In simpler times, channel strategies used to be called go-to-market plans! In the huge, overcrowded, rapidly changing CPG marketplace of today, businesses are wise to remember that the market itself is still key to planning a winning channel strategy! And the market has changed.
Because of that, you can no longer manage your channel(s) the way you always have. In order to survive among smaller, agile competitors in the CPG field – and changing customer demands – you have to think differently about your selling strategies.
Here, we discuss three crucial strategies that will inform which channels you use – and how – in the future.
1 Invest in New Growth Platforms
Most young consumers don’t use traditional buying channels. CPG marketers must therefore invest in an omnichannel experience to find and meet customers where they are. To do this, you can choose new growth channels such as
- mobile app
- social media
- email marketing
- private messaging (68% of customers have used a messaging channel to engage with a brand during the pandemic)
- partnering, etc.
Select your channels according to your growth ambitions and your ideal customer personas. Don’t spray-target all channels, fingers crossed! And don’t spread yourself too thin financially. Aim for a great CX instead. Whatever channel you choose, your strategy is to drive customer engagement and acquisition with
- Well-designed material
- Targeted content
- Lifecycle management.
2 Find Power Partners
Having chosen a strategy for some appropriate channels, you may benefit from selecting power partners in those channels to work with. These will be retailers and companies who can help you tap into their existing market in that channel, and fast-forward your own brand’s growth.
The right channel partners must
- share your vision and goals
- reflect your brand values
- be on the same page with your growth strategies.
This applies whatever stage your CPG company is at.
But how will you recognize the right partnerships? They’ll be the ones who understand that both of you should benefit from a partnership, and who therefore act in good faith accordingly.
With rapid changes in the market and CPG industry overall, it’s smart to strategize for specific ways you can innovate and add value around your brand’s products or business model in all your carefully chosen channels. This will give you competitive advantage.
You might start by choosing some of these innovative strategies:
- Develop an insights factory. Collect customer data and analyze it to understand their shopping habits and meet expectations. This might lead to innovation in affordability, eco-packaging, sourcing, or investing in regional variations.
- Enable new business roles that ensure collaboration between sales and marketing. This might take the form of a central commercial team, or perhaps a business development manager. Resources can then be shared optimally for online or regional markets in response to the customer feedback/data collected and shared from each channel.
- Re-align your route-to-market flexibly to suit today’s customer preferences. This might be a mix of delivering to store, BOPIS, direct-to-consumer (D2C) via the website, delivery from a large e-tailer like Amazon, or pickup at agreed locations via your partners.
Without sales, you have no business. So – now more than ever – it’s important to implement considered channel strategies that improve on traditional go-to-market plans and relate more closely to the current needs and desired experiences of your customers.
Here at Momentum CPG, we can help you review your current channel strategies and execute an effective plan to overcome your sales barriers. Contact us today to discuss your needs.