 30% +

• Local Influencer is a must

11. Get your Ad Accounts – Google, Facebook Whitelisted for key features: There are some of the key features you should get whitelisted in your Ad Accounts to get better returns, namely:

• Running Video Only App Campaigns on YouTube

• 20 seconders Non-Skippable

• Performance Max Campaigns

• Instagram Shop integration

• Image Extensions in Search Ads

12. Videos in Digital Brand Marketing: You read how important videos are but how exactly are you going to execute it? Follow the steps below for a detailed view of how you can apply video marketing in your strategy:

• Lead with 20 seconder Non-Skippables, Build Recall with 6 


• Add the Google Play store link / Website Link

• 20 seconders – 3-5 frequency, and 6 seconders – 3 to 5 


• CPUR (TV) more than 15 times CPUR (Digital)

13. Beyond 20 sec, Video Length does not matter: Try to convey most of your brand story in the first 20 seconds of the video. As the 20 seconds will be non-skippable, it will be your greatest weapon to get your story conveyed to your target audience.

14. Branding Impact Analysis: If you are planning to run a campaign specifically on Branding, there are 6 metrics you can use to measure its success:

• First-click attributed ROI

• Spike in Brand Search Volume

• E-Commerce conversion rate of new users

• Spike in CTRs for Non-Brand Searches (Brand Recall)

• Control Experiments Analyses

• Reduction in Avg. Sales Cycle duration

15. Check out DCO (Dynamic Creative Optimizations) + 25% higher CTRs: DCO offers personalized ads to its viewers based on their interests, behavioral aspects, etc. It has worked very well for Licious and it is an area you as a D2C brand should definitely explore. 

16. Traffic is expensive, Conversion has a higher ROI: Instead of focusing on bringing more traffic to your website, work on converting the ones that have already walked to your door. Keep checking the following metrics to get a better understanding of your conversions:

• Click to Sessions

• Sessions to Check-out

• Check-out to Order

• Time spent

• Conversion Rate

17. Keep track of the Facebook Quality Score: Facebook takes anonymous feedback from your customers’ basis which gives you a quality score. If your score goes below 2, then your ads will come under penalty and your CPMs will increase. Keeping track of those is a must to make sure you don’t fall below the minimum score.

18. Invest in SEO from day 1: Start investing in SEO from the start. It will not get you the results from day one but the day it will, the ROI will be so good that you will get most of your organic business from there. 

19. Use of Dynamic Ads on Facebook: If you are from Retail/eCommerce, Travel, Real Estate, or Automotive, do make use of Dynamic ads on Facebook. It has a very Integrated Approach and provides better solutions for your brands.

20. Audience Creation for Website Users: You can create “Audience Cohorts” on Facebook for people who have visited your website, added products to the cart or viewed your products in the last 30 days. This will help you in retargeting that audience. 

Make sure your Google Analytics and your Adwords are directly in link and the events are passing through correctly because as much data you are providing them, it’s moving to automation. As you provide more information, your CPC should come down by 20-30%

21. Key Metrics to Check: After executing all the above learnings, what are the metrics to check how well they are working for your brand?

Listed below are some of the key metrics you should check:

• Click to Session to Goal Completion – Across Source / Medium

• Checkout to Order Ratio

• GA to CRM Transactions

• FB Ads – New To Retargeting Sessions

• New to Repeat Customers

• Conversion per impression

• Search Impression Share

• Account Base Selling Top of Page %

Our expert shared all these learnings and much more with our cohort members, guiding them to the right path in their growth journey. Leading the growth team of Licious for quite some time now, he has been a true sport and helped many of our cohort members with their growth models.

Click here to join our next cohort for many such learnings:

D2C Marketing

The organic way to grow your D2C brand.

You must have heard of , right?

Launched by IITians Prabhkiran Singh and Siddharth Munot, Bewakoof’s quirky, funny, out-of-the-box Tshirt, phone covers etc.  with messaging inspired by regional Indian language references saw it establishing an instant connect with the young India.

If anything, its organic following of 5.7 million fans across Facebook and Instagram that it enjoys today is a direct indication of the popularity that the brand enjoys with its target audience.

