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Neha Singh is the Director of Marketing at BevSpot, a Boston-based company that builds online technology solutions for the food and beverage industry. She is also the CMO of Learn Bhangra, a dance and fitness company focused on bringing Bhangra to everyone. Her goal at every company is to generate brand awareness and convert interest into pipeline. 

Prior to BevSpot, she was the head of Business Marketing at Jana, a mobile advertising company focused on emerging markets. With $330 billion mobile advertising dollars expected to be spent in emerging markets by 2020, Neha believes it’s crucial for marketers to understand these markets and expand their strategies accordingly. 

She started her career in the non-profit sector, but soon switched to the digital advertising space as a B2B marketer for Undertone. She shifted agency side to OMD and served as the Marketing Sciences lead for FedEx providing actionable insights to influence their multi-channel marketing strategy. 

Whether it’s advertising in emerging markets, building relationships between Sales and Marketing, or utilizing data to back up marketing moves, Neha is up to chat about everything marketing. 

For somewhat interesting thoughts, rants, and epiphanies, you can follow Neha on Twitter: @nehaksingh

She will be live on Dec 7 starting at 930 AM PT for one and a half hours during which she will answer as many questions as possible.

  • JF

    Javier Feldman

    7 months ago #

    Hola, Neha.
    What is BevSpot's aha moment?
    What actions/steps have you optimized for to get trialers to this moment as quickly as possible?

    • NS

      Neha Singh

      7 months ago #

      Hola, Javier! For BevSpot, we know that if a customer takes at least one inventory through our platform, they’ll see the value in our product. This key action allows BevSpot to highlight errors in someone’s tracking, opportunities for improvement, and key performance metrics for customers. Ultimately, our goal is to give them a comprehensive look at the health of their business, so each action they take brings us closer to that goal.

      In order to get trialers closer to this moment or first action as quickly as possible, we’ve focused on strengthening the onboarding process for trialers. For instance, we’ve focused on developing drip campaign emails based on a user’s action or lack of action taken within the platform. As a result, we’re able to guide them through a clear onboarding flow with checklists, tips, and support. As a part of these emails and the general onboarding process for trialers, we’ve worked with the Client Education team to develop webinars to address the common questions and challenges customers run into as they start using BevSpot.
      We also use AppCues to time our in-app notifications to follow this flow, so even when they’re logged in, they receive the same reminders they see via email. Lastly, depending on the client, we have a Sales team that can help demo the product to free trial users, a Support team that can walk them through issues, and a Customer Success team that highlights the best ways to use BevSpot for their use case.

      In summary, it’s definitely a team effort with a lot of moving pieces!

      4 Share
  • SR

    Stéphane Recouvreur

    7 months ago #

    What has been successful strategies at BevSpot to build awareness within the food and beverage industry? And what strategy looked good on paper, but did not deliver as expected?

    • NS

      Neha Singh

      7 months ago #

      Despite being one of the largest industries, the food and beverage industry has been relatively slow to transition to the online space. As a result, we must engage individuals who have to focus on their bar/restaurant operations and may not have time to read our well-designed email or view our 15s preroll video on Facebook.

      At BevSpot, we’re constantly experimenting to figure out exactly how each channel can help us build awareness and/or drive conversions. For instance, happy hour time for an in-person event with our customer base does not always work, so brunch is a better idea. Overall though, content has been our best driver of traffic and awareness. We've focused a great deal of effort on developing relevant blog posts and resources for our audience. This has helped boost the amount of traffic we've seen from organic search and engage our audience without pushing our product.

      Additionally, adaptability has been key for our team. Our audience members may not have time to fill out a form that will nicely link to our automated drip campaign and trigger a notification to the sales team. This scenario is a great example of a strategy that looked good on paper, but didn’t deliver as expected. It’s natural to want to track as much as possible and form submissions are a great way to achieve that goal. However, our target constituent is one who won’t make it to that form and needs to be able to hit “reply all” to submit an RSVP or indicate they’re interested in our latest discount.

      3 Share
  • MD

    Mark Anthony de Jesus

    7 months ago #

    Hey Neha

    It was curious to me that you listed pricing almost all the way at the bottom of your product page vs having a distinct pricing page - which is more the norm.
    Was this a conscious decision to not have a dedicated pricing page? I'd love to learn more about the reasoning here.

    • NS

      Neha Singh

      7 months ago #

      Great question! We actually have a dedicated pricing page going live in the next week. It's extremely important to me that customers are able to find pricing information easily on the site. You're right, the current structure doesn't allow for that and frankly, is quite complicated. When I took over the team in early August, this was one of our main focuses along with renaming our pricing tiers to match industry norms, creating clear distinctions between each pricing tier, and including a pricing FAQ. Curious to hear your thoughts when we put the dedicated page live!

