The basics still apply, now more than ever
Retailers are not the easiest people to sell to, but you already knew that. What you want to know is, is there something I don’t know about marketing to them that could make the difference in 2024? The answer I’m afraid is ‘no’, but there is a better way to plan and deploy the techniques you already use to make those tactics work harder for you in the year ahead.
Here is our list for 2024 of things you should be doing, always remembering that you should be doing all of them, often and all of the time.
- Ensure that you have the right processes and systems in place so you can actually deliver on the goals you will already have set. This does not necessarily mean new processes and more systems, but optimising what you have already.
- Find out what retailers are facing next year – customers with less money who are nevertheless more demanding than ever, a recruitment crisis, falling operational costs but from a very high base, threats to their market share. Your stories need to show you understand these dynamics – and, more crucially still, how your solution or technology service can solve the long list of retailers’ pain points.
- But, don’t start by talking about your product. You are solving a problem not selling a product, so that means finding out what the problem is in the first place.
- Have an opinion on what is happening in retail and make sure that this adds value to what retailers are trying to achieve. This means that you have to understand and keep up with the news in retail as well as offering informed thought leadership opinions that address the context of the industry.
- That said, don’t be shy about selling – say what you want from retailers and ask for it. Hell, they can only say yes.
- Make some videos. Rich content scores big on the web and it is ideal for communicating often complex messages in a few minutes. Keep the length below three minutes to ensure you keep your audience.
- Repeat yourself. And then repeat yourself again. You may be tired of hearing the same old story but some of your prospects may be hearing it for the very first time. And then they forget, if they were even paying attention the first time round.
- Be everywhere your prospects are. If that means showing up at a retailer trade briefing, then be there; this is not just about digital.
- Go back and ask your customers for a case study. If they say no, ask them to enter an industry award with you. They need to be getting something out of it.
- Monitor your progress and adjust continuously. Your goals can stay the same, but your objectives should be able to change.
- Work with Sales to profile your prospects and suspects, but based mainly on engagement rather than a tonne of background. It is a real chore building these profiles but it will throw out clues as to the next best action, although you won’t know it yet. And it will ensure the Sales teams feel equipped to continue lead engagement.
- Optional – rethink your current messaging if it is not working. It may not be clear to your market what you actually do or the value that you bring.
- Don’t ignore AI but recognise that it cannot improve your marketing, messaging or content, it can only show up their limitations in new ways. Getting machines to create content is a race to the bottom and will do a great job at making you just like everyone else.
We build messaging and content that will accelerate your journey to reach retailers. Talk to us about how we can help you reach your goals in 2024.