Bewakoof is aiming to increase its total subscribers, which is currently reported to be 150,000, to 1 million in the next 2 years. Furthermore, it is also looking to achieve sales worth Rs 2,000 crores in the next 4 years.

What is the secret to this growth?!

Their website attracts a huge traffic -around 2.5 million a month- and  around 37 percent  of that comes from direct traffic of the brand and the rest( the majority)  is organic !

What do we mean by this organic traffic?

 It is basically the  number of visitors coming from search engine results (as opposed to a paid source of traffic).

What does this coveted  organic traffic mean for your brand? I mean why bother about it?

If anyone tries to tell you building organic traffic is easy, don’t listen to them. With that being said, it’s also the greatest investment of time and effort you can make.

Basketball Wives Growth GIF by VH1

In the days of Facebook promoted posts and Google AdWords, the instant gratification of shelling out a few bucks for immediate traffic is highly appealing. But it’s not sustainable. You’ll get traffic now, but what happens when you stop paying? Will your content ever be found again?

Organic traffic means the content you put on your website today will drive traffic tomorrow, next month, next year, and probably even several years from now. That’s why it’s worth the effort.

The most obvious benefit of organic search traffic is a cost advantage. Pay-per-click ads are guaranteed to put your company’s links in front of potential site visitors. But over time, the amount of cash you’ll spend on click-throughs can add up. Once you have implemented sound SEO principles, the cost-per-click for organic search traffic is zero, giving your company an edge over competitors who are trapped in a pay-per-click universe.

Organic traffic is also important because it is targeted. Users visiting your website from a search engine’s organic results have a very specific intent and if you can provide them with a solution or answer to their question, they are more likely to convert.

But how do we make organic traffic work for your brand?

Here are a few things to keep in mind-

  1. Build Epic Cornerstone Content
Grow Black Lives Matter GIF by Shalita Grant

When we say quality content, we aren’t talking hastily-written, 100-word blog posts, either. Instead, we’re talking go-to, epic content that stands head and shoulders above your competition.

  1. Scope Out the Competition

Epic content is epic for a reason: it’s the best of the best of the best! But you won’t be able to create the go-to resource for your topic if you aren’t able to answer the following questions:

  • What resources already exist?
  • What do they cover?
  • And most importantly, can you create something better?

The easiest way to answer these questions is to scope out the competition. 

social media followers GIF by The Orchard Films
  1. Use the power of social media-

If you’re relying solely on search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to help you boost organic traffic, you’re missing out on other valuable methods that will help you drive more traffic. Social media marketing provides another great opportunity to drive users to your site by linking to blog posts or article pages.

Bewakoof and many other D2C brands are using the power of organic traffic to scale .

Improving your organic traffic to acquire customers doesn’t have to be A Challenge.

There is of course much more to decode when it comes to organic traffic growth and D2C marketing.

Which is why we have gotten top experts from leading D2C brands – mamaearth,wakefit,man matters and so on – to help you scale at your org!

Apply to be on the waitlist for our next D2C marketing cohort and leverage their insights for boosting your career! 

D2C Marketing

Perfecting Branding at your D2C Company.

When we meet someone in real life, we ask for their name and ask questions to get to know them better. We listen to their anecdotes, ideas, opinions, and beliefs. We try to unearth their story, and to tell our own.The end goal is to connect. 

In D2C marketing and business, the rules don’t really change. Telling your story is a critical part of building your brand. It helps to shape how people view you and enables consumers to begin forging a connection with you and your company. Do it right, and you’ll put building blocks in place that allow you to develop a thriving brand with an equally thriving future, one that people buy from simply because they love what you do, what you stand for, and the stories you share.

Starting with the basics-

A great brand name is not just something that looks cool on your business card or is fun to say. And it isn’t great because you like it. It’s great because it communicates something to customers.

As branding pro Marty Neuemier says in The Brand Gap, “The need for good brand names originates with customers, and customers will always want convenient ways of identifying, remembering, discussing, and comparing brands. The right name can be a brand’s most valuable asset, driving differentiation and speeding acceptance.”

But choosing the right brand name can be exhausting, infuriating, and thrilling. The D2C Giant Warby Parker’s Cofounder Neil Blumenthal says it took his team six months and 2,000+ options to find the perfect name.

