Can you have a Retail Marketing Strategy without knowing your Customers?


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The great bulk of CPG startups operates as B2B companies. They only deal with their distributors, brokers, and retailers but need to communicate with people who actually buy their products. They need to be more curious about the way they get and use their products. So long as case volumes grow, they are pleased. So long as their wholesale price is sufficient to support their operations and the salary, they are good.

These startups depend on their sales staff to develop the company by adding accounts. Then one more. Then one more. Then one more. For them, stable velocities that keep their retail shelf space are a fair outcome. They are just concerned about velocities when declining and threatening access to an account. It is all about “accounts.”

All of the time. And very little else.

For these sorts of business models, retail marketing strategy is a concept behind account sequencing based strictly on the company’s potential to service the cost and the account of servicing it.

I am not saying you cannot increase sales to a $5 to $20M business in this manner, particularly if you’re a gifted sales negotiator with an excellent track record in the traditional retail trade. You can.

You are also able to develop larger than that business. Though you will certainly not scale the company in this manner, let alone create a brand that keeps growing at double-digit rates into nine-digit revenue figures.


Because you have not developed a strategy at all, your “strategy” reduces competition to an account-level shelf battle in case you will concentrate on competition. Without a customer experience competitive frame, although, you are not strategically managing the company at all. A competitive edge forces you to select a competitive place in the marketplace linked with several consumer audiences, niches, or perhaps wide. Anchoring your thinking in the end customer experience will be the crucial difference.

When any decision is created in the organization based on a desire to delight the perfect, predefined consumers, you’ve got the possibility to run an exponential growth brand. Fast-growing brands sketch their exponential growth rate from customer passion, not from stacking accounts one after the other. Nevertheless, you must ensure a complete product offering aligned with your early consumers. Something usually is off. In many instances, your sales guy cannot enable you to figure it out there since she’s NOT in contact with the end consumer.

There’s no better moment than NOW to take a step back and update your retail marketing strategy for exponential growth. Should you invest time in understanding your fans by observing them experience your products, use that awareness to create a Customer Experience focused Retail Marketing Strategy. Doing it in person in stores may yield great insights but an unreliable sample size to rely on. A well-managed campaign of store demo events can provide the needed information supported by increased revenue.

Your sales team is going to thank you for a great deal! It is the simplest way to draw the strategy baton from them without notice.

Gregory Yankelovich
Gregory Yankelovich is a Technologist who is agnostic to technology, but "religious" about Customer Experience and ROI. He has solid experience delivering high ROI projects with a focus on both Profitability AND Customer Experience improvements, as one without another does not support long-term business growth. Gregory currently serves as co-founder of, the software (SaaS) used by traditional retailers and CPG brand builders to create Customer Experiences that raise traffic in stores and boost sales per customer visit.


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