FIP 83: Marketing in Emerging Markets with Amanda Arch of Kasha

Today, we speak with Amanda Arch of Kasha on how it uses online and mobile platforms to market and deliver health products to middle class and BOP consumers in Rwanda.

On this episode:

  • Amanda explains Kasha’s development in Rwanda, which began with building out an MVP of the technology and then working with different customer segment test groups.
  • Amanda shared that Kasha partnered with non-profits deeply imbedded in Kigali, universities, and associations of professional women to set up test groups that ring fence customers with very similar and specific characteristics to build profiles.
  • Lessons learned from this process are: (1) there is a difference between excitement and ordering, so the company needs a strong feedback loop with customers, and (2) people really wanted to see products in person before ordering, so it is really important to have products on hand as part of the customer acquisition process.
  • Amanda also recommends developing power users and / or brand ambassadors that can get feedback from other users, as well as providing post-event communications methods (such as Whatsapp).
  • Their three core customer segments are BOP customers, university students, and professional women, which are designated into these groups by ordering or delivering method. Amanda detailed how Kasha chose their segment marketing methods, which started with looking at what else was happening in the market and what the best practices are (for example, agent-based networks in rural communities) and then customized these channels for Kasha. Each segment has different messaging, events, and specials based on their group’s characteristics.
  • She also explained that in the early stages, the company only tested messages and channels to understand their efficacy, not their cost. This allowed the company to make an investment in the brand that would not make sense for unit economics as they scale up. In the next phase, they really focused on customer acquisition data with an overall eye on lifetime value per marketing investment.
  • During interactions with customers, Kasha also seeks to capture data for themselves to better understand their core customers as well as verify it with other external sources. Amanda also provides some of the company’s key KPIs including orders across segment, repeat orders, unique customers, and average basket size. She also shares some insight into the business model which looks at average basket size across different segments in order to resist only serving more profitable segments or limiting the platform to higher margin products.

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