Fist Pump Success GIF

To set your brand up for long-term success, you need the right brand name. 

Follow our simple guide to find yours quickly and easily.While there is no magic formula, there are common traits that make a brand name easier for you to use and easier for other people to remember. 

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind according to experts who have been there, done that –

  1. It should be easy to pronounce,identify and memorize
  • Like Snackible- it’s crisp and catchy !
  1. It should give an idea about the product’s benefits and qualities.
  1. Ensure domain name for the same is available.
  1. It should suggest product/service category.

Nike. Coca Cola. Levis. Disney. AirBnB.

These brand names alone conjure vivid images of who they are and what they stand for—and these brands all have incredibly passionate audiences to boot.

That’s in part because each of these companies has a genuine brand story. A brand story conveys the history, purpose, and values of a business in a narrative that resonates with consumers and makes audiences feel emotionally connected.

John Stamos Wtf GIF by Lifetime

So,naming your brand is just the tip of the iceberg .

Lets stick to the D2C Giant- Warby Parker

The Warby Parker catalog may only include two main categories – eyeglasses and sunglasses – but they’ve become an ecommerce success in the nine years since they debuted because of the stories they tell.

Their self-proclaimed lofty objective? “To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially-conscious businesses.” That’s practically a story unto itself. And they share plenty of other stories that lay bare exactly how they’re doing it.

Mother Earth World GIF by eyedesyn

Their “How Warby Parker glasses are made” page offers a behind-the-scenes peek at a pair of glasses from design through manufacturing, including background on supplies and suppliers.

The main material? Plant-based cellulose acetate.

The personal touch? Every pair is assembled and polished by hand.

A socially-conscious business? For every pair of Warby Parker glasses sold, they give a pair to someone in need via charitable partners around the globe. To date, they’ve given away more than 5 million pairs.

That’s a story we can all feel good about supporting.

It’s no secret that consumers are looking online for many of their shopping needs. With the click of a mouse, anyone can have a car delivered straight to their home, groceries stocked in their refrigerator shelves, and more. Direct-to-consumer brands are continuing to innovate and evolve to attract and retain loyal customers. Despite the latest trends, one thing remains true: brand storytelling is a constant part of the D2C marketing evolution.

Marketers are aware of the power of branding and storytelling; however, they’re still grasping at straws when it comes to it. 

That’s why at Xpert we have got India’s top growth experts from leading companies to help you learn and decode growth strategies for your D2C brand!

Apply to be on the waitlist for our next D2C Marketing Bootcamp and get to learn from leading experts from successful D2C brands like MyGlamm,WakeFit and so on!

D2C Marketing




Episode 1 Mind Blown GIF by The Office

This is the very first and, quite obviously, the most important step when starting out on your D2C journey.

No matter how long you’ve been an entrepreneur, launching a business has never been more difficult. Here’s a quick look at the 2020 online landscape:

  • Competition is fierce,
  • Product markets are saturated, and
  • Consumers are demanding convenience more than ever before.

That is where the D2C business model comes to the rescue and helps make the most of this.

 But before you begin to brainstorm the design and experience of your D2C brand, or even your company’s name, you’ll need to choose what products to sell and create your own niche!

This is definitely not the hardest thing to check off on your to-do list compared to the others. One of the bigger lessons the Internet has taught us is that a ‘niche’ is a lot bigger than anyone ever thought.

Heard of the Bombay Shaving Company ?

Selling a shaving kit to men for Rs.3000 was unheard of until the Bombay Shaving Company, a D2C startup, disrupted the market.

They definitely got the finding your niche bit right. The company specializes in men’s grooming, personal care, shaving, beard grooming, skincare, and handmade soaps and mainly cater to men. This D2C startup took a seemingly everyday product and a mundane ritual like shaving and transformed it into a niche that is unique!

But it’s okay if you don’t hit the product jackpot right away. The beauty of D2C is that you can go wrong a few times and experiment till you finally land on your product, target audience, marketing strategy and so on !

And the beauty of the Internet is there’s a niche market for everything, and if you can focus on it, you can build a sustainable and viable business of it.

So how can we approach this crucial decision that every entrepreneur has to make?

