Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Proof of Retailer Power in Packaged Goods

Is here any doubt about how the power has shifted from manufacturer to retailer in consumer packaged goods? Just look at what happened to Cott's stock when it was reported that Wal-Mart was shifting shelf space away from it's Sam's Choice brand produced by Cott's in favor of Cadbury Schweppes beverage brands. Cott's stock dropped 20% in one day and 38% the next day when the change in shelf space was rumored. What's so striking is that the market reaction was base on the anticipated impact of a change in allocated shelf space alone, not a delisting. Smart markets, yes. Powerful retailer, absolutely.
Here's the story as reported in the Financial Post.

Marketing Strategy Must Guide Media Tactics

I was a guest speaker at class of college students in a Media course. I was speaking about the changing media environment and the challenges of measuring return on investment in both traditional and online media (note: isn't it time to stop calling online media 'non-traditional'?). It struck me as I watched the faces of these students that, as talented as they may be, how difficult (and interesting) their future careers in marketing and media will be.

"The media" is fracturing into finer and more granular targeting opportunities and tactics.
1. The media opportunites are more measurable than ever before.
2. Measuring the right thing is critical for each and every media vehicle.
3. There will be more and more data available for analysis.
4. Availability of analytical tools and resources to crunch the proliferating data will continue to increase.

This may seem overwhelming. How will marketers handle all of the potential data and information? The answer lies in staying strategic. Solid strategy will dictate what to measure and how to approach the mutlitude of media opportunities. Without solid strategy to guide decisions, the media space is a huge toolbox of tactics. Only solid strategy can define the task and guide which of these tools to use.