Strategy to Win for Micro Businesses, Optimize the Awareness

Heaptalk Team, expert talk . 07 Jul 2021
Haris Fajar Rahmanto

Heaptalk, Jakarta – In early 2014, a culinary microbusiness named Dapur MTW run their operations by delivering catering limited only to their close relatives. Every day they only can serve ten to twenty orders. And now, after more than three years of partnering with GoFood, they can reach more than hundreds of orders per day.

Today, this catering business is so successful that the good business is managed by the founders, the brother-sister Rangga Dewantoro Dewoso and Tiwu Rayie Dewoso. A lot of aspects from the ops, production, business development they have maintained very well. They also put the digital marketing and branding strategy as the essential component to apply and monitor. That is to say, how they build an awareness time by time promoting through social media ads, applying key opinion leader (KOL) strategy, to subscribe to the premium members of GoFood brings powerful impact to their business growth. In the last example, it leads the brand lying on the front of the app so that customers can easily recognize it.

Another example, How Yasa Singgih, with his Startup Men’s Republic, can double the sales volume every year is inseparable from his foresight to observe market segment’s behavior. They prefer more in the data-driven before taking a decision, in case of, for example, releasing a new variant, initiating a campaign and promo, and building a strategic partnership.

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Once the strategy has been decided to apply, the team will pay attention to the key metrics they have defined. Like targeting the ads into specific geolocation tagging, they set the lower conversion rate by 10% (defined as the onboarding customer to the landing page). If it is achieved or surpassing the line, then it is applied for the next campaign. This method is iteratively applied until it has an impact on sales performance. If the formula works pretty well, then replicate it.

Those two stories indicate that building awareness is an essential strategy to be done by the microbusiness to win the competition. Because of this effort, business owners can guide new consumers to know and remember about their brand, product, or service. It is also important for the continuity of the brands since the consumers tend to buy products that come from familiar brands. So by applying a suitable branding strategy, it widens the opportunity to attract new consumers. Since the customers repeatedly got information about something different and unique, they will have the relational signified planted on their subconscious when they think about something, let say, the food option, unique apparel, or required service.

Nielsen Global New Product Innovation Report data shows that 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products made by brands they are familiar with. Thus, as brands owner, we need to think about winning the competition to reach potential consumers. Valuable insight from Haris Fajar Rahmanto, Senior Strategy Director of PT Illuminate Research Asia, emphasizes that growing a business ideally starts from building awareness.

Even it is not an easy thing, but once we apply suitable strategies specific to the niche problems, we can grow the business convincingly. The accomplishment of processes explained below will bring a valuable long-term impact on the business. And here are some insights from Haris Fajar Rahmanto, delivered during the Bincang Biznis webinar by Gobiz.


The stages of doing a potent digital marketing strategy

Microbusinesses can achieve good branding through the implementation of a digital marketing strategy. Like managing a lean startup, initiating from the problem gathered from the customer’s point of view is a viable strategy, but this should be carefully defined. Thus, Harris Fajar outlined these three steps to go through the growth hack to deal cleverly with customer behavior and needs.

Branding stages

Picture by Haris Fajar presentation


The first step that needs to be done is to diagnose the problems experienced by your prospective customers. Your innovation of products/services comes from identifying your customers’ needs, the solution they expect to have, and the experience. Even unicorn startups like Tokopedia, Gojek, Bukalapak, and Shopee know how to maintain their users from seeing — and then solving — people’s problems.

It may start from simple questions like what are your typical customer personas? How is your customer demographic and geography profile? Define also the age range, gender, social class, residence, and so on. Also, to include; What is the reason why they buy/don’t want to buy your product? How is the buying behavior? How frequent, buying location, spending rate on average, and is there any problem found when customers buy our products?

You can also monitor the potential customer – it can be nearby or online from another region. It is also better to know how your customer interacts with your competitor, including what products they tend to buy or use and why they buy your competitor’s product? Also, what is the media/channel that the customer uses to buy the products?



After outlining a bunch of your customer persona, then you can start defining the business problems that merely happen. Whether it’s about the lack of people knowing your products, people know about our product but tend not to buy. Also, people buy only at once, which shows a lack of loyalty, and you expect they did it repeatedly.

Then, formulate the strategy for whom we gather the valid information: potential customers, new customers, loyal customers? Then do a survey, whether using a primary survey (direct interview or observation) or secondary survey where the data is collected from third parties, such as news, statistical data, journal publications, media, etc.

Somehow, it would help if you also mapped the customer journey towards your products, whether there is any customer pain point. If yes, you can figure out what is the solution to tackle it.



After finishing formulate the strategy, you can start executing your strategy. You can use several recommendation methods, like find the early adopter and doing is A/B testing.

Assuming you have already defined your customer persona and have one sample, it can be your nearest relative. Then, you can follow the fin early adopter method by testing your product on your customer. You can provide a free trial or discount to your customer and gather impressions from them, whether they are satisfied with your product or have any suggestions. Notice all of the findings for the next improvement.

The following method to consider is A/B testing. Let say you have already mapped the customer segmentation into several groups. Then you apply branding strategy to those groups, such as free trial information, discount, opening the new store, and many more. The media also can vary, including through social media ads, paid Search Engine Optimization, Reels, YouTube ads, and many more. Then always standby in front of the analytics to know the lesson learned from each campaign. Then make the comparison between one experiment to another to find which one is the most effective. If you find the best result, you can use it as the best practice to be replicated on the next campaign.

For example, the GoBiz partner is facilitated by real-time analytics on their dashboard to help the business owners monitor their daily performance, including how many times a customer visits their store, makes the purchase, and even the impression of the app users. And it is advantageous to help the business perform better.


Threat the customer better to know how loyal they are

After dealing with the activities that raise people’s awareness, according to Haris Fajar, you can classify the customer into five levels inside. From awareness to consideration, to conversion, to loyalty, and end in the advocacy.

“Because people that already aware of our products doesn’t always decide to buy your products. But they may go through several times of consideration. At this point, you need to impress them stronger so that they come to your store,” Said Haris Fajar.

Then, Haris Fajar explains one strategy to be applied through the creation Von Restorff Effect. Sometimes there are multiple homogeneous stimuli presented. But suddenly, there is one subject that appears that differs from the rest. And according to the theory, it is more likely to be remembered.

the von restoff effect

the von restoff effect via

Back to the diagram, we need to remember that it continuously decreases customers’ transit from the higher funnel to the lower funnel. For example, from one hundred thousand people aware of your products, only 10% from them considering their options to buy. And from that number, only 10% that finally buy our product. And it continuously decreases loyalty and becomes the advocacy.

“So the key is constantly expanding the number of aware people of your product to win the market,” suggested Haris Fajar.