  1. Identify or create a product that solves a very specific problem. 

Wakefit is a great example. This D2C startup offers premium mattresses at affordable prices to solve all your sleep issues.

When the founder ,Ankit Garg, experienced the journey of buying a mattress through the traditional business model, he realized that there was no innovation in the product that was being sold; it was highly overpriced and the sales representatives of retail stores had no knowledge of the science of sleep. This sparked the drive to change the way Indians accessed sleep products in the country.

The Daily Show Lol GIF by The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

And now they are on track to clock a revenue of Rs 410 crore in FY21!

  1. Fall back on what you are passionate about or have enough knowledge about.

Tip- You can even look at the products you have bought as a consumer in the last 6 months.

This is what happened for Mamaearth, yet another huge D2C success story.When Ghazal Alagh and Varun Alagh, the founders, were expecting their baby, they wanted to ensure that they could do everything to keep their baby safe. Like any other caring parent, the two browsed the internet, searching for do’s and don’ts for the little one and also what products they can buy to pamper their bundle of joy.

But they were shocked to see the results. Not a single product was available in the market that matched the safety standards – driving the duo to create a brand by a parent for a parent: Mamaearth.

  1. Hop on trends, viral product categories and figure out a differentiator in your idea. 

Like mCaffeine- India’s first hair and skin care brand with caffeine-infused products.The founder says that the reason they chose personal care was that there weren’t many new age brands for younger consumers today. And now they are eyeing Rs. 700 Cr in revenue in FY2024!

MCaffeine opts for simplest and basic influencer marketing strategy to  promote new product range

Also think about why should a consumer purchase your product over your competitors ?

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind –

1.Finding a product that solves a problem is not the only hurdle to cross , you also have to make it either exciting or affordable.

2. Add a feature to it that your competitors lack.

3. You can simplify choice –  lower selection may seem counterintuitive but for the initial launch narrow down on the 1-5 key product offerings  & focus on launching that.
It will help you save on manufacturing costs as well as optimize marketing and get focused about your USP to consumers !

Found this interesting?

Then apply to be on the waitlist for our next D2C Marketing Bootcamp and get to learn from leading growth experts at successful D2C brands like MamaEarth, MyGlamm,WakeFit and so on!

Growth Marketing

Identifying your Company’s North Star Metric

Heard of Spotify, right?

It has been in the music business for a while, but they have also started pushing into the growing podcast space. 

For driving growth for this new “product”, they focussed on “average # of followed podcasts”. This metric would look at how many podcasts a user follows, which has an assumption that following a podcast is a stronger show of interest than simply playing an episode.

While for their music, they would focus on “Time Spent Listening”

This metric that organisations focus on for growth is nothing but your NORTH STAR METRIC.

It is the PRIMARY OUTCOME that HAS to grow to call our growth strategies a success.

Airbnb’s North Star Metric is “nights booked”. This captures value delivered to both guests and hosts. Facebook’s NSM is “Daily Active Users”. With more users on the Facebook platform, the team is able to optimize everyone’s feed to deliver more value to users.

Optimizing your efforts to grow this metric is key to driving sustainable growth across your full customer base. It helps teams move beyond driving fleeting, surface-level growth to instead focus on generating long-term retained customer growth.

So North Star Metric or NSM is the single metric that best captures the core value that your product delivers to customers.

But there could be many of these for your org. How do we know our NSM is THE metric to focus on for growth?

  • Your NSM should ideally impact your entire funnel. It should focus on all growth levers-Acquisition, Activation,Retention and Monetisation.
  • If it’s just increasing the numbers for your acquisition team, its not the best NSM for you.

But there is more to it.

Let’s take the case of an online learning platform that has, say, identified “No. of Daily Live Classes” as their North Star Metric. They focussed all efforts on driving this number up.


Acquisition: More organic views because of longer time duration, multiple instances, etc

Activation: More sign-ups as more branding will occur

Retention: More people will retain as due to engagement churn rate will drop

Monetization: More visibility of paid offers

But this approach to North Star Metric is still incomplete…

It misses the measurement of three elements:

  • Value your consumers get (Core Value Prop)
  • Quality of Value
  • Frequency of Value

Now consider the NSM- 

Number of Daily Classes Taken Per Member Per Week

This is a good NSM for the org as it measures all the 3 elements-

  • Value consumers get (Core Value Prop) – Number of Classes Taken Per Member
  • Quality of Value – Classes taken /Per Member
  • Frequency of Value – Per Week

Obviously, there is more to this concept than this. 

