Think Customer Event: Series 2 Rhythm and Strategies
Following our ‘Think Customer’ Community Event, we wanted to share more of the outputs from the discussions we had with attendees from some of the leading FMCGs such as Mars, Proximo Spirits and Mizkan. The aim of these sessions is to provide a safe and stimulating space for clients to discuss relevant issues and share thoughts on challenges that need to be solved, as well as offering shared examples of success that can be utilised.
At our first community event we focused on key responses to the pre and post pandemic world, and how this might impact interactions and success with customers. – the overall customer experience. If you missed our first blog which shared the thoughts on Customer Experience you can read it HERE
In this blog, we focus on how business rhythm and strategies have changed in the post pandemic environment and highlight areas that need to we should consider in order for our businesses to succeed.
We shared with our community that it takes on average 66 days for a new habit to form. We therefore need to consider the habits that have intentionally and unintentionally been created over the last 500 days and what impact this could have on our longer-term approach:
- Are we aware of how our customer’s rhythms have changed and will change moving forward? Is this out of step with our new business rhythms?
- There was a consensus from the group that we are all becoming more internally focused. We need to ensure we look externally. Observing the changes in the customer environment and continue to solve for the customer, as well as our own.
- For new hires/new starters – how do we signal when the day begins and ends? For those new into the world of work this could be critical. Are we clear on expectations of hours and when we need to be available to respond to customer requests?
- Most meetings are now journaled and scheduled into the diary for virtual calls. – What are we losing from the informal connections (the coffee and water cooler moments?) We need to consider how we recreate these moments in our new normal world.
- Interestingly, we discussed whether collaboration takes longer virtually – or are we now more disciplined with our time?
- Our customer is no more accessible than ever, and certain functions can engage where before we could not. It is easier to arrange a virtual customer meeting with supply chain, marketing and sales for example – how can we leverage this to be part of the everyday contact and customer management?
- Is a new hybrid approach (some physical/some virtual) set up for long term success? How do we consider our inputs and engagements for this approach – for example who really needs to be in the room, what is the role, and how do you make it efficient
We provided some stimulus with the group that highlighted how business strategy may need to adapt to accommodate the changes since the pandemic. For example, product flow to consumer has changed dramatically with online purchasing, this evidently impacts the consumer/shopper journey – how do we still engage with the consumer to purchase? Also have we reviewed our Trade Terms and investment frameworks to accommodate these changes? These drove some interesting discussion points:
- Analytics and data have advanced massively in a short period of time – have our skills advanced far enough in the right places, to allow us all to take advantage of this with our customers?
- How has the Route to Market (RTM) changed and are we making the right choices to take market leadership? For example, Drizly (https://drizly.com) speedy home delivery of liquor.
- How will the creation of ‘impulse at home’ have a lasting impact on impulse categories and strategies to win?
- “The high street is changed forever” – the emergence of Ecomm, DComm and QComm has been a huge leap in the last 18 months – the world of ‘online’ got an accelerated consumer acceptance, and a lot more sophisticated.
- Changes in the market, blur the lines between sales and marketing – getting the vertical messages right has never been so important.
- Changes in the landscape places pressure on customer and supplier P&L’s, and on resources – focus is now on ‘demand’ teams (sales, marketing, operations, supply, digital) and a need to have more ‘liquid’ teams with flexible and deep knowledge.
We hope these talking points give you stimulus to consider and debate with your own colleagues, areas that you may need to address. If you would like to attend our future community discussions, contact us at email@example.com
In our next blog, we will share the outputs of the final two focus areas we debated – Mindset and & Metrics, so watch this space!