Prioritize your channels. You can’t be everywhere!

If you looked at channel prioritization in the traditional sense, you would never put money anywhere other than Walmart – because let’s be honest – Walmart has so… Many… Shoppers!

However, if you think strategically about channel prioritization, you realize that it is fundamentally about understanding the spaces where you can best influence your target shoppers. These should be your priority channels, not the just the places with the most people.

Keep in mind that influence is not just about what happens now, but how you might change somebody’s perception later on. And it is possible to influence shopper behaviour in one retail space to drive a long-term behaviour in another retail space.

Avoid the ridiculous!

Nobody has the resources to be everywhere! If you sit down in a sales meeting and a brand marketer says “we want to distribute this brand in every variant, at every outlet in this market …” you would be correct to deem the statement as ridiculous – it is just not practical.

Accordingly, to assert that you need to have our brand everywhere, in every place, could be equally ridiculous.

In fact, to attempt such a feat would be violating the fundamental rule of competition – amass your resources where you will get the best strategic leverage.

How can we influence purchase behaviour?

Start with the understanding that you have an individual whose purchase behaviour you want to change, and that that individual is going to interface with a number of different retail environments. Some of them may be online, some offline, some may even be on the phone.

Shoppers are constantly dipping in and out of what we call the shopper mode, and are constantly exposed to retail messaging. So they may see something in one environment incidental to their mission at that time, which heavily influences what they do in another environment sometime later.

(Read this blog to gain further insight on how to get strategic about target shoppers)

Bring on the structure …

However, that does not mean you need to be everywhere! Shoppers go through the act of shopping in a variety of different ways, depending on their current shopper needs.

Look at this like a big bowl of spaghetti: Any individual at any time is going through a different journey when shopping. So as a marketer you should look at that and say “I can’t market to a bowl of spaghetti!”.

What is needed is structure. You need to put some structure on the the aggregate path to purchase, on the preponderate happenings for the majority of your shopper targets. This will create clusters of possible growth that you can prioritize and target. Now you can make choices.

It goes back to the role of shopper-centric thinking – not as a tactical activation effort but as a strategic way to make choices about pursuing growth. The more specific you become about your target shopper, the far easier it becomes to really strategize instead of making the. strategy nothing more than making a conscious choice to go “here” and not NOT “here”.

There are very few business strategies that call for being everywhere!

This blog is taken from the third of our 4-part video series on 5 keys to thriving in a disruptive retail environment. Our resident expert, Toby Desforges caught up with Patrick Fitzmaurice from Caterpillar Farm Inc.

Login or sign-up to watch the full video on “Part 3: Channel Prioritization” for more insight on this topic.

May 29, 2018