My job is to create demand and demand turns into dollars.
A bulk of my marketing career has been at companies that neither fit into the traditional definition of business-to-business nor business-to-consumer.
- Mohawk Industries made flooring and sold to a variety of retailers — from big box home centers to mom-and-pop small businesses — who then sold to the consumer.
- At TenCate Protective Fabrics, the flame-resistant textiles are sold to garment makers who then sell it directly to the customers or wearers (or to distributors who then sell to customers or wearers).
In both cases, the marketing and advertising targets both the businesses that purchases the products and the end consumer. In fact, a larger percentage of the marketing efforts goes toward the final consumer with the objective of what’s called “pull-through demand.”
If the consumer goes to a retailer asking for a specific product or brand, that demand drives the targeted business customers to buy more product.
Creating that demand among consumers can be challenging.
- In the flooring space, the consumer usually chooses type (carpet, hardwood, tile, etc.) and then style before even considering the brand.
- When it comes to garments, fabric is an ingredient. Look at what you’re wearing now. You’re more likely to know the fiber (cotton, rayon, etc.) than the fabric.
To create a sense of brand among consumers, educate those consumers enough to influence a purchase requires a remarkable marketing effort along with a strong brand.
In summary, the best way to make that happen:
- Excite: Create an excitement in consumers about a brand or product.
- Engage: Encourage the consumer to engage with the brand/product to ask for more information.
- Educate: Teach the consumer about brand/products so the consumer wants to purchase.
In the coming weeks, I’ll explore how to make that happen.