Consumer-focused businesses have three key challenges:
In all my years creating marketing plans, these challenges continue to pop up the most frequently. And the product, service, size of the business or number of employees makes no difference.
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Okay, practically speaking, there are still lots of consumer sales and marketing challenges that often creep in. For example, the businesses lifecycle stage, strategic planning and the management team’s level of marketing sophistication can all create challenges. But, ask any CEO about their sales and marketing needs and you’ll find that increasing sales, generating more revenue, or achieving growth will top the list.
Now, what does this mean for a small business, professional service providers or businesses that need marketing help? Let’s take my coffee client who sells specialty coffee from legendary, coffee-producing countries around the world:
Coffee has become like wine or craft beer. Its flavor profiles, price points and manner of consumption all vary by individual preferences. This means that the consumer sales and marketing challenges coffee manufacturers face include the need for a distinctive strategy, brand positioning and focus to compete for what their consumers (and the market) really want.
The challenge that comes into play is that “what the coffee drinkers want” is all over the board! For example:
All these various consumer desires meant we had to focus. Together with my client, we chose gourmet coffee, that was organic, fair trade, and non-GMO in whole bean and k-cups. And not just good coffee, but some of the best and rarest coffees in the world!
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We targeted these segments because they are the most profitable, the fastest growing and offered the best sales opportunities to address an underserved niche.
For companies, financial planners, lawyers, or accountants, focusing on their targets, segments, and being true to their brand will help develop consumer-oriented strategies that deliver.
We further differentiated our brand by adding a charitable donation for every purchase because we know consumers like brands that align themselves with a good cause. As Under Armour CEO, Kevin Plank, famously said in 2015, “Brands that do not evolve and offer the consumer something more than a product will be hard-pressed to compete in 2015 and beyond.”
For companies, financial planners, lawyers, or accountants, focusing on their targets, segments, and being true to their brand will help develop consumer-oriented strategies that deliver. They will also help address the inevitable consumer sales and marketing challenges head-on.
Scott Steer is a New York-based marketing strategy/engagement/activation consultant focused on optimizing omni-channel marketing.
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