Welcome back to the enthralling world of CPG Marketing Magic! In the first three columns, we delved into the captivating realms of CPG branding and packaging. In this month’s column, we’re ready to equip you with strategies that will not only catch the eye of retail buyers but also powerfully propel your inventory off the shelves.
So let’s uncover what it takes to move inventory in the dynamic CPG landscape.
The challenges of moving inventory: unveiling the obstacles
Imagine your product taking the spotlight on every shelf, aisle, and screen – that’s the goal we’re chasing. But reaching that goal comes with a few challenges along the way.
To stay prepared, here are three common bumps in the road you should be aware of when it comes to CPG marketing.
- Fierce market competition
In the bustling world of consumer packaged goods, competition is always on the rise. Everywhere you turn, there’s another brand vying for the attention of both buyers and consumers. This cutthroat environment means your product needs to stand out in a big way. You need a distinctive brand identity that sets you apart. Merchandise buyers have a plethora of options, and unless your product can communicate its unique value proposition in an instant, it might just drown in the noise.
- Elusive attention of retail buyers
Picture this: you’ve meticulously crafted your product, polished your pitch, and now you’re ready to seize the attention of merchandise buyers. But now you must pin down the right buyer. Catching their attention requires more than a fancy product or slogan; it demands a strategic blend of compelling packaging, persuasive messaging, and a thorough understanding of their preferences. Without these elements, your product might get lost in the mix, never to be discovered by those who hold the power to bring it to the masses.
- Proving demand and value
Merchandise buyers need more than just your word to invest in your product. Demonstrating demand and value is like presenting the “proof in the pudding” – you need concrete evidence to substantiate your claims. Without comprehensive market research and data-backed insights, it’s difficult to show that your product isn’t just a shot in the dark but has a hungry audience waiting for it. Convincing merchandise buyers without such proof is akin to trying to swim upstream against a raging current.
These challenges aren’t mere obstacles; they’re opportunities in disguise. Tackling them head-on requires a cocktail of creativity, market research, and strategic thinking. Once you’ve cracked the code, your brand can not only move inventory but also forge a lasting presence in the CPG realm.
Remember, every challenge is a chance to shine brighter than before!
Understanding the market: The ABCs of attracting buyers
To resonate with merchandise buyers, you must first resonate with your audience. Before you dazzle buyers, invest in market research to bolster your proof of concept and demonstrate your product’s demand.
When it comes to moving inventory, knowledge is your most potent weapon. To effectively navigate the vast expanse of the CPG landscape, you need to master the ABCs of attracting buyers: Appeal, Brand Positioning, and Competitive Benchmarking.
- Appeal & demand
In a world where consumers have a never-ending supply of choices, proving consumer appeal and demand is akin to casting a spell of desire upon your product. Market research is your magic wand, revealing the needs, wants, and preferences of your target audience. Gather data to demonstrate a hungry market awaiting your creation.
From surveys and focus groups to social media insights, every piece of information is a puzzle piece that forms the bigger picture of demand. When merchandise buyers see this picture, they’ll be more inclined to invest in your product.
- Brand positioning
Think of your brand as a character in an epic saga. How would you describe it? What role does it play in the grand narrative of consumer preferences? Brand positioning is about sculpting a distinct identity for your product that resonates with the right audience, on the right channels, at the right time, and with exactly the right message. It’s about creating an emotional connection that lasts beyond the shelf.
Consistency is key – from your packaging to your messaging to your online presence, every touchpoint should echo the same story. This cohesive experience ensures that your brand becomes memorable, recognizable, and irreplaceable in the hearts of consumers.
- Competitive benchmarking
Imagine embarking on a quest without knowing who your opponents are. In the same vein, understanding your competition is vital for a successful inventory-moving strategy.
Thoroughly research and analyze your competitors – not just to imitate but to innovate. What unique strategies have they employed? What gaps can you fill? By unraveling their strengths and weaknesses, you can tailor your approach and offer a product that stands out like a beacon in the night.
By mastering these three components, you’re not only deciphering the language of the CPG universe but also crafting a roadmap that leads straight to the hearts (and carts) of merchandise buyers.
