Marketing Directors should spend more time in store.
With many having mixed views about Christmas trading performance this year, Brand Reputation CEO Graeme Crossley is urging Senior Marketers to get out of the office and onto the ground to capture real time customer insight rather than rely on market research and panel data which may be out of date.
“What Marketing Directors need to remember is that market data takes time to compile and evaluate and so the Management Information they are currently using to form brand strategy and communications for the coming year could be dangerously out of synch with the current thinking. We hear many say I’d like to do store visits but I haven’t got time”, “I know all I need to know about my customers from my market research”. In reality, Senior Marketers are scared of what they might hear.”
Whilst monitoring customer sentiment online is a necessity and a more current way to keep track of brand sentiment, nothing can beat actually speaking to customers and employees directly and finding out what they really think. Marketing Directors should spend a minimum of 2 days a month; out in stores and that all members of marketing teams should spend at least 10 days a year in store.
“Store visits are not just about talking to your customers, (although this is vital) but also getting feedback from store teams and observing customers. Do they read your point of sale? What types of customer are coming to you? Who leaves with nothing? Who only cherry picks promotional items? Where else do your customers shop? How easy is it to shop the whole store? What could you work with Operations on to optimise the customer’s experience? What products and brands do your customers want that you’re not stocking? Is a lack of product availability frustrating your customers and sending them elsewhere? It is these questions which are often not fully answered through traditional Management Information processes,” says Crossley.
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