Updated: a day ago

When NHP, Namibia’s largest medical aid fund, approached V5 Digital to rebuild their website, they had one overriding goal: to make their customers’ lives easier. Medical Aid is a complicated business, so the central challenge for the Windhoek-based agency, V5 Digital, was to make the new website easy and delightful to use, with the user experience being at the forefront of the design.

In order to achieve this, V5 Digital kept the customer front-of-mind at all times, crafting ideal journeys for the various types of visitors to the site: members, potential members, as well as those simply browsing.

The first task was to ensure that site visitors could easily compare the various options & benefits offered by NHP, which involved building a custom calculator that needed to consider all permutations specific to that individual or employer, and give a price comparison for all the different plans on offer - V5 Digital displayed all the options on one page so that key differences across the packages can be compared at a glance. If a customer wishes to know more about a particular plan, they simply click into it to find out more. A handy drop-down menu allows visitors to input their details (such as age, spousal details, children and/or other dependents), and then uses these details across the various plans.

An NHP Customer browsing the new NHP Website and engaging with the Abibot through his smartphone.

Filling out application forms, printing them, scanning and then sending them back is another laborious process – and one of the first things V5 Digital aimed to solve. All of NHP’s forms are now able to be completed and submitted electronically, which is far more quicker and convenient for customers, while also saving paper and reducing the brand’s carbon footprint. Ensuring that all forms can be completed online, aligns NHP with the needs of their burgeoning market: the Millennial's and Gen Z, who spend most of their time on their phones, tablets, and laptops. The form’s library is laid out clearly and categorized in a manner that visitors can find exactly what they’re looking for in seconds.

NHP is much-loved by its members, so the brand wanted the website to be a place where members and non-members alike could access information that adds real value to their daily lives. To achieve this, V5 Digital created a news hub on the site, packed to the brim with relevant articles about how to improve health and lifestyle. When site visitors land on the news section, they see tiled images that bring to life the various topics which can be clicked into for further exploration. A simple, clear navigation bar enables visitors to toggle between events, articles, and updates as they wish.

V5 Digital Managing Director, Mr Armin Wieland, toasting to the new NHP Website with NHP Medscheme Namibia Managing Director Rudiger Saunderson, outgoing Manager of Marketing and Communication Ms Abigail Raubenheimer and Senior Manager of Marketing and Managed Care Mr Ronnie Skolnic.

V5 Digital is passionate about digital innovation that improves the customer experience. For NHP, this meant building a chatbot to live on their new site that uses artificial intelligence to provide automated responses to customer queries. When a customer engages with the bot, they can select whether they’re a member, non-member or just have a general query, which helps guide the user’s journey. If the chatbot, nicknamed “AbiBot”, is unable to provide an adequate response, the issue is escalated seamlessly to a customer care agent.

All in all, V5 Digital delivered a new site for NHP that is easy-to-navigate, highly user-friendly, and keeps the NHP customer at its heart. To see the site in action, go to www.nhp.com.na

Mr Ronnie Skolnic, NHP Medscheme Namibia Senior Manager of Marketing and Managed Care:

“We wanted a website that was more user-friendly and interactive, and also accessible from the various platforms. V5 Digital delivered on their promise. What was particularly impressive was the attention paid in ensuring that they delivered in line with the client’s expectations and also the manner in which they walked the client through the entire process. Their support throughout the process was tremendous in ensuring that a flawless product was delivered according to the clients expectations, with minimal delays experienced. I can definitely recommend V5 Digital.”

  • Diandre Myburgh

Updated: a day ago

As we all work to navigate our way through the current crisis, it can be tough to find the positives to hold onto. It can be helpful to take comfort in the many ways people are coming together in our country with efforts that are truly unprecedented. Many professional communities and leaders in the industry are taking proactive steps to keep businesses afloat in these tough times. One thing is for certain, though, when it comes to the economic impact on companies and SMEs tackling an economic downturn. History tells us that the most successful companies had a few things in common. They:

  • Planned ahead

  • Went on the offense early

  • Found ways – during and after the crisis – to position themselves as winners

Need proof? Check out the graph below charting profitability before, during, and following the 2008 recession.

Now you may be thinking, “Okay, that all sounds great, but how is an company supposed to ‘accelerate profitability’ when they’re experiencing less customer engagement than ever before and have likely had to make major cutbacks, including layoffs and cuts in ad spend?” And while we don’t pretend to have all the answers, we can tell you the perfect place to start – and that’s by implementing an effective MarTech stack to streamline marketing efforts, cut costs, and maximize revenue – for your business and your clients’ businesses. When the economy is down, maximizing every opportunity and converting every lead possible is more critical than ever, and a solid marketing and sales automation platform is a must-have to accomplish that.

Focus on MarTech Stack Essentials During an Economic Downturn

A quick search for what tools are necessary in any MarTech stack will show just how intricate and detailed we can get with data, but just because a shiny new tool exists doesn’t mean it’s necessary.