Implement necessary changes: refining and revamping
When it comes to moving inventory, adaptability is your secret weapon. The ability to swiftly implement changes based on insights can set you apart as a strategic partner in the eyes of merchandise buyers.
Here’s how to answer the market’s demands with finesse:
- Optimize packaging & placement
Packaging isn’t just a container; it’s a gateway to the soul of your product. An eye-catching package can lure buyers in like bees to honey. Analyze your packaging – is it aligned with your brand? Does it communicate the essence of your product?
Optimize it for maximum visual impact. Consider not just the design but also the practicality – how does it stand out on shelves? Does it communicate key information efficiently? Your product’s placement is equally important; ensure it’s situated in prime spots to catch the buyer’s eye.
(PS: ICYMI–read our previous blog on packaging design for more in-depth tips on optimizing your product packaging and user experience!)
- Refine strategies
The market is a living, breathing orchestra of changing trends and evolving preferences. To stay in tune, you need to regularly refine your strategy. This might involve adjusting your marketing channels, revisiting your target audience, or exploring new avenues of engagement. Adapting quickly and efficiently shows merchandise buyers that you’re not just a player in the game but a conductor who orchestrates success.
- Update marketing messages
In the world of CPG, marketing messages are the spells that enchant buyers and urge them to make a purchase. But spells can grow stale over time. You need to personalize messages so that your audience is forced to pause and assess what’s new. Consider deploying an A/B test with your messaging to see what resonates best and gets the highest engagement. Then, use the insights you gain from testing to regularly update your messaging in a way that reflects the evolving aspirations of your audience. What problems does your product solve? How does it add value to their lives? Ensure that your marketing messages are aligned with the shifting demands of the market. This agility highlights your understanding of buyer psychology and showcases you as a partner who’s in sync with their needs.
Merchandise buyers are seeking brands that don’t just follow trends but shape them. By optimizing packaging, refining strategies, and updating messages, you’re not just moving inventory – you’re moving the market itself.
So, take the stage and let your inventory-moving symphony resonate with the buyers who seek a partner who can dance to the rhythm of their needs.
Utilizing digital marketing
In a digital age, your marketing arsenal needs a digital edge. That’s never been more true than for the 63% of businesses that have increased their digital marketing budgets in the past year alone. But remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. To reach your audience where they are, you must first dive into the vibrant world of digital marketing and tailor your strategy to your audience.
Here are some of the key components of a cohesive digital marketing strategy.
- Social media:
Social media platforms are the grand stages where your brand’s story unfolds. Whether sharing engaging content, interacting with your audience, or creating viral campaigns, social media is your gateway to a global audience. You can also deploy social listening and real-time engagement to further refine your market research. You can use social media tools, polls, and comments to collect data about products and markets. Those insights can be used to enhance storytelling and move inventory.
- Influencer marketing
Did you know that almost 50% of all social users rely on brand recommendations from influencers? Collaborating with influencers to get their endorsement can skyrocket your brand’s visibility and credibility, allowing you to tap into their fanbase and introduce your product to a wider audience.
While influencers should always align with your brand voice and character, remember not to get hung up on finding the “perfect” influencer (perfect doesn’t exist!) Sometimes, the quantity of mentions from several micro-influencers who know more about your brand is better than putting all of your eggs in one basket with a single macro-influencer who may have a larger following. Ultimately, determine what’s best for your strategy and find influencers you feel work best with your goals.
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
When merchandise buyers and consumers seek answers, they turn to search engines. SEO ensures that your brand’s website appears at the top of search results, making it easier for potential buyers to find you. Keywords, quality content, and optimized website structure are the pillars of conversion.
In fact, according to Databox, solid content marketing and SEO provide the best return on investment (ROI) of any strategic component. Be sure to cater the language you use to the way merchandise buyers are searching for products to sell. Speak in their language and stay up-to-date on the terms they are searching for and how you can stand out.
- SEM/PPC & remarketing
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) involve paid advertising that places your brand at the forefront of search engine results. Remarketing, on the other hand, is the art of showing ads to users who’ve already interacted with your brand. These techniques target potential buyers with pinpoint accuracy to keep your brand top of mind.