  • GH

    Glen Harper

    7 months ago #

    Thank you for joining us today, Neha.
    Given your insight into emerging markets, what do you think the biggest things companies in more mature markets tend to not anticipate (or get tripped up by) when trying to expand into these regions?

    • NS

      Neha Singh

      7 months ago #

      Thanks for your question! Based on my experience, I've found that larger and smaller companies forget that emerging markets are not mobile first, but mobile only. For instance, in India, around 70% of internet traffic is driven by mobile and 29% on desktop – in America, only 30% of traffic is driven by mobile. The other issue is that space is limited on phones, which is why you're seeing a rise in lite apps like YouTube Go and Facebook Lite.

      Emerging market users are advanced and selective about how these their data. You can't just throw banner ads at them. It's also false to assume that where the USA was 5 years ago is where these markets are today. In many cases, these markets are far more advanced and progress in areas such as mobile much faster than the American market. For example, if we're looking at engagement though, over the next five years, mobile video is expected to represent 70% of all mobile data traffic around the world. Connectivity is still unreliable and slow in some of these markets, but with the emergence of companies like Reliance Jio in India, we're seeing higher consumption of data and demand for engaging content.

      For advertising in emerging markets, that's where you come across the most surprises. Ad blocking is the norm for many of these markets, so you have to be careful where, when, and how you're advertising. 94% of global mobile ad blocking usage is from APAC alone. Another large surprise is tracking. For emerging markets, the idea of multiple SIMs is very common. When it comes to tracking, you cannot assume that 1 SIM is equal to 1 person, so you have to ensure that you have the tracking safeguards and functions to reduce fraud or duplicates in your data.

      3 Share
      • GH

        Glen Harper

        7 months ago #

        This is very insightful.
        So knowing all of this, if someone were to develop a plan of attack for an emerging market, how would you recommend we go about doing further research to figure out what strategies might be most applicable to any situation?

      • NS

        Neha Singh

        7 months ago #

        Thanks for the follow up, Glen! I would say it's important to identify which target markets you want to enter. India vs. Indonesia are totally different markets with different user behaviors. Once you have this list, I think it's important to identify if there is a need for your product/app/service in the market, if there are local competitors that currently exist, do you need to localize your product from a language perspective, and what channels these users engage with for promotion. For instance, in China, you can't push Facebook or Google ads, because there is simply no option to do so. Instead, you may have to go through platforms like WeChat to reach your audience.

  • TN

    Tri Nguyen

    7 months ago #

    Hi Neha
    What lessons did you learn from your time at Jana that have translated well into your role at BevSpot?
    On the flip side, what from your previous role hasn't translated (or as well as you expected to)?

  • DH

    Dani Hart

    7 months ago #

    Hi Neha!
    Very excited to have you on!

    I find it so impressive that you're leading marketing for two different organizations
    Where do you find the time and more importantly not lose focus so you're giving your all to both?
    What's your secret to managing your time and resources?

    • NS

      Neha Singh

      7 months ago #

      Hi Dani, it's great to hear from you! I work full-time as the Director of Marketing at BevSpot. My position as CMO of Learn Bhangra is something I have to fit into my schedule after work or on the weekends. For Learn Bhangra, we have to be smarter and more realistic about timelines. A product launch that normally would take 3 months for a full-time team may take us 6 months. As a result, we have to adjust our strategies as well as our expectations to match our capacity. However, the exciting part is that it forces me and our team to be creative and scrappy because sometimes we don't have 6 months to spare.

      The main thing for me is that the function of both roles is different. For BevSpot, I fulfill a more traditional B2B marketing role whereas Learn Bhangra is consumer marketing. I know when I go from one team to the other my focus, my audience, and my tasks are very separate. It's definitely not easy, but I'm lucky to have amazing teams at both companies and I truly believe in the missions of both as well.

  • JD

    James Dunn

    7 months ago #

    How are you building awareness for Learn Bhangra?
    What does expanding the number of classes in each city and having more cities in general available on the platform entail?

    • NS

      Neha Singh

      7 months ago #

      For Learn Bhangra, we have an extremely strong offline strategy in place to supplement our online strategy. Through our network of brand ambassadors, we have presence on ground in many of our target markets, which allows us to plan in-person classes, workshops, and promo events to engage users. We use these offline events as a way to encourage Learn Bhangra App installs and social media engagement.

