Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Adapting the Commercial Strategy to Today’s Consumer

Adapting to the different levels of willingness to pay and earning the loyalty from consumers that are not only overwhelmed by so many different marketing channels –email, catalogs, telemarketing, infomercials, etc.–, but also more informed and with higher expectations, are two of the most basic needs for every organization.  Businesses and their leadership teams need to constantly adapt their strategies to the ever changing market.

Keep in Mind
Assuming that global overproduction almost secures the existence of a business to distribute and/or sell these products; consumers will most likely look for better quality and lower prices [1].  Price competition becomes so tight that benefits and success are harder to perceive and measure.  Efficacy becomes a key factor with competitors looking to provide the best experience for consumers.

It is not uncommon to find companies such as Southwest that have eliminated intermediaries, bureaucracy, and the middle man, to stay in direct contact with their clients.  Others, such as the mighty Walmart, have opted for collecting data from their consumers so that they can analyze it and provide a personalized experience.  Keep in mind though, that none of these techniques will result in success if they are not effectively applied, especially when they add complexity for the consumer; e.g.: having to swipe a “rewards point” card during checkout, or having to be in the departure gate earlier than usual to avoid the dreaded middle seat in the plane.

About the Point of Sale
For some experts, the POS is the product since this is where consuming [the product] is produced, value is added, and competition stands out.  In addition to this, service is also greatly valued; post-sale service, warranties, discounts, and overall experience will determine whether a costumer returns [2].  It is equally important to listen to consumers, know what they want, what they say, do, and see; this represents key information that aids in the decision making process.

Become Disruptive
There are still businesses that are so risk averse that they miss on the opportunity to tackle on new markets by releasing new products; this hinders their innovative production and creative thinking.  Some even add a couple new features on the same product and call that innovation.  Companies can explore blue oceans in search of meeting new needs that consumers do not even know they have.  That is what innovators do [3].

Finally, technology should be incorporated in the strategy.  In this digital era, machine + man becomes a powerful combination.  IT advancements not only facilitate easier and smoother sales process, but it also allows businesses to target specific markets and tailor their strategy to different segments as needed. Einstein considered it insane to expect different results while doing the same thing, but are my recommendations enough? What other actions should business take in order to prevail?


By Elisa Taymes

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