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Building Your New Normal Game Plan

Mobile360 launched its first-ever webinar series for micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs to help businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Mobile360’s Product Manager and Compliance Officer for Privacy Carmie Enriquez talked about Data Privacy in its first webinar.

She was joined by Yondu’s Information Security Manager and Data Protection Officer Joel Gacosta to shed light on how to protect customer data in the “new normal.” For its second webinar, Mobile360 invited Electric Kick Scooter Philippines’ Co-founder Tim Vargas and Grab Philippines’ Assistant Marketing Manager Janvier Bastian.

This time, Mobile360’s special guests discussed business strategy in the new normal. If you’ve missed this webinar, now’s the best time to catch up as we’ve made a recap of the “Building Your ‘New Normal’ Game Plan” webinar in this blog.

How to Build Your “New Normal” Game Plan

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Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic by Going Digital

Tim Vargas, Co-founder, Electric Kick Scooter Philippines

The COVID-19 pandemic caught everyone by surprise, and Electric Kick Scooter of the Philippines’ (ESKPH) members were not an exemption. ESKPH is the leading community of Electric Kick Scooters in the Philippines, managing the majority of the industry from government regulation, distribution, market supply, and demand.

ESKPH Co-founder Tim Vargas said their members were also hit badly by the pandemic, especially that many of them are coming from the retail space. Majority of their members’ business sales rely on foot traffic.

The ‘Digital Shift’ Strategy

To help ESKPH’s members cope with unprecedented times, the organization encouraged them to shift to digital. This is by asking, “How can you reach your customers through the digital platforms that we have?”

As people use mobile phones and laptops these days, Vargas encourages entrepreneurs to maximize digital arsenals to reach their customers. He said going digital is an effective business strategy in the new normal.

He shared their sales went down in March and April at the pandemic’s onset and imposition of stringent quarantine measures. Vargas said their sellers’ social media and digital efforts help bring back sales, seeing a 110% increase from May through July.

He said their campaigns promoting mobility devices and government partnerships were a big help. Vargas highlighted that majority of their initiatives are on digital, which were pivotal in keeping the community afloat.

The entrepreneur said the digital shift included payments and customer engagement, especially as face-to-face interactions were limited. Vargas said the “digital shift” isn’t a walk-in-the-park business strategy in the new normal, but “as long as people practice it more, it becomes more efficient and effective.”

His tip for MSME entrepreneurs is summed up into two words: HANG ON. “Being an entrepreneur is not like planting a seed today and expecting it tomorrow to be a fruit-bearing tree,” Vargas explained.

“It will take some time to grow. It will go through different seasons. Those who are resilient and persistent in this endeavor will be the cut above the rest. Hang on to your vision,” he concluded.

Helping SMEs and Social Sellers Thrive Online

Janvier Bastian, Assistant Marketing Manager, Grab Philippines

Grab started in the Philippines as MyTaxi in 2012. Since then, it expanded from being a taxi-hailing app to food and parcel deliveries.

Grab’s Assistant Marketing Manager Janvier Bastian said due to its many applications, Grab has become deeply integrated into the daily lives of Filipinos, especially in Metro Manila. This allowed the brand to generate insights at scale.

Maximizing Customer Insights

Grab was able to dive deep into people’s interest, gathering insights as specific as what people usually crave for at 3 pm. With these data points, they were able to tailor-fit their campaigns to serve everyday customers better and even understand the cities’ pulses.

A good example of this is Grab Kitchen in Makati. Makati folks started looking on Grab Food to look for their cravings at the moment. Some stores people are looking for, however, are not in Makati. So, Grab put up a cloud kitchen, a renting a space for local restaurants.

It helped Grab become hyper-local, allowing the brand to expand its services to cater to the Filipino’s ever-changing needs. From being a ride-hailing app, Grab is now Southeast Asia’s super app offering a multitude of services, including GrabCar, GrabTaxi, GrabShare, GrabTrike, Food, Express, Assistant, and Rewards.

Bastian said it’s because they listened to the insights that they got from millions of data points. He shared when the lockdown started, a lot of people can’t go out.

People started using GrabPabili to avail of essentials from drug stores and supermarkets. During that same time, they were trying to launch GrabMart.

What the brand did was to look for top pickup points for GrabPabili and onboarded them on Mart because that’s what people were looking for. Bastian emphasized there are many things you can do with data, which can be a practical business strategy in the new normal.

The ‘Madiskarteng Boss Club’

Bastian specifically highlighted GrabExpress, Grab’s same-day delivery service. The service became in-demand in recent months as more and more people sell online to cope with the pandemic’s impact on livelihood.

Pondering on how they can better cater to online sellers, especially during the pandemic, Grab came up with the ‘Madiskarteng Boss Club.’ The brand started talking to online sellers to understand their pain points, needs, and wants.

Grab met an online seller named Anette, who the brand considered as the epitome of “diskarte.” However, Grab discovered that Anette has no formal business background and ran her business out of pure gut.

She doesn’t have access to critical tools to sustain her business in the long run. As of 2020, there are millions of small businesses in the Philippines, serving as the economy’s life blood.

Bastian said what’s alarming is 4 in 10 is projected to close down because of the pandemic. And this is because they lack access to the right tools, resources, and people, which begs the question, “Is diskarte enough?

Having the ‘Right Diskarte‘ Strategy

There are a lot of challenges online sellers face, which include market competition and cashless transactions. Bastian emphasized that as a seller, you need more than just diskarte to overcome these challenges.

You need a business strategy in the new normal, options and opportunities to sustain your business in the long run. To assist online sellers, Grab promoted the Madiskarteng Boss Club.

As a result, many online sellers can offer cost savings for their clients on deliveries and enjoy other perks. “Take advantage of free programs, find your tribe, and find the right diskarte,” concludes Bastian.

Wrapping Up

While businesses cope differently, there are common things entrepreneurs can do to keep their business afloat during these trying times. As shared by Mobile360’s special guests, going digital and finding the right diskarte are helpful business strategies for the new normal.

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