For example, a retailer has no reason to use appointment software, and a restaurant chain probably has little use for abandoned cart or suggested product emails. The technology needs to be the right fit for the business. Yet, there are some basic marketing data points that every business needs in order to compete in today’s fast-paced, data-driven, and economically uncertain world.

Website Analytics

Having a robust analytics tool that can also report on email performance, campaigns, and even map out the life of your leads is non-negotiable.

All marketing strategies hinge on the quality and accuracy of the data.

Content Management System (CMS)

Your CMS is the home base for your business online. It is how content will be managed, uploaded, published, and engaged with, so it’s another super important piece of your tech stack.

When choosing a CMS, it’s incredibly important that the system integrates with all the other tools being used. Your marketing automation and CRM platform goes hand-in-hand with your CMS because it’s the central hub where all data should be funneled to – so if a piece of technology does not work with your CMS and CRM, it likely won’t be helpful.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Speaking of CRM, this is where you’ll track and manage every lead and customer interaction.

Whether the CRM is in place to help the marketing and sales teams manage and distribute leads, or it’s your primary customer service tool to help direct inquiries to the correct department (or both!), companies need some way to manage the relationship with contacts, now more than ever.

An all-in-one CRM marketing automation platform can cover all of your customer management needs, along with MarTech solutions that directly integrate with the customer data. Streamlining how many different places employees need to log in and how many pieces of software are being integrated can save valuable time and even speed up the buyer’s journey through more effective marketing.

Automation Tools

Marketing automation plays a big role in an effective marketing strategy, particularly during tough economic times when efficiency, affordability and conversion are truly vital.

The speed at which customers are making decisions and trends are changing has made it impossible to survive without automation software in place. Automation tools help to consolidate company processes as manual steps are removed and improve customer experience with better personalization – in turn maximizing every interaction to nurture leads toward a sale.

In a multi-channel world, automation paired with accurate data is the only way to compete. Approximately 81% of consumers want brands to better understand them and know the right time to approach them.

Working with a disjointed MarTech stack could mean sending marketing messages at unwanted times or putting customers into incorrect funnels. Those mistakes seem minor to companies in good times, but right now it’s especially vital to make sure every impression counts.

Email Marketing

Email is a top performing and highly converting marketing strategy. Especially when paired with automation, email marketing is a powerful influencer for purchases.

Of course, there’s more to email marketing than simply sending emails. A complete email marketing strategy requires a plan for list growth, which requires the ability to embed forms and create landing pages, and an automated follow-up sequence for any form that’s filled out.

To put it simply, email marketing isn’t as simple as it seems. Having an integrated tool that includes automation, list segmentation, landing page integration, and form integration will make for a more effective strategy. Using a CRM for email marketing automation means all these pieces are integrated by default – plus many other tools that can move the needle.

Social Media

In today’s hyper-connected world, consumers expect to be able to message company social media pages for instant customer service. If a brand’s pages are left unmonitored, it creates negative experiences for customers who reach out with a question or concern and never receive a response.

If engaging customers in a more dynamic way or triggering automations based on social activity are goals for the marketing department, then an all-in-one CRM might be the right choice to start or improve your stack. Using a CRM with social media scheduling and social listening capabilities further helps to integrate company data for accurate and effective marketing messaging.

All-in-One Sales and Marketing Platforms: Benefits in Times of Economic Uncertainty

Before looking at layering several complicated technologies, make sure you know the basics:

  • Marketing automation

  • Customer relationship management (CRM)

  • A content management system (CMS)

  • An analytics platform for the website

Once these basics are covered, your technology needs will depend on your company goals.

Whether you’re focused on delivering better experiences, helping sales have more relevant conversations, or serving up context-based content, smartly investing in the right technology can ensure you come out on top.

Ultimately, an effective MarTech stack efficiently combines marketing activity data, along with engagement and conversion data, to maximize every single opportunity in your pipeline. It allows marketers and sales teams to better understand the ROI of their efforts and thus prioritize spend in the right areas to maximize revenue. And that’s a business benefit no one can afford to pass up, especially during these difficult economic times.

To learn more about how to utilize marketing and sales automation to deliver results, save money, streamline your marketing efforts effectively, and come out on top during and after this economic downturn, feel free to contact us.

This article was originally published by Sharpspring.

V5 Digital is the official Sharpspring Partner for Namibia. Book a demo with us today, and unlock the power of marketing automation!

Updated: Apr 20

The COVID-19 pandemic has been described by Forbes as “A before-and-after moment in the history of the economy and the digital transformation”. Business Insider reports that “a third of the global population is on coronavirus lockdown”, while according to UNESCO, about 1.3 billion learners around the world are not able to attend school or university. The impact on economies around the globe has been staggering.

