The retail sector is under increasing pressure as consumers have shrinking disposable income in a strained economy. Maintaining share of wallet is critical. Relying solely on a push route to market strategy from manufacturers into retailers is not enough to get consumers buying products.
A pull strategy needs to coexist with the push to drive brand consumption. Integrating these strategies requires intelligent and insightful decision-making.
This in turn requires data generated through smart technology which provides line of sight across the value chain from manufacturer to distribution, retailer to the consumer.
Integrating marketing into the value chain
Traditional route to market brand strategy focuses on driving stock into the retailer. It is then up to the retailer to ensure a sales drive to the consumer.
This push strategy is a difficult sell in the current market however, and manufacturers are left fighting for their share of wallet. Brands need to focus on creating a pull strategy to work in tandem with the push, so that consumers actively want to buy their products as a result of the reward that goes with the purchase.
Loyalty and rewards are instrumental in incentivising consumption by choice, which is the heart of an effective pull strategy. In-depth understanding at the consumer level is crucial to understanding what rewards and incentives are likely to successfully drive brand consumption.
This requires the entire value chain to work cohesively to achieve end-to-end visibility, which in turn is vital for intelligence and analysis. Only once this insight is available can effective programmes be put into place and efforts continually re-evaluated based on actual data and insight.
A multi-faceted approach
In order to maximise brand consumption and market share, there are many elements that need to be considered beyond simply pushing products into retailers.
It is also important to create brand awareness and encouraging interaction by delivering meaningful loyalty and rewards programs. In a constantly evolving world, programs must also be entirely flexible with the ability to be changed dynamically based on insights, trend analysis, consumer sentiment and actual results.
The goal is to actively engage the target audience to bolster the brand and move product, making both push and pull strategies more effective. Live, real-time data across the value chain and a holistic digital intelligence gathering solution are critical to successfully creating this combination of intelligent push and pull strategy.
Success is in the data
End-to-end insight and intelligence empowers brands with a clearer picture of what consumer spend actually looks like.
Trend analysis and forecasting enables brands to predict and respond to likely changes in consumer behaviours. In addition, access to real-time data and analytics enables dynamic decision making and adjustments to buying strategy based on actual purchasing patterns.
An effective pull strategy, in conjunction with the traditional push approach, is the answer to maintaining market share in a declining economy. This can only come from insight through customer engagements driven by a digital end-to-end solution across the value chain.
The ability to analyse live data in real time is a source of significant competitive advantage that can be leveraged to improve sales and buying decisions. This wealth of data is just waiting to be tapped into.