WhatsApp Ads: A good call for B2B, B2C businesses

The convenience offered by Whatsapp Ads has made it a popular platform for businesses to establish cost-effective connection with its target audience, say experts

by Shantanu David
Published - February 13, 2024
4 minutes To Read
WhatsApp Ads: A good call for B2B, B2C businesses

While we are most likely muting innumerable family, college and school groups on WhatsApp (equally numerous work groups alas are seemingly sacrosanct), and only reply on them when specifically @ed, we are definitely checking the messaging app for updates from shopping portals on last-minute gifts, or perusing the takeout discounts being offered on a weekend night when we are too tired to either cook or dine out.

As a platform, WhatsApp experiences over 100 billion messages exchanged daily, with a significant number involving business-to-customer interactions. Users spend approximately 19.4 hours per month on WhatsApp, with Indian users engaging well above the global average.Noting that this extensive usage indicates WhatsApp's growing significance in the advertising and marketing strategies of brands, especially in customer engagement and service segments, Suraj Nambiar, National Media Head, Tonic Worldwide, agrees that WhatsApp ads are performing notably within the media mix of brands, particularly in India. “Today as a consumer you would expect an update on the product or service through WhatsApp. The platform's share in the advertising spend pie is growing, particularly with its strong user engagement statistics.”The most active user group is 26-35 years, followed by those aged 36-45. Over 50 million businesses globally use WhatsApp Business, including around 15 million in India. These businesses primarily use WhatsApp for customer service and for sending order and delivery updates.

WhatsApp ads are becoming more popular in industries like fashion retail, high-end B2C, and B2B which depend on customer interaction before the sale. WhatsApp ads are predicted to replace traditional Meta ads in these industries, accounting for 15-20% of the overall marketing budget.

“For businesses in the retail, B2B, and high-end B2C sectors, WhatsApp marketing has become an advanced means of generating leads. Its unique advantages contribute to its superiority. To begin with, it obtains prospect numbers with ease and does not require exhausting form submissions. This guarantees an open line of communication and makes the process of engaging simpler,” observes Advit Sahdev, Digital Marketing and Performance Marketing Expert.

Furthermore, since individuals voluntarily provide their numbers when they are truly interested, WhatsApp marketing is great at producing high-intent queries. A pool of prospects who truly want to interact is produced by this pre-qualification process, increasing the likelihood of successful conversions.

Mitesh Kothari, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, White Rivers Media points out that WhatsApp has become a cornerstone of communication in India. “Its convenience has made it a popular platform for businesses to establish cost-effective connection with its target audience. This translates to impressive conversion rates and a clear ROI for those who leverage its influence. Market automation tools further amplify this reach, allowing businesses to scale their WhatsApp campaigns effortlessly and efficiently.”

Nambiar adds that marketers who have their META campaigns integrated with WhatsApp for business can complete the user journey on WhatsApp itself. Given the platform's extensive use for business communications and customer service, especially in sectors like e-commerce for order and delivery updates, WhatsApp's role in digital marketing strategies is increasing.

Another important feature of WhatsApp is its real-time and instantaneous communication platform. WhatsApp enables businesses to interact with consumers right away in a world where timely responses are essential. This helps in enhancing the overall customer experience.

Sahdev observes, “In particular, WhatsApp ads have proven to be very successful in a variety of business categories, especially when a sale is preceded by a meaningful customer interaction. Real-time communication with potential customers allows for a more individualised and interactive approach, which influences favourable decisions about purchases.

All that being said though, there is still a cap in place, mainly because many customers are reluctant to divulge their phone numbers as they would like to maintain control over the timing and channels of their communications.

“Due to this limitation, the audience is restricted to a smaller pool of highly motivated prospects. Businesses recognize the value of respecting customer preferences and establishing a balance between user control and engagement, despite the fact WhatsApp ads provide a direct and real-time connection,” says Sahdev.

“It’s difficult to say what these spends will be at the moment since there is no third-party research or audit done on this. The trend suggests a significant and growing portion, especially in markets with high WhatsApp usage like India,” says Nambiar, adding this growth is likely to continue as businesses leverage WhatsApp's reach and engagement capabilities across various industries that can add value to their customers through the platform.