Many of you have been in the proverbial hot seat sitting across a retailer’s desk discussing category and brand performance, crop projections, contracts and new product development – all things that matter for the growth of your business and the strength of your retail relationships. But with the ability to directly engage vast audiences with unlimited digital reach, you now have an opportunity – dare I say obligation - to extend your conversation with retail partners to include how your brand influences the buying decisions made by their customers.
Specifically, the ease and availability of digital marketing tools now allow you to include conversation around your company’s commitment to engage and educate consumers as well as your ability to provide details about shopper preferences and insights you are gathering along the way- the latter being the real value proposition. This unique consumer marketing approach is commonly referred to as inbound marketing.
The beauty of inbound marketing is the mutually beneficial exchange between your brand and consumers. Shoppers are seeking information online to the tune of more than 3.6 billion internet users per day, and by implementing an inbound marketing practice, your brand is available during that search with the information and inspiration that they are seeking. On the flip side, you (and your retail partners) are no longer relegated to strictly third party shopper data to make strategy decisions. You are now empowered to gather your own psychographic data to help you understand trends, meet demand, innovate well and delight consumers. The inbound exchange truly meets the needs of all three parties, but it’s your job to think strategically about what data your retailer would appreciate you gathering, set up the collection process and then present it to them in a useful and informative way.
Perhaps you are already well on your way to these new strategic sales conversations or maybe your head is swimming in the questions of ‘who’ and ‘how’ to make this a reality for you. Stay tuned for part 2 of this series topic next week where we lay out some hypothetical examples of how consumer intel can directly correlate to an actionable marketing response that delivers value to your retailer partner.