Never judge a book by its cover

Posted 01/04/2018 by Tanya Pepin, Director

Co-founder of TWC, Tanya Pepin, talks about the importance of measuring the ‘right’ data and how it’s easy to be seduced by reading figures which can distract and take suppliers off-course.

“Knowledge is power” and transparency and visibility has never been more important within wholesaling and retail as it is today, as wholesalers and suppliers look to gain competitive edge against the trading backdrop of squeezed margins, the consolidation of key players, and of course, the current uncertain economic climate hitting the UK.

“It’s a fact of life – and indeed a common misperception held by many suppliers – that sales success is measured by what the wholesaler ‘buys in’. But, what if that product sits in a depot not being given recognition or exposure through correct marketing focus? Or that product is simply not reaching the sectors that the supplier wishes to penetrate.

“All of these challenges can create ‘short-termism’ when it comes to sales, and the success that is highly sought after and anticipated once a product has been listed, can easily ‘slip through the fingers’ if not guided with the wisdom of knowledge and insight.

Trade Marketing is pivotal to success…

“Trade Marketing is the door to achieving commercial advantage and whilst the majority of suppliers certainly respect the importance of this function, central to success is knocking on that door with correct marketing focus and insight. The acquisition of knowledge is key when it comes to getting under the skin of wholesalers and wholesalers’ own customers, and that’s before the end consumer even comes into the equation.

Make your data sing…

“So, whilst data acquisition is widely respected within trade marketing – it’s what we do with that data that sets it apart from the crowd. To make data ‘sing’, we have to overlay it and blend insight with knowledge. It starts with measuring and understanding what wholesalers are selling out to their customers across diverse market sectors, way ahead of a product reaching the end consumer.

“With customers in retail and foodservice – from municipal cost sector catering through to fine dining, it is these central forces who are dictating which customers will purchase a product and are the first indicator that a product will succeed in independent retail or in catering markets.

Look before you leap!

“All too often, we see suppliers leaping straight to consumer marketing – which is, of course, utterly pointless if you have not

understood the fragmented customer audience and convinced wholesalers and retailers to stock and ‘get behind’ the product.

The wholesalers and retailer must be on board first to achieve NPD success. Even more surprising, is where we see consumer campaigns hitting the wall, without any trade marketing support over the previous 6 – 8 weeks, in effect rendering the consumer investment less effective and reducing chances of success.

Wake up and smell the coffee…

“The good news is; that we are seeing a culture shift with suppliers and wholesaler waking up to the transformative advantages that smart data can provide. And, in an era where the numbers of ‘feet on the street’ are shrinking and giving way to smart-technology and mobile apps, suppliers cannot afford to be left behind. Exploiting opportunities quickly and decisively is becoming a requisite to gaining commercial advantage.

“Suppliers and wholesalers are increasingly looking to choose their data partners carefully as ‘one size does not fit all’ and bespoke programme development and features are central to success.

“As every individual working in the market will know only too well, the wholesale sector is highly complex and fragmented and an in-depth understanding of wholesaling and the supply chain is the backbone to an effective, relevant and powerful data solution that can deliver transformative results and prized business growth”.

Ok, lets get together…

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