Want to explore further and decode more growth strategies with experts at leading companies and startups in India?

Then, you are a perfect fit for our next cohort.

Here’s more info about the program, if you’re curious :

Harneet Bhalla, Program Director at Xpert
He leads Growth at Glance|ex-1mg. He has empowered more than 5 Fortune 500 companies, multiple start-ups, celebrities and thousands of others through his growth marketing insights. Has been an active speaker at various forums and conferences including TEDx GLAU and IIT Bombay. Featured on a number of podcasts across USA, UK, Canada and India.
Growth Marketing

Powering your retention tactics with customer engagement

Why do you think Amazon shows you recommendations of exactly what you might need, based on your past purchases, right when you open their app?

Hint-It drives existing customers to the products that they are most likely to want, need and buy.

Fun Fact: 35% of Amazon’s revenue comes from its recommendation engine.

Why do you think Starbucks came up with their rewards programs that help customers earn free food and drinks, place and pay for their orders, and receive personalized offers? 

Hint-It encourages customers to return by giving them discounts, exclusive access, or special offers.

Why do you think Hubspot came up with Hubspot Academy or Canva came up with Canva Design School?

Hint-They provide resources, how-to guides, and step-by-step videos that help customers use their product as well as hone their skills.

In short, all these are tactics used by organisations to RETAIN USERS. 

Because guess what’s better than acquiring one new customer?

It sounds like a trick question, but the answer isn’t “acquiring two customers.” It’s actually retaining an existing customer.


  • Retaining a customer is 10 times cheaper than acquiring a new customer. 
  • However, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can boost your profits by 25% to 95%! 
  • Existing customers are 50% more likely than new customers to try new products

As a growth guy, you know that encouraging customers to return is easier said than done.

Here are few things to keep in mind when framing a sound retention strategy –

  • One of the keys to improving your customer retention rate is understanding the underlying metrics. And the only metric you should focus on is ENGAGEMENT-as it is what drives Retention, not the other way round. 
  • This is why Swiggy sends you push notifications at 5pm for an evening cuppa …their goal is to keep you ENGAGED!
  • All your retention levers are ULTIMATELY your engagement levers.

Then HOW can we improve ENGAGEMENT?


The best companies with infrequent use cases develop other, more frequent use cases to stay top of your mind.

Why do you think KFC came up with the Wednesday offers? Or BookMyShow came out with their streaming feature in the pandemic?


Why do you think Amazon has the Frequently Bought together feature?


Uber does so by notifying you whenever prices are low for rides so that you don’t consider other options.


Orgs can have multiple feature offerings. Amazon has fresh, prime, alexa….Not all amazon customers use all these, but they keep you engaged by connecting all their features to each other. Amazon Music on alexa…alexa ad once you open amazon and so on.

Found this exciting?

Want to decode more growth strategies with experts at leading companies and startups of India?

Then, you are a perfect fit for our next cohort.

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Harneet Bhalla, Program Director at Xpert
He leads Growth at Glance|ex-1mg. He has empowered more than 5 Fortune 500 companies, multiple start-ups, celebrities and thousands of others through his growth marketing insights. Has been an active speaker at various forums and conferences including TEDx GLAU and IIT Bombay. Featured on a number of podcasts across USA, UK, Canada and India.
Growth Marketing

Breaking down Positioning

Why do you think a cup of coffee at Starbucks can rob you of 300 rupees while you wouldn’t pay more than Rs. 30 for probably much better tasting cuppa at the nearest street shop even in your wildest dream?

Alos, thinking of exclusivity, luxury and elegance in technology?

Apple immediately comes to mind, doesn’t it ? 

This is where positioning comes in.Positioning equals setting the context for the product. It basically defines how your product is a leader at delivering something that a well defined set of customers cares a lot about.

 It should provide the customer clues to the following imminent questions-

·       What is the product?

·       Who is it for?

·       Why should they even care for it?

