Many markets around the world are liberalized or deregulated with more moving that direction in the coming years.  Now that you are faced with competition are your marketing systems strong enough to take you into this new reality?  Competition is coming at you from every direction and you need to know that your limited budget will provide projected revenues.  So where should you focus to help understand your market, make sure limited funds are being spent the right way, that customers know who you are and talk positively about you?  Where should you look for examples for best run companies that do this on a regular basis?

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When you think about it, the fashion industry has been marketing for years, although with much larger budgets.  They have to fight every day for every penny as there are more and more competitors chasing the same customers.  They need to know what customers like, why they buy, where they buy, how often and why they switch.  So how do they go about seeing results from the marketing efforts?

There are several metrics consumer marketers watch and manage on a regular basis.  Several of these apply to the deregulated market. Here are some of them in broad categories.

There are several metrics consumer marketers watch and manage on a regular basis.  Several of these apply to the deregulated market. Here are some of them in broad categories.

  • Brand Management:  Knowing where your brand compares to others is important.  Does your brand have a good reputation?  Do your customers identify with your brand? Does it hold value when customers are faced with choosing a competitor?  I’m sure you know people who are loyal to a brand of shoes, bags or sports gear.  Why do they insist on staying with that brand?  Reviewing your brand with respect to others is a good place to start.

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  • Promotions:  How do you currently track promotions?  Do you A/B test them to know which ones do better?  Do you manage when they are run, i.e. time of year, month or day; media used; frequency, etc.?  Do you send promotions to customers that have already signed up for your service?  This one really irritates me! Do you know when customers are coming up on a renewal date and send appropriate materials?  How do you monitor this today?
  • Pricing:  This can be an art as much as a science.  This is especially difficult in what can be considered a commodity market where customers can get almost the same service from multiple providers and are only price shopping.   In the fashion industry there can be a huge amount of margin built into apparel, sometimes over 1000%.  You need to be able to understand fixed and variable costs that make up your pricing metrics along with appropriate margins.  You will need to know what works where and why in addition to the ability to take that into other markets.
  • Consumer tracking:  Understanding what customers are doing is very important as well. Are they active on social media and are you tracking that information?  What is in their mind when making a decision to purchase from you or a competitor?  How loyal are they and why?  How often do they interact with your company?  Are you answering their questions or concerns quickly?  At all?  Tracking your customer’s behavior is very important in understanding why and how they choose you over someone else.

Beautiful dashboards.JPGWould you be surprised if I told you that this happens with systems that are not integrated and require effort to move important data into and out of platforms to make important decisions?  Pulling information from multiple sources and visualizing them in a way that is actionable and gets results is a fairly complex process.  Luckily SAP has already done that for you in a solution called Marketing Performance Management that lets you try before you buy.  Better yet, it is in the Cloud so there is no infrastructure required on your part, just point to the data sources and the system integrates them on the fly, in real-time, giving you the ability to make decisions faster and hopefully gain the market share your Board is expecting.

For more information on this solution contact Stephan Klein, Global Head of Energy & Natural Resources; David Moyer, Global lead for Energy & Natural Resources solutions; or Kristian Kauffmann, global service offering manager for Consumer Products at SAP.

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