Anyone involved in businesses that are consumer focused whether you are running the business or in marketing, trade marketing, shopper marketing or sales; whether you work for a retailer or a supplier; one thing is true. If you don’t “win” with shoppers, you don’t win.
Award winning marketing campaigns count for nothing if the shopper doesn’t buy.
But what does winning mean in the consumer business. Winning means
These are the four steps to consumer success I’ve outlined in a series of posts earlier this year. See here for the first post about how Marketing has lost its way.
So I know the recipe, but how do I know that my dish tastes fantastic and my consumers and eating it up?
Well you can wait for results. But then these results may not show everything. Typically, for consumer businesses we work with second and third parties- distributors, promoters, retailers, retailer managers, and their staff – to implement our plans. So if the results don’t show what’s the problem… was the right things done wrong, or have you failed to do the right thing?
Get in market to find out.
Great companies get this: I met a marketer from one liquor company recently who had just spent three days on a market visit trip. But this, appears to be a rarity in todays hectic world.
When I started in consumer goods, working for a Pharmaceutical company in New Zealand, I spent the first year or so as a field sales rep before transferring to head office management. My first boss made it a habit to regularly visit with me, both to see what i was doing, how effective I was and what was going on in the market.
When I transferred to office , the one piece of advice I never received was: go to retail as often as possible. The company did not do so well, and no matter hard I tried it never did do well… too much internal focus on what might happen (planning and re-planning and paperwork, and research and reports, and no focus on what was actually happening in market).
If you’re working with consumers, you’ll never spend too much time in market.
This clear message, though still hasn’t got through to many people. Too many marketers and sales people I meet are apparently too busy to go into market to engage with retailers and consumers (though often not too busy to complain that they don’t have a budget for shopper research).
So here’s my suggestion. Take your team in market to a store. take the time to look before you get in store, look at the store entry, look at ALL the aisles, then go to your category. Even do online store visits now, with the significant increase of online shopping.
So you go in market, do you know what you are looking for?
The critical element of looking in market is to check on two of the four key elements of you marketing.
Firstly, lets talk about the EXPERIENCE.
As you know, in-store experience is all about Easy to Find and Easy to Buy. How can you influence this?
As we covered before its about three elements
Again your trips in market will enable you to asses the triggers you have in place in front of consumers and how they are implemented and how they compare.
It all comes back to while you may have put in place the “right things” – an effective trade marketing plan- this may not be implemented as your team or retailers may not do “things right”- the efficiency of appropriate quality implementation.
In your visits in market you can assess Quality of Implementation
So now we’ve covered WHY you need to get in-market, how do we set about actually doing it, and with your team to enable them to assess and improve?
We’re all busy – but we’re creative, there are lots of ways to save time AND spend time in stores.
So now you know what to do, why to do it, and how to do it… I wish you lots of excitement in market.