Let’s also explore what positioning is NOT about. And this might make the MBA peeps furious.

1.    Tag Line

2.    Point of View

3.    Vision

4.    Brand

5.    Messaging

6.    “Marketing”

7.    GTM Strategy

Positioning is not just a marketing or sales strategy; positioning is a business strategy. It identifies what market segment you’re competing in and the customer expectations in that segment, which will help you develop your best go-to-market strategy.

It is simply a process of how to best communicate your organization’s unique attributes to your target customers based on their needs and to counter competitive pressures.

It means making your already happy customers even happier!

Speaking of happiness…when talking about positioning, Coca-Cola is a pioneer.No wonder that the company has been able to survive for more than 125 years. The brand has always tried to bring out the value of happiness, friendship, joy, and sharing to position itself in the market. This has helped to promote engagement in consumers and in turn encouraged them to share happy experiences and moments.

How do we go about positioning, then?

It is clearly an important task for engineering growth. Here is how you can approach it –

1. Figure out your competitive alternatives

If you didn’t exist, what would your customers use?

2.    Find your unique attributes.

What features do you have that your competitors lack?

3.    Discover the value you are unlocking.

What value do the identified attributes enable for the customers?

4.    Identify the customers who care.

Who will appreciate the value that you are adding?

5.    Decide on the market segment you want to win over.

What context makes your value obvious to the target customers?

Here is a glimpse of what Harneet Bhalla, Senior Manager Growth Marketing at Glance, had to say on overcoming positioning in an org-

 Most of the time you’re in the middle of the org and not at the CEO level. 

So there is an existing point of view on positioning and a growth model. To bring in change and growth,here is how you can start off in order to influence leadership to factor in your goals-

  •  Ask questions to the leadership–what do they feel could be a positioning statement
  •  Arrange qualitative interviews with customers–ask them what they use your product for, who they feel are your competitors.
  • Use the gap between the answers from the leadership and the consumers to start a conversation about why the take on positioning needs to be revised.
  • Then you can pitch how you want to bridge the gap .

This is just a snippet of what you can learn by joining our growth marketing bootcamp .

Apply now to join the upcoming cohort & talk with leading experts from top companies, decode growth strategies and allow those conversations to boost your career in the right direction!

Harneet Bhalla, Program Director at Xpert
He leads Growth at Glance|ex-1mg. He has empowered more than 5 Fortune 500 companies, multiple start-ups, celebrities and thousands of others through his growth marketing insights. Has been an active speaker at various forums and conferences including TEDx GLAU and IIT Bombay. Featured on a number of podcasts across USA, UK, Canada and India.
Growth Marketing

Are you missing User Activation in the process of Growth?

Think about the time when you signed up for LinkedIn. 

Didn’t they push you continuously to keep adding contacts to your profile, fill in the about section, the achievements column, grow your network and so on for “making your profile more visible to recruiters”?

Or think back on when you finally gave in and downloaded the Zomato App… And “get 50 percent off on the first order” made you order the pizza even if you didn’t want it!

As a growth marketer, your job isn’t just acquiring customers and getting them to visit your website/download the app, your Job Description goes beyond that.

It also includes activating your users – which is taking a user from downloading your app/visiting your website to actually consuming the value of your product.

Clearly, while Activation may sound like simply activating a user account, it’s a lot more than just clicking a link in a confirmation email.

Go back to the old adage- 

20% of your customers are responsible for 80% of your sales.

Following this statement, you might feel like you are ignoring something- because YOU ARE. You are focusing on that 20% set majorly. For this 20%, your customer activation strategy must be prim and proper.

Now, a lot of organisations struggle with activation because they don’t have focused activation efforts in place.

They mostly have teams optimizing acquisition and retention, and the activation in between remains forgotten. But Successful growth marketers don’t just grow a larger user base; they build a highly engaged audience that will help to reduce churn, as well as increase the lifetime value of each individual user.

Then, when can we be positive that we have an ACTIVATED user?

What is the moment where you can say that the user is now ACTIVATED?

Let’s use a few examples.

Consider these 3 milestones: 

  1. Set up moment

The stage where you collect whatever information is necessary to make your user experience your product.