      When it comes to online strategy, we focus a great deal on shareable content, specifically video. We are constantly collaborating with artists/dancers/fitness advocates to push out Bhangra choreography videos that our audience enjoys watching, but also is interested in learning. Additionally, we choose well-known songs and show audience members how they can perform Bhangra to them. For instance, our Fetty Wap Bhangra video resulted in over millions of views, over 10K shares, and a BuzzFeed article.

      In order to host classes in a city, you have to be a certified Bhangra instructor. The qualifications and requirements are listed on our site (https://www.learnbhangra.com/instructors). Once someone is certified, the Learn Bhangra team works with them to brainstorm class venues and marketing tactics. Typically, our instructors are users of the Learn Bhangra App, former attendees of a Learn Bhangra event or workshop, or a follower of ours on social media. Many of them have tried our workout videos and learned the steps for Bhangra from our app or via YouTube. Our growing team of Brand Ambassadors helps us promote classes and they network within their own countries to help with business development initiatives. Additionally, our video collaborations with well-known artists and singers from a particular city or country help us quickly expand into a city.

      2 Share
  • SK

    S Kodial

    7 months ago #

    Hey Neha
    What are the biggest reasons customers churn out for BevSpot?
    What strategies have worked best to mitigate this issue so far?

    • NS

      Neha Singh

      7 months ago #

      One of the main reasons customers churn from BevSpot is because we haven't exposed them to the diversity of options and capabilities the platform has to offer fast enough in their lifecycle. With a marketing and client education team now in place, we're addressing this issue head-on. In order to mitigate this issue, we've worked very closely with the Client Education team to ensure that the onboarding flow is as seamless, concise, and informative as possible for customers. We have to make sure that they're receiving the right prompts via email, in-app notification, webinars, and communication from BevSpot to take the right actions. Additionally, if customers do churn, we realized that a "call to tell us why" approach for understanding their reasons is not the most effective. We're currently in the process of developing an online feedback flow loop for customers who are at risk of churning or decide to close their account, so we can accurately identify issue trends and adjust our user communications accordingly.

      The other integral piece to reducing churn is building a sense of community. Whether through BevConnect events that we host, webinars, or social media, it's important for users to feel like they aren't alone and understand that our company is invested in their success.

      2 Share
  • BB

    Ben Blaine

    8 months ago #

    How did you become a Growth Hacker?

    • NS

      Neha Singh

      7 months ago #

      Whether it was at IFYC, a non-profit, or my current company, BevSpot, every action and decision has been driven by the need for growth. It’s extremely interesting and a daily challenge to figure out the right combination of channels, content, and frequency with which you can attract, engage, and retain an audience.

      There is a certain lack of visibility that exists with traditional channels like TV or OOH media. However, with constant channel improvements, shift to online channels, and introductions of new channels like OTT, visibility into performance is no longer a nice to have, but a need to have. For me, it’s been the access to real-time analytics and results that have pushed me to be a growth hacker. With so much information at your disposal, you’re instilled with the confidence to push boundaries, test new channels, and focus on growth as a part of every campaign.

      2 Share
  • JP

    John Phamvan

    7 months ago #

    Hi Neha,

    a. What tools are you using at BevSpot for experimentation & analytics right now?
    Have you added any tool(s) to the stack recently? If yes, why?

    b. Where does your data live, ie what is the "source of truth"?

    c. What collaboration tools does the team use?

    Thanks!
    John

    • NS

      Neha Singh

      7 months ago #

      As a startup, we're trying to stay as nimble and cost-efficient as possible. Also, it's important to mention that I recently joined the team, so before adding any more tools, I'm identifying where the current analytics gaps exist before suggesting new resources right off the bat. Having said that, we're extremely lucky to have a BI tool along with HubSpot and Salesforce already in place. As the team grows in 2018, we'll be looking into more robust data visualization and BI tools.

      We aggregate our data from our various sources such as HubSpot, Salesforce, Facebook, Twitter, along with product data in our business intelligence platform. We can trust that everyone is working with the same data, it's updated at the same time, and as a result, there is no confusion as to what metrics we're tracking.

      For collaboration, my personal favorite is the project management tool, DaPulse. I personally like the Excel type functionality, but the visual and feature flexibility. It's great for a highly collaborative and fast-paced marketing team. It keeps deadlines clear, roles defined, and provides visibility.

  • DO

    Danielle Olivas

    7 months ago #

    Hi Neha,
    Im curious as to why taking a demo is a secondary CTA for you vs the free trial CTA being secondary (or being available only after a demo)?

    • NS

      Neha Singh

      7 months ago #

      Great call out! For us, we know if someone gets into our platform, they’re more likely to convert as a customer given the various sales and support onboarding flows we’ve built out. In the food and beverage industry, it’s difficult to schedule time with a hospitality group COO or a bar owner, so if we can at least get them into the platform, we can always schedule the demo after the fact. However, we also know that demos are extremely powerful for us, so we have been testing which comes first, the demo or the trial.

