Remember waiting for the right time to ask your father if you could go on that college trip? You couldn’t ask him when he came home tired from work, or when he was angry seeing your marks. You had to wait. You had to catch him in a good mood. Maybe on a weekend, cook his favorite meal, play his favorite game, or watch the cricket match with him. Then lead the conversation towards how being part of a team was a good way to have overall personality development. Then talk about how meeting new people and seeing new places could do wonders for your personality and overall outlook, and then gently slide in your question about going on the trip.
You did your research on his mood, his likings, his preferences etc and then used that deep intelligence and know-how to ensure you had the highest chance of a favorable outcome. Now think back on your success rate on other similar things where you spent time understanding the situation, gathered the intelligence and then took action. You had the best conversions, right?
In the same way, FMCG companies use market intelligence to maximise their on-field activities, be it brand activation campaigns, retailer feedback, competition activities or customer feedback. Any data that helps them fine-tune their go-to-market strategy is intelligence.
There are many tools available in the market to transform this data into insights. Quite a few of them have an AI/ML architecture but require an advanced level of software knowledge to make the most of it. On the other end of the spectrum are low-tech methods like product trials, customer feedback forms etc. At FieldAssist, we offer something very high-tech, yet to easy to use, called Surveys.
Here are the Top 4 ways our customers have derived deep market intelligence from the FieldAssist platform to achieve complex goals:
1. Company rebranding right down to the outlet level
A customer of ours, a leading innerwear brand went through a massive rebranding exercise. This involved some heavy-duty ATL campaigns, which were to be supported by equally rigorous BTL activities. To enable visibility of the new brand imagery at retail points, they had to replace all the old signages, boards and other POS material in all the stores they were present in. However, the challenges for doing this project were multi-fold.
How to find out the actual location of thousands of stores across the country? How to identify which outlet needed what kind of POS material? How to ensure that the correct boards and marketing material were placed in the right spot?
This is where the Survey feature in the FieldAssist GT app made all the difference.
- Not only did they know how many outlets they had in their universe, they also had all outlets geotagged on our platform, which meant that every outlet was shown along with its postal address.
- Entire in-store mapping via the survey: which is not usually allowed by retailers. However, the promise of a big shiny board on top of their stop helped the brand get complete access to details like what is the square feet area of the shop, does it have a glass façade, how many places are available for putting a board, which competitor brands have their POS placed etc.
- They were able to identify typical buying patterns of the retailer, which helped the agency know where to put the board and of what size.
- The survey also asked the ground personnel to take 3 pictures at every outlet; 1 before any brand boards were put up, 2nd during the board placement and the 3rd after the boards had been installed. This helped the senior leaders authenticate every visit, and get visual proof that all marketing material was placed appropriately.
- They were also able to get a foot in the door at new retail counters where their brand was not present. The prospect of having a big bright board above their shop was enough to entice many new retailers to consider keeping their brand.
- This entire project was completed within 2 months, which otherwise would have easily taken 6 months to do. It also helped reduce the investment in logistics as well as manpower, as fewer personnel were deployed for a shorter duration of time.
2. New Product Launches
FMCG is particularly notorious when it comes to launching new products because nearly 75-80% of brand launches fail to find success. So FMCG sales leaders must tread very cautiously to read the market right and come up with deep market intelligence-backed GTM strategy. We can tell you about one brand that did that really well.
Atomberg, a fast-growing consumer appliances brand known for its energy-efficient fans wanted to enter the mixer-grinder category. Before launching it, their sales team thoroughly used the Instant Survey feature to assess the competition, identify product features available in the market, understand how the shop boys were selling the product, evaluate merchandising effectiveness, understand the price point range and much more. This helped Atomberg launch their mixies in the right outlets and within a lucrative price range to target the relevant TG. (target group).
Read how deep market intelligence helped atomberg to develop a robust GTM of their new product line
Similarly, brands use deep market intelligence very effectively in Modern Trade. Since listing fees and placement fees are high, brands use focused intelligence to derive insights on the TG demographics, consumer buying patterns etc especially to launch new products.
3. Proof of on-field Activities
An FMCG spice brand was pretty well known for its usual masala powders, but it was not popular in the meat category. They wanted to expand their leadership in chicken and biryani masala too, so they decided to try out a completely new category of retail outlet – butcher shops!
They realized that there were competing brands already present in the butcher shops but they were not immediately visible since they were displayed on the side. The enterprising marketing team of our masala brand decided to create a sachet packaging in the shape of a hanger, that too at an attractive price point of Rs 15 per sachet.
The company created a survey on the GT app to capture images of the SO hanging the masala sachets at eye level and sharing the relevant schemes with the retailer. The survey also helped the SOs take feedback directly from the customers. This on-ground activation activity was so successful that almost 2-3 customers out of 5 were ready to buy the new masala sachets
This use-case is quite popular in the pharma industry, where the salesmen are required to capture proof of invoice delivery. Similarly, FMCG brands can establish proof of delivery of gifts reaching retailers. Many times gifts like silver coins or cash discounts or other freebies fail to reach the retailers because they get pinched by the distributor himself. But with our Survey feature, the salesman takes a photo of the gift on the retail counter as proof that the right rewards have reached the appropriate retailers.
4. Feedback Capture
Feedback from both the customers as well as the retailers is critical in making sure that you have strong relationships with both. Tolarams Africa did extensive sampling of its products in a lot of semi-modern trade and modern trade stores. Since they had more than 1000 door-to-door marketing agents, they used the FA Flo app to capture the household details on toilet cleaning habits, regimes, the products they used, if they were aware of toilet cleaners as a concept etc. As Vivek Kesari – Head Trade Marketing Nigeria, Tolaram Group puts it, “Our biggest challenge has been to track and monitor the effectiveness of this massive team on the field. With FieldAssist we now get image-based visit authentication, real-time visibility on our agents, the number of households they visit in a day, etc.”
From the retailers’ perspective, the FieldAssist platform is a great way to record a retailer’s feedback or grievance if any. This is because information flows up to the mid-managers or senior leaders in real-time, enabling real-time decisions and a really short lead time.
So whether it is a one-time survey to understand competitor schemes and promotions running for the festive season, or a long-term project to execute nationwide branding activities, FieldAssist allows real-time, authentic and drilled-down market intelligence to power your sales operations.
To distil concrete field intelligence into actionable insights, contact us.