Building a billion-dollar brand is no mean feat, especially for those mid-market brands who are looking to fight against the global behemoths. They do not have the luxury or the financial muscle to have superstars on TV, creating the consumer pull. Nor can they drive availability at competitive prices because of their larger share of a retailer’s basket. They are also competing against 100s of other brands for 12 inches of prime shelf space in a store.
However, I have seen many brands win in such a competitive environment, and they all have two things in common – speed and agility. Brands that can change quickly and act fast can capture consumers’ hearts and minds, and drive sustainable growth. They ensure availability in the right store, for the right price, and at the right time, all the time.
To make this happen, brands have to ensure that their RTM digitisation suite allows them to drive:
Integrated operations – Bring together stakeholders across the value chain on to a single platform. These stakeholders can be your sales teams, distribution partners, smaller rural sub-distributors and even retailers. It is the fastest way to get your products to consumers through a ‘Just in time’ supply chain.
Data-driven decisions – Drive data-backed decision making by ensuring visibility of performance across the ecosystem. Ensure your teams can predict demand by channels, understand pricing elasticity across their range, identify whitespaces in their distribution and achieve the best numeric and weighted distribution.
Customer focus – Drive personalised engagement for your key retail outlets, ensuring that they have the right products and promotions for their consumers.
Intelligent execution – Provide every persona at every touchpoint with the insights to take the next best action. For example, a salesperson should be able to recommend what products the retailer should order. A distributor should understand the inventory levels needed to understock or overstock their warehouses. Retailers should have insights to price the products correctly for their consumer segments.
The ability of mid-market brands to execute an integrated RTM strategy at speed is paramount to their success. They need to look at a digitisation suite that allows them to bring together all of these capabilities in the shortest time possible, i.e., weeks instead of months and years as is the industry norm.