Posted: 1 year ago

Revolutionizing Digital Banking: Space International's Journey to 4 Million App Installs in Uzbekistan

In an engaging conversation with Irakli Chkheidze, the CDMO at Space International, we explore the captivating narrative of how the organization achieved a groundbreaking feat: 4 million app installs in Uzbekistan. 

Congratulations on achieving 4 million app installs in Uzbekistan. What would you say were the main factors contributing to this success?

Thank you! Our achievement of reaching 4 million app installs in Uzbekistan is really a group effort and it boils down to a combination of factors.

First of all, we've learned a lot from our past experiences, especially from our operations with TBC Georgia and the launch of Space Neobank in Georgia. It's like we took those learnings and were able to apply them directly to our approach in Uzbekistan.

I would also highlight the great teamwork between our Georgian and Uzbek teams. This cross-border collaboration significantly contributed to our success.

Our leadership team also deserves credit. They not only provided us with support but encouraged us to explore and innovate. This freedom allowed us to understand better what clicks with our audience.

Our performance marketing team was another pillar of our success. Their hard work, strategic mindset, and reliance on data in our communication efforts played a vital role. Collaborating closely with the Uzbek marketing and commerce teams, got us where we are today.

And, of course, we can't overlook Uzbekistan's potential. The vast market, ready for growth and open to innovation, readily embraced our digital banking app.

So, it was the perfect blend of past experiences, supportive leadership, strategic marketing, and a welcoming market. The synergy between the teams across countries really sealed the deal. We're excited about our future path.

Can you explain in more detail the Neuro research initiative you conducted? How did it contribute to understanding your user needs in Uzbekistan?

Neuromarketing, or neuro research, is like getting a peek inside people's minds. It helps us understand how people's brains react to our ads. This approach goes beyond what people say they want, and lets us see their real thoughts and feelings.

In Uzbekistan, we used a mix of these neuro research methods. For example, we used eye tracking during our digital video ads. This helped us see which parts of the ads people were most interested in and how these parts made them feel.

We also used tools like fMRI, which gave us insights into the decision-making process in the brain. This helped us understand why people were more attracted to certain parts of our ads than others.

This research helped us get a deeper understanding of our users in Uzbekistan. We used it to improve how we communicate with our users through our ads. It provided us valuable insights that helped us craft our marketing messages more effectively.

You mentioned creating detailed buyer personas. Could you give us an example of one and how it helped you in creating a better user experience?

Here is one simplified example of one of our personas, let’s call this user “Alisher”:

Alisher, a 30-year-old Uzbek bank customer, is cautious, values transparency, and prefers simple experiences. He's mindful of opinions, mostly to avoid judgment, and trusts his close circle's advice. He's patient and skeptical of too-good-to-be-true offers but will put effort for assured rewards. While not very proactive, he enjoys the journey, shuns unpleasant experiences, and values good customer service and digital banking products with a gamified touch.

Alisher cherishes material possessions as status symbols and responds to ads promoting tangible rewards. He's introspective, prefers stability over thrill, and is drawn to visual communications that show life or emotional improvements.

Understanding our persona, like Alisher, allows us to fine-tune our advertising to resonate with our users. By familiarizing ourselves with our buyers' profiles, we can craft content that aligns with their interests, expectations and pain points. This in-depth knowledge of our audience empowers our marketing team, giving them a clearer picture of they are talking to, thus enhancing their ability to produce appealing and effective content.

Could you elaborate more on the marketing funnel approach you have utilized? How effective has it been in driving user engagement?

Our marketing funnel approach is a guided journey, informed by a deep understanding of our users, and has proved highly effective in driving user engagement.

The funnel consists of three stages - Top of the Funnel (TOFU) or awareness, Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) or interest, and Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) or conversion. Each stage has been carefully constructed with unique messaging and value propositions that align with our users' stage-specific needs and expectations.

In the awareness stage, our goal was to reach as many potential users as possible. We achieved this by leveraging a variety of digital platforms such as Facebook Ads, Google Display, and RTB.

Once potential users engaged with our content, they moved to the interest stage. At this point, we retargeted them with more detailed information about our services, refining our message to appeal to their developing interest.

Lastly, for those who visited our web platforms, we moved into the conversion stage. We again retargeted these users, this time with a specific goal of driving app installs.

However, our marketing funnel approach doesn't end with an install. Rather, we view an install as the beginning of a sustained engagement process. We continue to interact with our users, fostering a long-term relationship and encouraging continual use of our services. This approach has resulted in higher user engagement and strengthened user relationships.

What role did the Performance Marketing Team based in Georgia play in your success? How do you coordinate efforts across such geographical distances?

The Performance Marketing Team based in Georgia, responsible for all paid digital communications, has been a crucial contributor to our success. Despite geographical barriers, they have effectively coordinated with our local Commerce and Marketing teams in Uzbekistan.

The key to our effective collaboration is maintaining a strong sync between the teams. We accomplish this through daily sync meetings, constant contact, and joint tracking of our performance. This continuous communication and collaboration have allowed us to create strategies that truly resonate with our audience, thus enhancing our digital communication efforts.

What lessons have you learned from your success in Uzbekistan that you plan to carry forward as you expand to new markets?

Our successful operations in Uzbekistan have taught us some valuable lessons that will inform our expansion into new markets. We've learned that a centralized team can work effectively across different geographical locations. We've also recognized the importance of maintaining daily communication with local commerce and marketing teams, ensuring smooth coordination and understanding.

Establishing robust governance principles is crucial, and these should encompass our work methods, decision-making processes, and the metrics and KPIs that we prioritize. These rules should be well-documented and accessible to everyone for alignment across all teams. Lastly, setting clear, precise targets on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis is essential, providing clear direction and allowing us to measure our progress effectively. These insights will guide our approach as we move into new markets.

Finally, what would you say is the ultimate goal of Space International? How do you see it impacting the communities you serve in the future?

The ultimate goal of Space International is to revolutionize the banking experience by providing the first regional cross-border digital banking platform. We're not just a financial institution; we're a technology provider that's enabling financial freedom and accessibility for millions of users across different regions.

With an array of features and services from digital onboarding, consumer loans, e-commerce and offline installment payments, to savings accounts, P2P transfers, and a gamification loyalty program, we aim to meet the diverse needs of our users. Our built-in digital product portfolio allows us to quickly roll out new features and improvements, making banking more convenient and personalized for our users.

As we expand our digital banking operations internationally, we see ourselves having a significant impact on the communities we serve. We aim to empower individuals by offering accessible, intuitive, and reliable banking services, eliminating geographical and technological barriers.

We envision a future where banking is no longer seen as a tedious obligation, but a seamless part of daily life. We want to enhance financial literacy and enable better financial decision-making for our users, ultimately contributing to the economic growth of the communities we serve.