The markets in which we operate are changing faster and faster. In this article we will explore this from the perspective of the “Electrical Appliance” market.
Initially there were a number of third generation electrical radio manufacturers who started business by trading simple “radios”. So initially selling a very limited product range from a single location with a single cash transaction.
How Markets Develop Over Time – The 1990’s
- Sales £15 million ; Rental £12 million
- Staff 120 in 34 Retail locations
- Service & Distribution 150 staff in 5 sites
- Head Office 40 Staff 1 site
|From 22 Specialist Electrical Chains||To 3 Specialist Electrical Chains|
|Comet, Currys, Radio Rental|
Laskys, Rumbelows, Tandy
Miller Brothers, Powerhouse, Clydesdale
bennets, Atlantis , Apollo 2000 etc
Six Reasons For The Change From 22 to 3
- On Line
- Property Costs
- Power has moved from retailer to manufacturer
Today things are a lot more complicated
- Sales £50 million ; Rental £20 million
- Staff 400 in 42 Retail locations
- Service & Distribution 300 staff in 5 sites
- Head Office 40 Staff 1 site
- Web Sales £24 million Web Rental £4 million – Staff 70 in 2 sites
- Trade B2B Sales £16 million rental £1 million Staff 70 in 2 sites
In summary – Shop activity falling, rental and trade growing. The level of complexity is increasing
- Geographical spread
- Channel spread
- Product breadth
- Skills breadth
Elements Of A Surviving High Performing Electrical Retailer
- Their culture puts people staff, customers and suppliers first
- Mission statement – to generate profits by inspiring customer loyalty through added value services
- Staff recruitment – choose those with “people skills” i.e emotional intelligence
- Continuous Staff Training is crucial
- With performance management empower the staff to set their target
- Create staff ownership – we have this problem what could we do.
Does VUCA Impact on Marketing
I recently attended an event where there was a very good speaker talking about people development within an organisation.
The model presented which is apparently quite common within HR circles was VUCA.
I thought the model had some interesting relationships when applied to a sales and marketing environment.
So what is a VUCA society
With VUCA the context in relation to “people” was that we now live in a VUCA society
- V = Volatile
- U = Uncertain
- C = Chaotic
- A = Ambiguous
Therefore from a people development perspective the logic was that if the outside world is suffering from VUCA, perhaps the “organisational world” could actually provide the safe, certain, structured and clear environment which would therefore allow people to develop to their maximum potential
VUCA and its Impact on Sales and Marketing
So how does VUCA impact on sales and marketing. Lets consider each of the elements
Volatile: From currency through to political we are all now operating in a very volatile environment. If you are important goods or materials then potentially costs have rocketed. If you are exporting which of the territories cheap propecia online provide a stable environment
Uncertain: There are now so many promotional tools and techniques available it is difficult / impossible to identify which will yield the greatest Return on Investment. Yet in these uncertain times many companies are still not measuring the performance and impact of their sales and marketing activities
Chaotic: Whether its within the SME business or to the customers they are supplying (B2B or B2C ) I dont think times have ever been more chaotic. With most businesses facing the battle of to much to do, to few staff to cover all the bases and just not enough time. With all this chaos how come businesses still dont see the need or have time to put marketing systems and processes in place to remove (some of) the chaos
Ambiguous: One of the biggest challenges when businesses try and communicate a single message to a wide variety of customer groups. Messages will be seen as ambiguous unless they are targeted at the specific customer type.
So perhaps VUCA has relevance for Marketing as well as HR
What experienced and qualified marketing professionals bring to your business
Over the years we have worked with many businesses who prior to our involvement have never worked with qualified marketing professionals.
This means in most cases they have have worked with the suppliers of the end output for example
- person selling advertising space, for a yellow directory
- the printer who can print leaflets, brochures or business cards
- the computer / IT person who can also “build” a web site etc ).
Now if your advertising salesperson, printer, IT person etc are also qualified professional marketers then no problem, but if not, would you benefit from having qualified marketing professionals in your business.
The Benefits Of Having Qualified Marketing Professionals In Your Business
A professional and qualified marketer, as part of creating a strategic marketing plan to develop the growth of the business will have gained a detailed insight in sight and knowledge of your
- Customer personas – the profiles of people who will buy from you
- The benefits and differentiating points of the products and services in your portfolio
- The optimum price points of your products and services compared to the competition
- The promotional plan required to generate sales enquiries
- Calls to action required to encourage prospects to call / email
- What offers are required to stimulate the sales process
- Along with 5 forces, SWOT, GAP analysis, Pestle etc
From an output perspective a professional qualified marketer will
- Get greater impact from the “promotional stuff” you do
- Avoiding the creation of marketing leaflets, brochures that don’t help in the sales process
- Maximising the impact of communicating what you do when you get the chance to get your message in front of your target
- Develop a more stable pipeline of enquiries
- For many companies marketing is something that happens when the order book is reducing, or there are less enquires than normal
- Having a marketing discipline within the business, ensures that activities to maintain, develop and grow the pipeline are considered as important as managing cash flow or production
- The ability to target and prioritise
- One of the biggest failings of companies without a professional marketing influence is the inability to target
- Not everyone is a customer and the ability to dissect and evaluate “customers” provides an insight that allows a snipers approach to picking off customers
- With budgets and time being two core constraints accurate targeting will allow you to identify where to prioritise your activities
- Generating ideas and approaches that you wouldn’t have thought about
- When you operate in a competitive market you need to make sure your messages get noticed
- Sending the same old email, reproducing a leaflet that looks like your competitors possibly wont cut it anymore
- In a world where you need to differentiate yourself from competitors – how are you going to come up with leading edge / innovative ideas that engage with your audience. Who is going to be responsible for “Different & Innovative”
- You don’t know what you don’t know
- If you are involved with finances – you are expected to keep up to date with accountancy developments
- If you are involved with managing people – you should have a good handle on HR issues
- If you are installing Gas – it helps if you are a qualified gas installer
- If you need to grow your business through marketing and sales doesn’t it makes sense to use a qualified and experienced marketer?