Written by: Ashok Jaiswar
About the author: Group Head Marketing & Corporate Communications – Greaves Cotton Limited & Ampere Electric
Amidst ongoing challenges gripping us with the theory of lock & unlock we all have been continuously chasing new ways of getting back to live our normal life. Numerous stories on revenge watching(IPL), revenge shopping (The big online sales), revenge traveling (booking for next year) have emerged which points out to a hope that the market is going to rebound fast & much with vengeance! The sudden spurt in growth of entry level automotive products, farm equipment & other essential services now backed by stimulus packs by the governing bodies have only increased hope of faster & quick V shaped recovery.
Are we ready to gain maximum in the future?
If this sounds familiar & positive almost been part of every zoom meeting & conference calls, here is what you need to be doing now to prepare for achieving a new sales peak.
1) Understand the new mix & emerging patterns
The market has changed and so do the consumer preferences. Asking these questions will help everyone from the front force to the product development teams to the approving corner offices of top honchos.
- Is there any specific model, size, colour, accessory getting picked more by customers today? It’s important to know what’s been picked the most from your shelf. If economy products are most considered because of various reasons then, can we design better ways of addressing these groups with eco packs, custom offers which have lesser pay-outs and structured installment programs
e.g. EMI/ day, book now pay later, free maintenance packages, special corporate discounts, customized packages for working professionals & so on.
The effort here is to grab the low hanging fruit & thus increase the size of pie which is actively buying today and make more of such buyers look at your product or service. At this stage, it’s important to understand what will help create higher affinity & bonding with these cohorts.
Put an effort to connect with not just who is buying or willing to buy, but to know what are those specific characteristics which make sense for current buyers and how can we tap more of such buyers across various consumer touchpoints.
Know specific patterns emerging in the marketplace to design programs & experiences around the new dynamics of evolving customer behaviour.
Identify clear benefits related to your product & remove barriers related to the purchase by proactively connecting with customers so that the retail cycle time can be reduced. Faster the conversion process of leads, better funnel efficiencies can be obtained thus reducing the CPS (Cost per Sale) substantially in the future.
- To achieve faster conversion, it’s important to adequately support the customer discovery process with relevant content on a consistent basis. This includes sprucing up your e-commerce sites with simplified & easy product explanations based on what matters most to the customers today. This will drive deeper engagement with customers actively considering your product after going through your sites now laced with rich visuals, product videos, product reviews, influencer videos, testimonials & also an option to provide easy product trials at their doorstep or nearby location. Facilitating home deliveries will add further to their convenience.
2) Support Purpose-driven programs especially if you are working on future product roadmaps. The previous product blueprint has already been disrupted as new requirements have come to the fore and we might have to revisit the product charters with a clear lens of benefitting the customer, environment & society as a whole.
Benefitting the customer
Can there be ways by which we can cut costs or enhance savings?
- If reducing the cost of ownership is one big criteria, look for alternate ways to help this happen.
Example: Considering battery-on-lease as a separate option which can substantially reduce the cost of bigger electric vehicles.
Can there be ways by which we can enhance life?
If enhancing life is big focus area especially after the pandemic, re-look at designing products keeping health as a key focus area. Here are few examples
- Health supplements with immunity boosters.
- In automotive introduce products which have low or zero carbon emissions
Benefiting the Society or People at large
Bring products which will benefit people at large by simplifying their lives or enabling them to use products & live better. Rising unemployment levels, rising emission levels & subsequent health problems & making governing authorities create policies that support companies who can offer workable solutions for common benefit. We need new products which can benefit all stakeholder groups.
- Example: Introducing entry-level electric scooters provides gainful employment to millions of delivery boys, helps them earn with pride & by their usage of electric vehicles it heavily cuts down on future emission and thus protects the environment & health (caused due to serious pollution disorders).
3) Foster Personalisation
Today as we have ample time to revisit plans owing to lockdown we can look forward to using this time for creating personalized products and offers. It’s easier done today than ever before because of growing digitalization. Here are few examples
- Tourism companies can look forward to bring weekend escapades as compared to long vacation stays especially for frequent travelers waiting to move with their backpacks one before. They can also promote forest /green park promotions to foster health rejuvenation drives.
- Hand-painted, Handcrafted Custom-fit bikes in Automotive.
One thing is very clear that disruptions & uncertainties are here to stay with us & we have to retune our strategy & revisit our approach now to gain exponentially ahead.