How are you going to hit your year-end target?

You’re coming up on crunch time. The calendar year is ending soon, and for many businesses, the fiscal year comes to a close at the same time. As a consumer goods manufacturer, even if you’re not on the same time frame as your customers, you still have to align with their year-end activities and needs.

What if you’ve running behind your projected numbers with just two months to go in 2010? Your boss is pushing you to drive more sales and reach that target.  What do you do?

You can run a promotion that will either feed the trade or the consumers. You will sell more product, but you’ll likely not make a profit.

You can make a deal to get your brand into the retailer’s warehouse before December 31, so the sale is posted on the books, but you’re going to have to pay the retailer to take that extra product in December.

There are better solutions. Rather than reacting to the ticking clock, take time to consider more proactive approaches that can deliver the results you’re seeking. Step 3 of the 5-Step Shopper Marketing Model  directs you to prioritize your customers. Think about those retailers who can deliver the shoppers you’re after. How can you work with them to reach your goals? Are there other retailers you might be overlooking? Consider those customers who have unexplored potential?

Once you’ve prioritized those customers, ask yourself a few more questions about the best activities to engage in:

  1. What activities can you do with your priority customers to drive sales right now?
  2. Which activity is most likely to lead to incremental consumption? Your goal should not be to just sell more product—so that shoppers stock up now which impacts sales in the near future—but to boost the consumer’s use.
  3. Which activity is least likely to set a precedent with trading relations with customer? Remember, if you’re prepared to give extra point now, you will have to do it again later.
  4. Which activity is least likely to set precedent for relationship with shoppers? If you consistently run promotions, you condition your shoppers to only purchase when the brand is on offer.

By proactively planning and considering your options, you can build a plan that will guide you to your year-end target. If you need helping evaluating your options, talk to us.

What year-end activities have you planned? Are you taking a different approach than you did last year at this time? Please share your experiences here.

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