Our latest CPM Expert Speak comes from Alberto Almar; CEO of CPM Expertus Spain Field Marketing. Alberto has been working at CPM Expertus for over 15 years and has over 20 years experience in field marketing.
Alberto analyses the current Spanish retail marketplace and the increasing need to move from tactical based retail activation campaigns to a more strategic brand advocacy model; which maximises sales opportunities and secures long-term brand positioning.
From Tactical Field Marketing to a Strategic Brand Advocacy Model
Although there is still a place for tactical promotion, its timing and opportunity is currently being questioned, particularly for products of high turnover and/or seasonality, in favour of a solution, which will consolidate sales and brand positioning.
Besides the arguments regarding the difficulty of measuring the impact and profitability of this kind of initiative for sales support, the quality of ‘performance’ and credibility of the ‘consultant’ is not, by definition usually connected to tactical campaigns, where there is generally greater investment in volume than in quality.
In the case of Spain, our sector is also responsible for the devaluation of tactical promotion, which was an accomplice of the price war, made possible by lower staff costs compared to other countries. Management services have consequently been divested of quality and salaries lowered to the legal minimum. Without careful selection, sufficient training or the correct staff wage, levels of commitment will remain at the absolute minimum.
Since the point of sale is still the “first moment of truth,” where the final decision of purchase is largely made, brand construction is given a final touch and consumer loyalty is maintained; the Brand Advocacy model is gaining increasing numbers of supporters amongst brands as well as distributors and retailers. They argue the need to reconvert the investment made at the point of sale as another step in the overall commercial and marketing strategy, where quality reigns (over quantity), with measurable and long-lasting results.
Certain sectors (pharmaceutical, consumer electronics, DIY, tobacco..) have already vouched for brand advocacy, since their products need greater technical know-how and expertise, or simply to guarantee impeccable brand image. They represent the paradigm of the model with qualified staff continuously present in the sales environment.
In our view, this is the way to work towards maintaining a successful business and market positioning. As specialists in sales team management, we have a fundamental role to play, since the key to success within this model clearly lies in the figure of the brand consultant, brand ambassador or sales promoter. This is supported through a management structure which is focused on achieving marked objectives.
How can brands not invest in the personnel who represent them before the consumers and their clients (retailer)? Moreover, if we also know that brand experience is the main driving force behind recommendation of a product among consumers; we must obviously add value to activating the point of sale, with exceptionally committed, well trained and capable staff. Their core role is focused on creating dynamic consumer experiences, to establish links with the brands, repeat purchase and engender long-term loyalty.
So let us move from investing in volume and little added value, towards a team of brand ambassadors, with a greater and ongoing presence at the point of sale. Where consultative engagements are complemented by product experience and sales is a natural result of this environment. Moreover, without overlooking the fact that our ‘advocacy’ should appear genuine, convincing and without self-interest, so the consumer does not feel pressured into making a purchase, but willing to do so.
For further information on CPM Expertus Spain Brand Advocacy Approach and wider Retail Activation and Field Marketing Solutions; please visit www.cpmexpertus.es or contact Alberto Almar at email@example.com or call : +34932064080.