      I joined as the marketing team lead in August and since then, we’ve been focused on a great deal of infrastructure reorganization. One of our task list items is CTA clean up and mapping. There are a variety of places on our site and blog that do not have the right tracking links for CTAs, there are too many CTAs on one page, or they aren’t connected back to HubSpot. For our team, the main priority is to clean up these legacy CTA setups, so we can clearly experiment and assess.

      2 Share
  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    7 months ago #

    Hey Neha - so cool to finally have you on!

    I'm curious about your "Marketing Sciences" role at FedEx - I've never heard of a title like that before
    What did "providing actionable insights" entail?
    Who did you have to work with?
    What tools/processes did you use to be successful in this role?
    What form did these insights normally take & how were they communicated and acted upon by relevant stakeholders?

    • NS

      Neha Singh

      7 months ago #

      Thanks for having me on, Anuj! You’re seeing Marketing Sciences teams pop up the most in the agency world. At OMD, the Marketing Sciences division was responsible for uncovering actionable insights and providing data analyses related to the innovative media strategies the Strategy, Social, and Digital Investment teams were putting together for FedEx. Our team was tasked with understanding the various media plans and campaigns put forth by our agency for FedEx, aggregating the campaign analytics, developing progress reports, and providing FedEx with recommendations for each channel along with audience engagement insights.

      For instance, we would report on the performance of each publisher, ad unit, creative, and target group for each campaign to the FedEx team. At the end of each campaign flight, we were in charge of looking at campaign, publisher, and DMP data to identify trends, potential changes for future campaigns, and audience profiles. Typically, the insights were presented alongside the data in the form of dashboards in Excel and Tableau during the campaign, but at the end of the campaign a formal presentation was provided. Marketing Sciences participated in all client calls around campaign performance and worked closely with the Strategy and Investment teams to ensure internal OMD alignment for FedEx initiatives.

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        7 months ago #

        Almost feels like a "plug and play" Head of Growth for agencies - does that sound like an accurate descriptor?

  • PD

    Porus Daruvala

    7 months ago #

    Hi Neha
    Can you talk about an experiment that was a really big win or led to some breakthrough insights?

    • NS

      Neha Singh

      7 months ago #

      Early on for Learn Bhangra, we noticed that there was a consistent flow of organic traffic and installs from LATAM, but we weren't sure why. Although it was a simple test, we started to deploy some low scale paid media campaigns via Facebook and Twitter. The test was small, but extremely insightful. We saw an immediate spike in our user count and traffic from countries like Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.

      This small test triggered our interest to engage with some of our active users from social media and our app, which uncovered an entire network of South Asian dance academies and interest in Bhangra. Since then, we've hosted multiple workshops in over 5 LATAM countries, were invited to perform at the Rio Olympics, have consistent classes in Argentina, and currently have 4 brand ambassadors in the region.

      4 Share
  • MT

    Manny Tafoya

    7 months ago #

    Hey Neha! What is BevSpot's biggest growth challenge from your perspective? How are you tackling it? Thank you!

  • VK

    Vivek Kumar

    7 months ago #

    Hi Neha, i am planning to launch an App for Small business owners here in India. What would be the key difference in handling these customers as compared to Big organizations. A tip or two would be helpful

    • NS

      Neha Singh

      7 months ago #

      If there 3 main tips I can provide, they would be:

      1. Make sure you're clear about the purpose of your app and be sure that the purpose translates to your audience. If your audience doesn't understand why or how this app can help their day-to-day by reading the App Store description, going through your onboarding flow, or perusing through your app, you've potentially lost a user forever.

      2. User testing is key. Make sure that you get direct feedback from potential users. You want to make sure you understand where they get stuck using your app, hear from them what they like/don't like, and that your in-app messaging/language is clear. For small business owners in India, they're likely looking for ease of usage and simplicity, so user testing will help reveal issues with your UI/UX, app speed, feature set, etc.

      3. Make sure your app is "lite" and won't take up too much space on a user's phone. The last thing you want is them deleting your app from their phone because they need to make space for FlipKart or UC Browser.

      4 Share
  • FP

    Federico Parravicini

    7 months ago #

    Hi Neha!

    I'm in the process of starting a company and will go to an incubator next week for a chat, I am however doing it alone and have little idea on how to make my numbers for initial advertisement and customer acquisition realistic, or where to get a good estimate that isn't just "under 1k monthly", for social media and contacting influencers/bloggers.

    Any tips on how to achieve this, so I don't have to work with vague numbers?

    Thanks!

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