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Your Post Market Strategy Must Include the Internet
There are many strategy sessions that occur leading up to Market. For the manufacturer, you are putting your best foot forward with product, the story behind the product, the new accounts that you have targeted, and also expectations from existing accounts. For the retailer, you came to Market with a shopping list for the next "big" thing that will bring excitement to your stores, filling up your slot plan with the product that your customer base will want.
After market, both manufacturers and retailers have to evaluate if their goals were met. Did the new introduction receive enough placements, did you fill holes in distribution, what was the volume of written orders at market, etc.? Next, you have to decide on the steps for follow up with those who did not write. Retailers who have made commitments for product will have to determine what product will get replaced and which fringe items you may or may not have room for.
As important as all of these topics are, I would suggest that in your strategy meetings the following items be placed on the docket for asking yourself:
• What is my Internet distribution?
• What is my IMAP policy?
• Am I controlling this policy?
• How am I going to use the most versatile tool this planet has to offer (the Internet) to reach the end consumer where she shops?
• Are my retailers/manufacturers on board with this?
Retailers and manufacturers both MUST be online to promote who they are! The days of asking yourself, ‘should I be online?' is over. To suggest otherwise is shooting yourself and your partners in the foot. We have lost over 50% of retailers over the last 10 years. The economy certainly has played its role, but our end consumer has also ... Her buying habits begin online and if you are not there to engage her, she will not buy your brand or visit your retail store!
Manufacturers spend an inordinate amount of money on their showrooms to make them more appealing. Retailers do the same on the local level. If both parties are not doing their part to get in front of her than it is all for naught! So again I am emphasizing the suggestion that, as you prepare for your post market strategy sessions, please include the one channel that has the ability to reach her where she wants to be reached, and make this topic important!