Redefining route to market using loyalty programs

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By naftal Nyabuto

Route to market is how you sell your product and how you plan your sales. A company’s success is defined by how well  their route to market is developed. No matter how great your product is, choosing the right retail channel and  distributor  can be a key determinant of success when entering a new market.

A business should put  more emphasis in hiring the right people to define and map its route to market in order to propel the success of sales strategy .While there are dozens of strategies to consider when entering a new market, this post will focus on the three key strategies.

  1. Evaluate the distribution landscape for your product and Identify the strongest distribution channels for your business
  2. Use technology to create loyalty in your channels
  3. Use feedback mechanism to continuously re-evaluate the market.

1. Evaluate the distribution landscape for your product and Identify the strongest distribution channels for your business.

Whether it is a new product or you are redefining the route for existing products,you need to do a research by focusing on the customer .The strategy has to consider both push and pull, they end user pulls and the distribution chain breaks  bulk and pushes the product to consumers . Your company therefore need to ask itself the following questions: How do we pass the benefits evenly within the distribution chain? How do we pass the benefits to the consumer? Which route will give the client the biggest benefit?

Many companies never Know where their products end up after leaving the factory line .Their only point of contact being the distributor and as such, the company is unable to visualize or develop a strategic route to market .The dangers of over reliance on distributors  are many partially because they sell competitor products and have the capability to blackmail your business into giving more discounts and rebates  .

The 21st century business therefore has to be aware of the changing business dynamics and be prepared to face it through a concrete route to market that is independent, self sustaining and free from regular manipulations from other industry players and changing volatility of  business environment.

2. Use  loyalty program to define your channels

While companies are slowly moving from customer service to customer experience, many are still  struggling to transition successfully .Creating experience starts from using technology to create an interaction to the players within the distribution chain and creating a working  incentive programme. Just like catching  fish, a brand can create a functional route to market if it uses incentives to attract and create loyalty within the chain. By using technology to link up the various chains within your market,you will NOT only be able to map and creatively reward and influence selling behaviors, but your brand will be able to create an experiential journey .

3.Use feedback mechanism to continuously re-evaluate the market

Every business that want to achieve  a successful customer experience must create a conversation with their clients.This interaction has to be continuous and routine , without which, the effort of creating a working route to market will be in vain.By having a team of sales teams interacting daily with retailer, wholesalers or distributors without a tool of interaction is a futile exercise. By using technology, anchored in the loyalty program, sales people can be able to track sales and products retailers are pushing .Access to such data empowers sales teams with knowledge enough to create an interaction and be able to handle of or assist retailers or stockists achieve their targets.

 

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