African Bank case study

African Bank is a commercial bank that provides credit-led, risk-based financial services.

They operate primarily within the South African unsecured credit and furniture and appliances retailing environment. Through their loan offerings, they aim to assist customers affordably navigate life events and unanticipated financial events.

The Brief


For enterprises that want to introduce meaningful innovation to their organisation, there are a number of challenges impeding them.

How do they recognise opportunities to do something different when they present themselves? What happens when the expertise and capacity to introduce new technology falls outside their core competencies? How can they navigate through the disruption that often accompanies innovation?

These were questions we needed to be mindful of when we first approached African Bank with the idea of a new loan offering. A significant proportion of African Bank’s current and potential customer base is not able to afford mobile devices and laptops.
Recognising the potential of technology products within the financial services bundle, we proposed a means whereby African Bank target a new market by adding technology value-adds to their current products. By bundling devices with loans, we could also take the sting out of loan products being a ‘grudge’ purchase.

Understanding that African Bank needed to be free to handle its own core offerings, we developed an end-to-end solution that encompassed marketing, training, logistics and after-sales support. The proposed result offered customers the ability to purchase devices on credit through add ons to their loans.

The objectives


We measured the success of this
project on three key metrics:


The objectives


There were two major objectives that
Digital Planet would fulfill for HP:


1

Modernise and Upgrade the store, mainly improving the website aesthetics and user experience


Read more
How we achieved our objective

As this was a completely new arena for African Bank, it did not have the infrastructure in place to be able to source, market, deliver and offer sales and warranty support for the devices. This gave us the scope to completely build a holistic product strategy from scratch.

  1. Educate sales staff on our products

African Bank’s core competencies lie in the provision of financial services, which meant the marketing team needed to be educated as to how to push the technology bundle to clients. We created a comprehensive messaging strategy around those products.

We worked closely with the marketing department to develop on-brand

messaging around the tech bundles as a value-add. In the beginning, we created the marketing collateral ourselves. At the same time, we built up the knowledge of the marketing and sales staff from the ground up. Our field sales team went daily to different branches to train up sales staff on the tech deal.

2

Optimise Workflow so the online store orders ship quicker and more accurately


Read more
How we achieved our objective

As this was a completely new arena for African Bank, it did not have the infrastructure in place to be able to source, market, deliver and offer sales and warranty support for the devices. This gave us the scope to completely build a holistic product strategy from scratch.

  1. Motivate the staff about the technology bundles

Our BA team mapped all the processes for the Gadget shop and used a blend of Magento’s workflow process, custom built process and Gadget Shop’s ERP system to optimise the order management.

Successfully launching a product is a process that encompasses the whole organisation, so getting full buy-in was critical. We set about cultivating the right mind-set by embedding ourselves within the African Bank structure so that there was support at every level.

We worked closely with the African Bank executives to secure top-down buy-in. From then, it was a process of building a relationship with the sales and contact centre teams on the ground and spreading our own excitement around the products. We did this through a combination of training, team-building, performance recognition and a rewards system. This has led to a sharp rise in motivation.

3

Drive more sales through an email and SEM campaign via its online portal. Increase The Gadget Shop subscriber database


Read more
How we achieved our objective

As this was a completely new arena for African Bank, it did not have the infrastructure in place to be able to source, market, deliver and offer sales and warranty support for the devices. This gave us the scope to completely build a holistic product strategy from scratch.

  1. Grow sales by 50% a month

In order to add value to African Bank’s loan offerings, it was important to choose the right product. We carefully created bundles that would appeal to African Bank’s customer base based on the amount of value they would add. Not only did we develop the bundle, we also sourced the data and technology to go with it – everything from the device itself to the accessories.

It was important to not only market the offering properly, but be able to get it to customers quickly and efficiently. We developed and ran an integrated process centred on the full customer experience, from procurement to delivery, servicing, customer queries and warranty fulfilment. This allowed us to deliver a consistently excellent customer experience. This, along with a strategic marketing effort, was instrumental in the early sales push.

How we achieved our objective

As this was a completely new arena for African Bank, it did not have the infrastructure in place to be able to source, market, deliver and offer sales and warranty support for the devices. This gave us the scope to completely build a holistic product strategy from scratch.

  1. Educate sales staff on our products
 

African Bank’s core competencies lie in the provision of financial services, which meant the marketing team needed to be educated as to how to push the technology bundle to clients. We created a comprehensive messaging strategy around those products.

We worked closely with the marketing department to develop on-brand

messaging around the tech bundles as a value-add. In the beginning, we created the marketing collateral ourselves. At the same time, we built up the knowledge of the marketing and sales staff from the ground up. Our field sales team went daily to different branches to train up sales staff on the tech deal.

How we achieved our objective

As this was a completely new arena for African Bank, it did not have the infrastructure in place to be able to source, market, deliver and offer sales and warranty support for the devices. This gave us the scope to completely build a holistic product strategy from scratch.

  1. Motivate the staff about the technology bundles
 

Our BA team mapped all the processes for the Gadget shop and used a blend of Magento’s workflow process, custom built process and Gadget Shop’s ERP system to optimise the order management.

Successfully launching a product is a process that encompasses the whole organisation, so getting full buy-in was critical. We set about cultivating the right mind-set by embedding ourselves within the African Bank structure so that there was support at every level.

We worked closely with the African Bank executives to secure top-down

buy-in. From then, it was a process of building a relationship with the sales and contact centre teams on the ground and spreading our own excitement around the products. We did this through a combination of training, team-building, performance recognition and a rewards system. This has led to a sharp rise in motivation.

How we achieved our objective

As this was a completely new arena for African Bank, it did not have the infrastructure in place to be able to source, market, deliver and offer sales and warranty support for the devices. This gave us the scope to completely build a holistic product strategy from scratch.

  1. Grow sales by 50% a month
 

In order to add value to African Bank’s loan offerings, it was important to choose the right product. We carefully created bundles that would appeal to African Bank’s customer base based on the amount of value they would add. Not only did we develop the bundle, we also sourced the data and technology to go with it – everything from the device itself to the accessories.

It was important to not only market the offering properly, but be able to get it

to customers quickly and efficiently. We developed and ran an integrated process centred on the full customer experience, from procurement to delivery, servicing, customer queries and warranty fulfilment. This allowed us to deliver a consistently excellent customer experience. This, along with a strategic marketing effort, was instrumental in the early sales push.

The Results

Since the initiative launched in late 2014, African Bank has steadily acquired new clients and improved the attractiveness of their loan offers

One branch in the Western Cape, for example, was able to increase new clients by 20% through the loan bundles. We were able to exceed our initial target of introducing and growing the deals by 50% per month – instead, we achieved 118% growth for the first two months. From August of 2014 to October of 2015, African Bank saw a sales growth of 4700% on the deal.

Because the bundles include a voice contract, African Bank has also increased its capacity to market to new customers. This has a positive ripple effect on the bank’s sales and customer experience functionality. Staff enthusiasm around the product offering is excellent thanks to our continuing education and incentivisation drive. In just a year, branch participation has gone from 23 branches involved with technology bundles to 391 involved.

Now, African Bank has plans to expand its loan bundles to include other value-adds outside of technology. It continues to work closely with us on the technology side of this expansion, with plans to embed us even further in its operations.

  • Increase in new clients per branch (3 months)25%
  • Growth in Branch participation98%
  • Growth of a new product (2 months)118%