How this Lahore-based car wash startup increased sales by 60% through influencer marketing

By Awais Imran on
May 19, 2016
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As someone deeply interested in growth – be it in business or your personal life – I’m always thinking of that next “hack” that promises huge growth with minimal resources. Fellow entrepreneurs will know what I’m talking about: growth hacks are imaginative methods through which you boost your most important numbers – registered users, recurring revenue, etc. – without spending millions on paid marketing.

Some of the most famous growth hacks include Hotmail’s “P.S. I love you” signature that took them to 2 million users within seven months and Dropbox’s well-designed referrals program that took them from 100K users to over 4 million within fifteen months.

If you were to plot their number of users over time, you would end up with the famous hockey stick curve that every entrepreneur dreams of:

Hockey Stick Growth

(Image via LinkedIn)

Brainstorming, designing, and implementing growth hacks is part of my work description at both Jumpshare, a file sharing startup, and PriceOye.pk, my price comparison service. So, I felt curious when I saw signs of growth hackery going on in my own backyard. If you’re active on Facebook, you must’ve seen IT industry thought leaders heaping praises on a new car wash service called Car Butlers. Here’s a few publicly posted examples taken from Facebook:

Zafar Khan is the CEO of Sofizar.

Sajjad Kirmani is the CEO of CloudClinik

Fatima Rizwan, as a reader of TechJuice likely knows, is the founder of this blog.

Photos from PITB’s Roundtable Conference

This is a great example of a growth hack, or what I call a “ فروغی جگاڑ “.

Car Butler’s growth hack is gifting free trials to influencers gathered at big events. Their team silently shows up before the event, lists down which car belongs to which influencer, and washes/polishes them until they can see their reflection. When the influencer comes back, they gracefully welcome them to their shiny new car, pitch their service, and subtly nudge them to share feedback on Facebook. It’s a ruthlessly efficient way to market your service.

Car Butler is a new startup, so they obviously do not have the resources to gift free trials to every Tom, Dilshad and Haroon to help spread the word. So, to maximize both positive word of mouth and mouse, they target the most influential people.

Free Influencer Marketing

Abdul Wasay, Founder of Car Butlers

I reached out to Car Butlers’ team to learn how they came up with the idea, and how it has so far helped their growth.

“We believe that if you want to increase your sales, you need to increase the number of trials.” said Abdul Wasay, founder of Car Butlers. “In our case there are more than 1.4 million cars in Lahore only. To give them a free trial, we would need a lot of manpower. So, we thought of giving away our free service to people who are already an inspiration and influence to thousands in one way or the other. Obviously, their [social media posts] would be worth more.”

Wasay and his team have served hundred of customers in the past three months. Since launching their influencer marketing campaign, they saw an increase of 60% in sales in just two weeks!

Car Butlers’ فروغی جگاڑ  is a wonderful example of how Pakistanis find ways to not only survive but thrive in the face of limited resources and obstacles. I wish them best of luck, and look forward to their next growth hack.

Car Butlers [Facebook Page]

 
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