Driving SMEs growth through marketing analytics:An illustration

The advent of technology and its application to make industries more efficient and profitable is an integral strategic component of the overall industrial growth plan globally. Technology has helped organizations leverage their strengths and achieve scale and growth. The poultry industry has transformed itself through the infusion of technology that has resulted in new products, processes and more significantly, it’s ability to explore new frontiers of business such as putting eggs and chicken into superfood category. Undoubtedly, the poultry industry is on the cusp of a big change and therefore, the firms need to assess their readiness to embrace new realities that would drive the business. One such reality is that we are ushering in a digital era. The digital revolution is not merely about doing things on a digital platform, it is more about consumption, communication, advocacy and our ability to understand our customers better. Firms have access to more information that is organized, updated and stored for current and future usage. This provides the poultry industry a great opportunity to make a strategic shift; technology in its traditional avatar was more inward-looking and now in its digital form enables firms to have an outside-in approach to business. This approach that essentially puts marketing at the forefront and customers at the core of the business, is about using the information to answer key questions such as:

  • What are the new opportunities to serve our existing customers?
  • How do we reach out to new customer segments?
  • What type of product variants would find more preference in our chosen customer segments?
  • How do we optimize our reach to the customer segments?
  • Which form of communication works best for my customers?

A firm that markets to other firms in the poultry industry(B2B) or a firm that markets to consumers(B2C), the key business imperative is to ask the right question and find answers by deploying data analytics. Insights emerging from such investigations could then serve as a beacon for thinking innovative ways to build cutting-edge marketing capabilities. For example, many hatcheries in Delhi-NCR region has started marketing eggs through an established channel of grocery stores, online as well offline. A careful analysis of product offering would reveal that the variants of eggs are just two ; white and brown. As a marketer, these firms would benefit a lot if they were to consider choice analytics to understand consumer preferences. Consumers might be looking at different benefits which might include low-calorie eggs, low cholesterol eggs or high protein content eggs. Clearly, their willingness to pay different and higher price for their preference would mean more margins for the marketer. The consumers might also be looking at eggs with longer storage life that would increase convenience and minimise wastage. Therefore, this could be a great idea to deploy choice analytics ( Conjoint tools such as choice based conjoint ) and develop understanding on the combination of benefits that different types of consumers are looking for and are willing to pay for the value.

Yes, different types of customers! This is all about looking at the market with a dissection tool that slices the market into few homogeneous groups of consumers which are termed as market segments. Segmenting the market is a base level strategic decision but it is one of the most crucial call a firm needs to take. Therefore, three questions must be asked:

  • What constitutes the market?
  • In what meaningful ways the market can be partitioned into segments?
  • Which segment(s) do we want to target?

In absence of such a strategic direction, a poultry marketer would continue to market similar eggs to all customers(continuing with the same example) and make profits. However, it would certainly miss the bigger picture that contains the seeds of new market opportunities and presents opportunities for maximising value by making segment specific offerings. This also enables the marketer to define his business. In this example, is the firm in the business of eggs, business of food, or, it is in the business of providing superior nutrition. Firms can answer and address such strategic imperatives by examining their markets at a broad level and then can deploy customer analytics to partition the market and define customer segments in a more meaningful and profitable way.

In the context of firms that are engaged in marketing products to other firms in poultry industry(B2B), application of marketing analytics can yield huge dividends. Consider a firm in the business of producing and marketing feed to other poultry firms. Considering the challenges of storing feed is complex and daunting, the best possible scenario would be to minimize the warehousing and inventory cost. Demand forecasting tools such as predictive models based on industry consumption pattern and individual firm’s market share can accrue huge cost savings and better customer service. Such models can guide the firms into building efficient supply chain capabilities and turn in better profits.

Another big opportunity for poultry product marketers is in the form of going ‘direct-to-customer’ model. While most of the firms are reaching out to their consumers through the various distribution channel, a clear opportunity to build a direct network is a possibility considering the fast evolution of delivery companies. Firms can market different poultry products ( processed ones included ) to their customers using technology platforms and leverage these through digital marketing. There are examples galore wherein related products such as Cow’s milk-producing firms are using smart technology to build such milk brands. Therefore, one wonders if a firm can deliver chicken to customers guaranteeing hygiene and great value for money. Expand this idea a little more and one start thinking of creating chicken brands, variants, and exotic poultry meat.

Overall, it’s a great time to be in this business if firms can develop a sharper sense of consumer behavior and understand consumer preferences clearly. Therefore, poultry firms need to build capacity for market insights mining and work on identifying opportunities that can be harnessed through technology and data analytics. A firm’s size does not matter, firm’s intention and ambition to grow bigger does matter a lot. Tune in to marketing analytics to drive growth in your firm and in the poultry industry.

 

 

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