Do you know enough about your consumers? Who are they? Where are they? Why do they buy? Where do they buy? How do they find out about your products and choose which one to buy?
There is a lot to find out!
Without a good understanding of these things, it’s tough to work out how best to market your products.
And things are continually changing and evolving. So, you need to stay on top of it.
In reality many companies struggle to answer basic questions about the people that use their products. This may be because they don’t invest resource (time and money) in finding out, or it could be that they lack the skills and knowledge to know how to find out.
With some basic training, companies can gear up to better understand their consumers. This may just be a case of understanding how to lay your hands on the information you need, and some ideas for how to get in contact with your consumers and talk to them. Or it could be that you need help in managing bigger research projects: writing briefs, choosing the best methodology, and interpreting results.
Don’t let a lack of skills stop you getting close to your consumers.
COVID has brought rapid change to the way supply chains work. This means that retailers are looking hard at the fundamentals of categories in the here-and-now. Category management principles need to embrace on-line shopping, and deliver insights on communications, display/merchandising, ranging and promotions, that can be implemented rapidly.
Kantar report that in the move to an omnichannel world, both manufacturers and retailers feel that power is shifting away from traditional retailers towards consumers.
This means that suppliers need to move fast to keep up with consumers and understand the levers that they can pull to optimise their offerings across channels.
The best businesses adopt an externally focussed mindset and work hard to gather and maintain the skills needed to succeed. They seek out support and training in marketing, category management, and customer management.
With categories evolving so quickly, there isn’t time to learn through trial-and-error. Make sure your business has the skills you need to succeed.
In 2019 some 60% of the workforce in England and Wales received some kind of training. (Employer Skills Survey 2019: Training and Workforce Development – Nov. 2020 - Government Social Research). Training provision is lowest in small businesses (36%) and in Manufacturing and Construction (43%). In addition, the manufacturing sector delivers the lowest number of training days per employee (2.3) and has the second highest skill gap (5.8% of employees with skills gaps) across all sectors.
In today’s volatile trading conditions, it has never been more important that food & drink businesses have up-to-date skills – but how can this situation be improved?
Almost half of all businesses who train their staff would like to do more training, but sight lack of time and funds as the key barriers.
In meeting these challenges smaller food & drink companies must look for opportunities to (a) train on-site or on-line, and to (b) find ways of sharing the costs with other companies.
A great example of this is the excellent Academy programme which Levercliff help deliver through Scotland Food & Drink. This offers three different commercial skills programmes targeted at Scottish businesses with differing needs. All the training is provided on-line and is supported with 1:1 mentoring.
Make sure you find time to evaluate your company’s skills gaps and training needs and find a way to address them. Drop us an email if you want to discuss how to close the gaps and address your needs.