The natural products industry is preponderantly small businesses. With stores closed and footfalls low, they have no option but to experiment with online selling. Digital marketing, in the current circumstances, is critical and perhaps the only option for reaching and servicing customers.
The COVID-19 pandemic, the need for social distancing, and the fear of getting infected by the virus are forcing a change in people’s habits. Online sales are rising. Small business is particularly badly hit.
The silver lining is that the demand for immunity-building natural products is high. But each CEO in the natural products industry asks how I reach my customer. Traditional digital marketing platforms like Amazon Seller Central and Google have such high click rates that it puts the entire business model out of wack.
Natural product Industry companies have been reluctant to adopt technology because of the cost and complexity of the available solutions. Technology providers also cannot communicate the fundamentals of their tools in a language to non-digital customers. There still exists a digital divide between the users and producers of technology. This has resulted in a mushroom of intermediaries that help non-digital consumers use and leverage the power of available digital marketing and other more complex technology platforms.
During my 15 years of interaction as a business consultant and business adviser in the technology industry, I have seen this digital divide up close. As a CEO of a natural product-producing corporation with little digital capabilities, how do I leverage the power of digital marketing to reach out to my customers cost-efficiently? This is a question that many CEOs are grappling with today more than ever.
The digital marketing industry understands this dilemma. They have developed several free-to-use innovative solutions that a perceptive CEO can use to increase customer reach at little or no cost.
Let me list some low-cost options:
- Influencer marketing
- Blog writing and dissemination over social media platforms
- Peer-to-peer marketing
Digital marketing, per se, is a vast subject. It offers a range of solutions suitable to nearly every conceivable budget and requirement. Therefore, undertaking a company-specific feasibility analysis for digital marketing is best before investing in a digital outreach program.
Before launching a digital marketing campaign, it is important to prepare the ground. The business strategy should be aligned with the needs of your customers. Segment your customers by demographics and location. Check on customer preferences. Understand his pain points, likes, and dislikes. Mapping the customer’s psychology will help create content your customer segments respond to.
Competitor analysis is another essential prerequisite before the launch of a digital marketing campaign. The USP of your product line should emerge in your marketing content design. There may be some instances where you even have to customize the business model to help you gain a distinct competitive advantage in the market. It is the competitive advantage that will help you increase your customer’s willingness to pay for your products. In some cases, packaging, logistics, and delivery modes may also require to be modified. Once the customer decides to buy, the product delivery should be as soon as possible. Many great product brands see high order cancellations when product delivery is not quick and seamless.