One of the basic rules of marketing is that all efforts are futile if your end consumer is not impressed. In most cases, companies walk through our door because they want to achieve more sales either directly through promotion or indirectly through increasing awareness of their offer or their availability at the point of sale. All these things are great to move the business forward, but they will not work unless the consumer is at the heart of it all.
Most successful products commenced out of identifying a gap in the market or a consumer need for a product or service and set about filling that gap. However, over time many businesses lose the essence of why they started in the first place. They end up becoming more internally focused and lose sight of the real issue at hand, their consumers. They start to put more emphasis on their employees, management remuneration and business branding and following the system. All these are great to do, however they must translate to the end consumer increasing their uptake of your product or service since they keep you in business.
One important point to note for businesses is that a reduction in your sales over time does not necessarily mean there is a need to increase marketing activities such as TV, Radio, in store promotions and the like. Since the consumer is your boss, it is always best to ask them why they are not buying your products or using your services. The results would probably shock you back to the reality that the consumer does truly rule your business. Some of the reasons you might hear could be, but not restricted to;
1. The consumer cannot find your product in stores.
2. Your product is not as good as it used to be, or maybe your consumers’ tastes have changed and the product no longer meets their needs.
3. You are no longer cool to the consumer; you stopped chasing them and now expect them to chase you – that in most cases doesn’t work well
4. Your competition got cheaper for the same quality or even better so they moved.
None of these issues for example can be solved just by increasing your communication spend. So whatever you decide to do, make sure that it’s based upon consumer insight. If you do you might just ensure that, your consumer is smiling back at you!
Joyce Njoroge – Marketing Manager