If we take 1Mg or Netmeds, for instance, the setup moment would be the first order which gives you the details of your consumer- address, preferences, etc.

(Yes, the first order is NOT equal to an activated user!)

  1. Aha moment

Place where your buyer suddenly sees the benefit they get from using your product, and says to themselves, “Wow! This is great!”. It’s also the moment where you have converted them into a fan who is likely to buy.

  • This Aha moment is often not a feature. But what that feature makes possible.
  • It conveys much more value than effort required – (i.e. they are Low Effort, High Value, or LEHV, activities)

Say for 1Mg – Aha moment could be when the medicines are delivered within 24 hours and your user didn’t have to step out. Or when one needs a particular painkiller urgently that is unavailable in the local pharmacies, but 1Mg has it.

For – it could be a call from a recruiter within 24 hours of your user signing up.

Define your AHA moment very carefully as you are competing with a lot of such AHA moments in the market.

  • Say for 1Mg,  the local chemist can deliver the medicines within an hour.
  • So choose wisely and decode how you want to deliver that AHA moment.

 This is a defining step in the Activation process and ensures you can deliver your AHA moment!

  1. Habit moment 

Think about how you immediately rush to the Amazon app on your phone when you need a random product…

Wanted medicines? Opened 1Mg immediately?

This is the stage where your product is a part of the user’s life.

For example – Calm,a meditation and mindfulness app, knew their product’s core value was helping people to learn and build a meditation practice.

 When they proactively prompted new users to set a daily reminder after completing their first meditation session, Calm saw a 3x increase in daily retention. They increased the success of their product by making it easier for their users to remember to use the app for its core product value and making it their HABIT.

If you make web or mobile products, you’re actually in the business of task management. You’re counting on your product to become a recurring part of your customers’ lives. In order to accomplish that, motivate your users to build a new habit.

After crossing these three milestones, you ultimately have an ENGAGED and ACTIVATED user for your organisations !

There is obviously much more to explore on this topic.

To do so and decode more such growth strategies for your org with leading experts at top companies-

Apply now to be in the waitlist for our next cohort!

And join our bootcamp with other marketers eager to learn together and boost their careers in GROWTH.

Harneet Bhalla, Program Director at Xpert
He leads Growth at Glance|ex-1mg. He has empowered more than 5 Fortune 500 companies, multiple start-ups, celebrities and thousands of others through his growth marketing insights. Has been an active speaker at various forums and conferences including TEDx GLAU and IIT Bombay. Featured on a number of podcasts across USA, UK, Canada and India.
Growth Marketing

Struggling with User Acquisition? Here’s the key…

Tasked with driving growth and acquiring customers?

Struggling and think you can do better? You are not alone.

Since you are a GROWTH GUY, let’s talk data…

57% of marketers say that customer acquisition is the most important part of their marketing expenditure and when asked to share their biggest hurdle for growth, nearly half pointed to the rising acquisition costs from online and social advertising networks

Now, as a Growth Marketer, you have many tools, tactics and strategies to help grow your business. But you need to decide where to invest the resources. This could include growing market share, increasing customer share of wallet or improving churn rates. 

But for many companies, acquisition tops the priority list.

And why shouldn’t it?

Doesn’t take an MBA to grasp that without new customers, a company will eventually grind to a halt.

 Businesses cannot survive or thrive by only focusing on their existing customers. 

Then you must also know that given the post-pandemic digital explosion, there’s access to more channels to reach and interact with customers than ever before. 

It’s never been easier to acquire new customers, but it’s also never been easier for your competition to take them away, either. 

That means you have to stay consistently on top of your game, despite the many challenges you face day to day.

On your sleepless nights, you must constantly think about these questions-

(If you aren’t, you should 🙂 )

  • How do we bring in new customers – or convince people to buy our products?
  • How do we then scale and gain lakhs of users? 
  • How can we make the process cost effective and easy to accomplish?
  • How do you prioritize which channel to use when & how, and for how long ?
  • How do you set up a process to drive and scale acquisition?

But when talking about user acquisition, growth marketers automatically get in the mode of running ads.

Sound familiar?

What’s the problem with running ads, you ask?

