Electrical industry tradeshows start in 4 weeks with AD\’s North American Meeting, quickly followed by the IMARK Annual Meeting and the NAED Eastern, and not counting national meetings for national chains. And with the meetings comes talk regarding 2018 joint planning. In fact, Electrical Wholesaling\’s August issue was titled \”Marketing Planning.\” The 2018 planning season is here!
The time is here to start thinking about the longer term. Projecting \”the number\” for 2018 is important but developing your strategy is critical to achieving the number. But to develop strategy, it should be based on broad inputs, not just \”I think we should do \’x\’\” or \”I\’ve always wanted to do \”y\”.
As mentioned in the Electrical Wholesaling article, data helps and there are some industry sources such as:
- Electrical Wholesaling
- IIR (Industrial Information Resources)
- Dodge Data and Analytics (and those in the Chicagoland area should consider attending their 2018 Outlook meeting)
and other national, and sometimes local data inputs such as such as housing starts / permits, the # of oil rigs, construction value projections or tracking local projects.
- Local business and channel dynamics
- Internal data mining to ascertain trends
And, then gaining insights from your salespeople and customers.
We\’re involved with a number of distributors and manufacturers in elements of their planning. It can take the form of:
- For distributors – guiding through our GPS (Growth Planning System) for 2018 (and sometimes looking out over 3-5 years), sharing our \”Channel Trends\”, ascertaining customer satisfaction, capturing customer outlook, meeting facilitation, idea generation, recommending marketing strategies, discussing value proposition, conceiving promotional initiatives, helping maximize the effectiveness of performance marketing / incentive strategies, utilizing CRM and marketing automation systems, the role eCommerce is playing within distribution and your customers and more.
- For manufacturers – conducting a Rep 360, gaining competitive insights, soliciting input from distributors (and end-users), brand recognition, developing \”programs\” and co-op / MDF strategies, product introductions, determining market share, developing marketing and branding strategies and more.
And, unabashedly … we\’d welcome the opportunity to be of assistance. Check out our consulting website for more information or give me a call.
Over the next few months we\’ll be sharing data we uncover for different market segments that may help you with your plan.
(And here\’s one potential data source … in Google, use the terms \”business journal crane watch (and maybe add a major metropolitan area)\” and see what you get. Here is what I got for Raleigh.
It\’s an interactive map of projects in your local area. Do you / your salespeople know \”everything\” going on in the market? Which are you involved in?
Now\’s the time to develop your plan so that you can interact with your manufacturers / distributors to jointly optimize opportunities. Consider how data can point the way to opportunities and then have the approach that enables you to optimize your potential.
Not to be too \”promotional\”, but we can help provide an unbiased view that may add value. (and yes, one of the goals of ElectricalTrends is to help the consulting part of the business!)
Have a great day and \”happy planning!\”