- Email marketing
Email marketing is your medium to demonstrate direct value to your audience. Studies show that effective email marketing returns $36 for every $1 spent. As you begin to develop a customer base, be sure to develop a targeted and segmented email list with messages that are hyper-personalized. Build your email list by hosting contests, giveaways, and value-forward content. Use this as an opportunity not to sell but to educate your audience. That way, you can establish a stronger connection while collecting valuable leads you can advertise to later (when the time is right in their nurture journey).
Leveraging thought leadership
Imagine your brand not just as a product but as a beacon of wisdom. By offering valuable content and education, you’re not only attracting buyers but positioning yourself as a thought leader. This garners trust, a vital ingredient when merchandise buyers consider investing in your product.
It’s so vital, in fact, that 48% of executives said thought-leadership content was the deciding factor in giving a company their business.
A few examples of value-forward content can include:
- Expert Interviews
- Product Demos
- Science-Based Research
No matter the format of your educational content, it should always be laden with trust-building messages. Here are a few tips to remember when finetuning your messaging:
- Authenticity is key: Craft messaging that resonates with honesty and authenticity. Share your brand’s journey, challenges, and successes. Highlight your commitment to delivering value and serving your audience’s needs.
- Transparent communication: Address any concerns or controversies openly. When you’re transparent about your practices, it shows that you have nothing to hide and that you’re willing to address even the tough questions.
- Showcase expertise: Craft messaging that showcases your industry expertise. Share insights, research, and data that demonstrate your in-depth knowledge. Position yourself not just as a seller but as a valuable source of information.
- Demonstrate value: Prioritize providing value to your audience. Share tips, guides, and educational content that can genuinely help them. When you’re consistently giving, it builds trust and positions your brand as a valuable resource.
- Engage in meaningful conversations: Interact with your audience on social media and other platforms. Respond to comments, answer questions, and engage in discussions. This personalized interaction shows that you value your audience’s input.
Building thought leadership isn’t an overnight process, but the trust you cultivate through these strategies will set you apart as a brand that cares, understands, and leads in your industry. This is especially true, considering 60% of buyers say that thought leadership builds credibility when entering a brand into a new space.
By providing educational and valuable content with language that is authentic and transparent, you can build trust and position your brand as an industry expert not only with merchandise buyers but your eventual consumers.
Remember, it’s not just about what you sell but the value you bring to your audience’s lives that makes you a true thought leader.
Leveraging data and analytics
The treasure trove of data and analytics is your crystal ball to predict trends and buyer behavior. Data and analytics are easily the biggest factors to consider when determining how well you’ll be able to move inventory.
Keep your finger on the pulse of demographics, interests, website performance, and channel preferences to stay relevant with your audience. This information enables you to shift your strategies so they always deliver the right content that caters to your audience’s specific needs.
Wondering how often to analyze metrics? The truth is that it will vary for every campaign, channel, and goal. But a good rule of thumb when getting started with large-scale, multi-channel campaigns is to check frequently!
After launch, check in on your metrics at least daily to get a feel for how your ads are performing and ensure budgets are optimized well from the start. Then, once the campaign has decent footing, check weekly and/or monthly analytics to note any common shifts. Finally, report on all the major trends at the end of the campaign and use those insights when preparing to launch the next one.
Move inventory with confidence
In the captivating journey of CPG Marketing Magic, this latest post has unraveled strategies that transcend the mundane and truly move inventory. Armed with competition insights, a compelling USP, and digital marketing prowess, you’re poised to dazzle merchandise buyers and soar beyond the confines of the shelf.
In the next column, we unveil the art of effective CPG advertising. Discover how to craft campaigns that not only captivate but also drive results, propelling your brand to unprecedented heights in the CPG world.
Until then, keep the magic alive, and keep moving inventory like the marketing wizard you are!
fishbat is a CPG marketing agency specializing in improving visibility, impact, and bottom line for our partners. We have worked with a wide variety of CPG brands across different product categories, from food and beverage to home goods and beyond, each with its own unique set of goals and challenges.
If you’re looking for expert assistance in developing your brand strategy and executing effective CPG marketing campaigns, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our digital marketing agency has a team of professionals ready to help you navigate the branding landscape and achieve your business goals. Together, we can create a brand that truly stands out in the market and tells your unique story.