  •  It’s 2021. There is zero competitive edge to your secret mantra of google or Facebook Ads which form your “Acquisition Model” as there is no strategic angle to it which can’t be replicated in a jiffy by your competitors.
  • Every marketing team, from small startups to major corporations, understands the necessity of advertising on platforms like Google and Facebook. But as more and more companies advertise on those networks, it inevitably leads to higher costs.

And guess what? Higher costs are not translating into higher conversions.

  • Also, you end up ignoring the entire journey that a user goes through when an ad is shown to a prospect.
  • You don’t know how many ad impressions you will end up wasting your money on till your user finally transacts 

Sorry to burst your bubble.

Whether you’re a company of five or 5,000, having a roadmap for customer acquisition is a smart move.

But a solid customer acquisition strategy should be four things: SUSTAINABLE, FLEXIBLE, TARGETED, AND DIVERSIFIED.

 How can you develop the right acquisition model?

Sadly, there’s no silver bullet or magic incantation to capture customers.

But there is PLENTY to learn from experienced growth experts who have been there, done that.

Here are a few fundamental things to keep in mind according to experts for acquisition. 

By the end, you’ll have an idea of how to build an acquisition strategy so agile, it’ll withstand the test of time and ever-changing trends.


Acquisition Channels & their Dynamics

  • Understand that your consumers already have habits.
  •  Posting organically on social media may seem like shouting into a void, and with 3.8 billion active users. The key is accessing the right networks — and this all comes back to consumer habits.

They spend time on certain platforms for specific purposes. 

You don’t scroll on LinkedIn and find ads about the new Nike sneakers…if lucky, you might find ads for jobs at Nike. 

  • Every acquisition channel is built on top of these existing habits. So identify your consumer segments and their habits.

If you’re targeting an audience mostly comprised of men, Pinterest would have little value for you as only 14% of men use Pinterest.


The unfortunate thing with most acquisition models is that the question -TILL WHAT TIME DO WE USE THE CHANNEL? gets missed out on.

  • Ensure you know till what time to use the channels. If you don’t have a set end date for your acquisition campaign, you don’t have the right model set up as you need to monitor the derailment in consumer behaviour at regular intervals to remain sustainable.
  • Accept that You have no control over that channel & its dynamics. You can only exploit past learnings.
  • So,reduce the dependability on only ONE channel to build a real acquisition model.

Acquisition Channels & Products

  • Consumer’s attention keeps shifting, new habits are formed. A product needs to be evolved to fit a channel. NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. 
  • Forcing a product to a channel doesn’t work. Facebook games in desktop v/s facebook games in app. Desktop games on Facebook were extremely popular like Zynga’s Farmville. Seems like ages ago, right ? Because when users shifted from desktop to the app, the game didn’t evolve with this shift and now those games are history!Whenever a new acquisition channel comes into the market,

Go back to your org’s strategy and ASK:

  • Is it going to fundamentally shift my consumers’ behaviour?If yes, revamp your product to fit the channel to remain sustainable!

Acquisition Channels & Business Models

  • Choose channels that fit your models.
  • Identify your ARPU (Average Revenue Per Users)

Then compare that with your CAC( Customer Acquisition Cost)   and choose your channel.

  • If Low ARPU – You can afford Low CAC channels &  vice versa.
  • What worked for others MAY NOT work for you! Referral Strategy worked wonders for Airbnb given their ARPU and other parameters…..might not be the case for you.
  • Content companies keep their CAC in cents, v/s B2C companies which can afford 100-1000 CAC, B2B Sales can afford way higher than that.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building growth-oriented acquisition models.

To decode more such growth strategies for your org and scale acquisition with leading experts at top companies-

Apply now to be on the waitlist for our next cohort!

And join the growth marketing bootcamp with other marketers eager to learn together and boost their careers in GROWTH. Here’s the link to join the program and learn from growth experts who have created astonishing growth loops for their company:

Harneet Bhalla, Program Director at Xpert
He leads Growth at Glance|ex-1mg. He has empowered more than 5 Fortune 500 companies, multiple start-ups, celebrities and thousands of others through his growth marketing insights. Has been an active speaker at various forums and conferences including TEDx GLAU and IIT Bombay. Featured on a number of podcasts across USA, UK, Canada and India.