However, what has emerged clearly is that “enterprises leading in digital transformation are significantly less vulnerable”. As the International Data Corporation (IDC) found in 2 surveys conducted in February in China: “The outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic has showcased the value of IT and digital transformation and organisations should turn the crisis into an opportunity to accelerate the transition.”

The “on-demand’ economy: on-demand food and services

Around the globe, businesses have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Some have been destroyed, while others, like some airlines, will be bankrupt without major bailouts. Restaurants, hair salons, retailers, multinational corporations and many more are struggling. However, the directives that are forcing thousands of workers to work from home have also led to greater demand in some areas and there is “a sharp uptick in demand for delivery services, especially in the food and grocery sector”.

Companies such as Pick ‘n Pay that have already invested in digital transformation strategies with online shopping platforms face many challenges in Namibia in the current crisis, such as importing goods. But they are better able to meet customer needs than those that are only now waking up to the enormous changes “driven by a culture of ‘everywhere commerce in which digitally connected consumers are increasingly expecting to be able to shop whenever and wherever they want; whether it be in stores or online, using their smartphones or even voice-activated digital assistants.”

And it’s important to note that all is not gloom and doom. In the USA, “…some companies have seen soaring growth due to COVID-19. The publicly traded video conferencing platform Zoom, now part of the country’s collective lexicon, has seen its stock rise, as have delivery services as most Americans try to ‘shelter in place.’ Large companies like pet supplier Chewy, meal kit company Blue Apron, as well as smaller businesses and start-ups have been blindsided by surging sales over the past several weeks as COVID-19 and increased containment restrictions turned worlds upside down.”

For example, Farmbox Direct is a company in the US that delivers fresh fruit and vegetables via an online subscription service. When the owner woke up on 14 March, she thought there must be a gremlin in her computer system. “‘There’s no way we could have taken that many orders overnight,’ recalled Tyrner recently, ‘but we did. We are doubling the company every 24 hours.’ Many of Farmbox’s new customers are located in areas where supermarket shelves sit empty. Other new customers set up deliveries for parents and grandparents who are not risking infection by leaving their homes to shop.”

Since there are now so few In Real Life (IRL) experiences in shopping, people in self-isolation are exploring social media to a far greater extent than before for content and connection. And brands are becoming more creative with their social media channels, focusing on their existing customers with automated marketing and loyalty programmes. Shopify suggests selling on Instagram if you aren’t already doing so. It reports that: “Over the last two weeks, influencer agency, Obviously, found a 76 percent increase in daily accumulated likes on Instagram #ad posts, and a 22 percent increase in Instagram campaign impressions from last quarter. With such a highly-engaged audience, Instagram can make your brand more discoverable by existing and future customers.”

Working from Home/Telecommuting

One of the most profound changes to occur as a result of the pandemic is the shift to working from home. “Whatever objections businesses have previously had to telecommuting, COVID-19 may be the moment that brings it into the mainstream and shows leaders that with the right technology, culture and expectations, employees can be just as productive and effective from home.” As the IDC survey in China revealed, two of the top three positive impacts of the pandemic on businesses are:

  • Improved corporate ability of long-distance collaborative work.

  • Wide recognition of the value of digital transformation and information technology among employees.

When asked what their digital transformation focus for 2020 will be, the companies surveyed indicated that one of their top priorities would be “creating new telecommuting and enterprise collaboration systems.”

Many of the reservations companies had in the past about allowing their employees to work from home were about monitoring their activities and a potential drop in productivity. However, with software that tracks keystrokes, as well as email and Web surfing monitoring programs, and remote screen readers, companies can successfully track employees’ work performed at home.

In fact, Forbes revealed in surveys of companies using telecommuting that more than two-thirds of managers reported an increase in overall productivity. Why is this so? “With none of the distractions from a traditional office setting, telecommuting drives up employee efficiency.” And, without needing to spend time during the day driving to and from work or using public transport, employees are less stressed. The environment benefits too as the carbon footprint is reduced.

In addition to the benefits for employees, the survey found substantial benefits to companies as well in the form of decreasing costs. “According to Aetna, an insurance giant in America, it shed 2.7 million square feet of office space and as a result saved $78 million. American Express reported similar results by saving $10-15 million annually thanks to its telecommuting policies.

Much has changed as the world responds to the Covid-19 pandemic. We’ve seen massive surges in e-learning, streaming and online shopping. And we’ve learned that: “Organisations that have web enabled their businesses are in a much better position to weather this pandemic, both in the short and long term.”

It’s important to remember that different organisations take different paths to digital transformation and maturity. Every business will have a unique digital journey that is aligned with the needs of the business and its customers. V5 Digital – one of the leading digital marketing agencies in Namibia – will assist you in developing your unique digital business model, whether that involves helping you to use digital to sell your products or services online, or connecting with your customers on social media. Don’t hesitate to contact V5 Digital for a free assessment.

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