SEAGM is a hyper-successful online E-commerce platform that sells digital goods and services for gamers around the world.
Even with the recent setback, they are picking back up faster than before, with the following:
- Over 3 million users.
- Total of MYR2.1 billion in revenue growth.
- Projection to hit RM500mil in revenue this year.
All while being located in Sitiawan, Perak.
We spoke to SEAGM’s marketing manager, Raymond Foo to understand how they have grown to the size they are today. And in this post, we reveal what we’ve learned from them.
Community Building – The Secret ‘Growth’ Weapon
Communities have been with us since centuries.
A town, school, a hobbyist group – are long been identified as communities. Author of “This is Marketing”, Seth Godin calls this a ‘tribe’
It’s only in recent years that businesses have applied the concept of communities to their business. Every business today, online or offline – has a community made up of its employees, customers, supporters, supplies and investors.
So the real question is: Does your business realizes the existence and power of its community?
In the beginning, SEA Gamer Mall was just a regular E-Commerce platform that sold gaming cards and top-up services for online gamers.
But as the years go by, users have become an important catalyst for the growth of the business.
“Right now, SEAGM are kind of a community instead of just a platform itself. Users actually demand more than top-up service from us. They demand a lot of tips, content, activities, promotion etc.” – Raymond.
Instead of a one-off transaction, customers these days are more demanding. Users actually demand more than a top-up service at SEAGM. On top of their purchases, they want gaming tips, content, activities, promotions and more.
Connecting with Their Community Through Live Streams
SEAGM’s runs regular Facebook live streams every week.
This helps them keep their brand on the minds of their community. To maintain relevance and relatability, they invite different gamers to stream on their page.
The brand has collaborated with gamers and influencers such as.
This is a step into building a relationship with their community, made up of gamers – their customers.
They do this by listening to their suggestions, giving them a spotlight and bringing people together, so that the platform is more than just an E-commerce website.
The takeaway: Maintaining a relationship with your customers is important. Live-streams is one of the methods SEAGM utilizes to connect with their community.
SEAGM’s Recipe to Building a Community (A Community Marketing Strategy)
As Raymond emphasizes:
“It is all about the user[s].”
Whereas marketing strategies such as advertising, promotion and sales – all focus on attaining customers, community marketing is about engaging your audience in active, non-intrusive conversations.
A good community-centric marketing strategy, is one that looks over the marketing trends and analysis. Doing market research only gives you a general overview of what your audience might want.
Raymond suggests interacting directly with customers, an approach to get primary understanding of each gamer’s pain, hopes, dreams and fear.
SEAGM marketing team works closely with customer support teams regionally, to understand each market segment’s gaming needs and experiences.
On the digital experience aspect, the marketing team engages with social listening – comments, reviews, and feedback online to understand user’s sentiments and gaming experiences.
As for the offline part, they have their own e-sport team on-ground participating in e-sport competitions locally and overseas, which is a strategic avenue to gain primary insights besides community events.
Once you understand the needs of your audience, then it’s time to design experiences that match their expectations.
To do this, Raymond designed a marketing funnel with different activities for users needs at every layer.
Top of Funnel Audience
Audiences at the top of the funnel are prospects who are just getting to know SEAGM as a brand.
To build trust and brand recognition, SEAGM organises events, from tournaments and gaming events, providing a platform for gamers to interact with each other.
SEAGM acts as the hub, running events for relevant stakeholders and communities.
This helps to increase their brand reach to new gamers. And by hosting events for their audience, SEAGM educated people about their product offering.
Moreover, sending their internal professional gaming team to join international and regional e-sports tournaments is another form of outreach and branding strategy.
Mid of Funnel Audience
Audiences at the middle funnel are prospects who have engaged with one of the events hosted by SEAGM. In their perspective, they see SEAGM as an active member of the community.
To continue to drive engagement, SEAGM keeps their audience engaged by creating content and running re-marketing ads to warm audiences, keeping the brand fresh in their minds through the process.
Through this activity, the audience benefits by receiving latest developments and happenings in the gaming world.
Bottom of Funnel Audience
SEAGM organizes different activities for the longer community members. The marketing team pays close attention to the reviews and feedback left by loyal customers.
And to engage deeper, SEAGM engages influencers and streamers within their community to run live-streams and events.
A gaming team they have worked with, includes YooDo Gank, Malaysia’s professional PUBG team.
This is where SEAGM actively listens to the suggestions made by their very own customers. By doing this, SEAGM is able to do better marketing and allow their community members to feel valued – for having their voices heard.
The takeaway: Actively listen to your audience. Split your audience into 3 categories in a marketing funnel as they have different needs. Design a marketing strategy that aligns with your audience’s needs and wants.
The 3 Must-Know Customer Behaviours
In a world where businesses can easily analyze their customer demographics and behaviour, using tools such as Google Analytics, it’s important to know which insights matters most for your business.
Raymond explains the 3 customer behaviours the marketing team tracks at SEAGM, that decides how they do marketing.
1 – Study your customer’s pain points. (before building your community marketing strategy)
Raymond explains that you have to understand the pain-points of your customers.
First, understand what problems they face, then provide solutions that help solve their problems. Ultimately, this will bring about your unique selling proposition.
For SEAGM, here’s what they found:
Gamers don’t like being disrupted when they are in the zone.
This means they need to be able to purchase top-ups or boosts on the fly. And if there are technical issues that arise during their gameplay, they need instant support and solutions.
And here’s another problem: Gamers are people who play games during any hour of the day. A majority of them are people who play during twilight hours, running early into the morning as 3AM or 4AM.
So, how does SEAGM cater for gamers who need support during these hours?
By building a dedicated service and transaction team that runs the clock 24/7!
With this, gamers can purchase top-ups and boosts from SEAGM any time they wish, knowing that if they need support, there will be someone available to assist them.
This became one of SEA Gamer Mall’s unique selling propositions and Raymond has been using this to attract more gamers to rely on SEAGM.
2 – Understanding your customer’s accessibility.
While it’s important to study your customer demographics, it’s even more crucial to learn about their day to day experiences.
SEAGM’s target demographic are young adults aged between 18-24 years old.
Raymond noticed that when it comes to making payments, younger audiences prefer using top-up cards and E-wallets to make purchases, which prove to be more accessible to young adults and teenagers.
So instead of just providing standard online payment modes such as Paypal and credit card gateways, SEAGM offers purchases of top-up cards and E-wallets that resonate better with their market.
The accessibility is also different for consumers from different countries.
And because SEAGM has customers from different countries, mainly Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia – understanding the accessibility of their customers becomes more important than ever.
3 – Understanding your customer locality.
While it’s important for a brand to have a consistent brand voice and message (just like Apple with its consistent plain white ads around the world), it’s also important to adjust your marketing and solutions towards the locality of your customers.
SEAGM has customers all over Southeast Asia, mainly from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and China.
Even though most of their customers speak English, there are still a significant number of customers who prefer to speak in their native languages such as Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, or Chinese.
This is why SEAGM set up localized offices within each major country they have customers in. Each office has support staff who support and communicate with its users in a language they are comfortable with.
These customer behaviours may seem as something easily negligible for many businesses. According to Raymond, however, they define how SEAGM was able to grow so quickly and build a cult-like customer base.
Lessons Learnt (In building a solid community marketing strategy)
Here’s what we learned and what you can replicate for your business as well.
- Build a community made up of your audience.
- Figure out key activities for audiences in different parts of the marketing funnel.
- Find out the pain points of your customers.
- Be sensitive to your customer’s accessibility and locale.
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