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Many organizations often find it difficult to market their slow moving products. Slow moving products refer to those goods and services that are not easy to market, usually as a result of low demand. These are products often have slow rates of consumption. The low demand may also be due to negative attitudes of consumers towards the products or due to irregular use of the products. Business organization must, therefore, formulate and deploy appropriate marketing strategies to ensure that these products sell effectively in the target markets. However, most businesses have been faced with various challenges in their efforts to effectively market such products. The major problem that products that do not sell easily pose to businesses is tying up of capital in inventory hence no returns are realized from the investments.
Challenges Faced By Companies Marketing Slow Moving Goods
To begin with, most organizations are challenged with new innovations and inventions that occur in the markets. Day after day, new technological advancements are brought up. In my opinion, such technological advancements may render products that are produced by a business obsolete and thus not marketable since the consumers will go for the new products with new advancements.
Secondly, companies that market slow moving goods may be challenged by how to effectively create awareness amongst consumers on the availability of such products in the market. Sometimes, potential consumers may not be aware that particular products are available for sale in the market. According to Philip Kotler and Gary Armstrong, such goods are referred to as unsought goods (2009). It is, therefore, the responsibility of the marketers of such goods to ensure that they create adequate awareness on availability of such goods in the market. They should let the consumers know that such unsought products are on offer for sale in the market. For example, blood donations and insurance policies.
Thirdly, targeting the right audience is another challenge facing marketers of products that are not easy to sell. In some cases, the marketers may target a market that is not effective and hence make low sales volumes. From my part, poor market targeting often results from inappropriate analysis of the overall market as well as the consumer purchasing behaviors.
Fourthly, marketers of slow moving products are also faced with low demands. This can be as a result of irregular consumption of the products especially for seasonal products or due to hard economic times. Low demand may also result from availability of close substitutes of the products which customers prefer over that particular good or service (Rialp & Rialp, 2007). Additionally, low demand may be due to poor quality of the products and hence customers shy away from using it.
Last but not least, marketers of slow moving products are often faced with the problem of irregular usage of their products. This can be due seasonality in usage of such products, for example, funeral services are only used when a person dies. Similarly, rain boots and umbrellas are only used during the rainy seasons. It is thus difficult, or even completely impossible, to market such products when the season is off-peak. Companies must, therefore, ensure that they hold the appropriate quantities of such products to ensure that they are readily available to the customers whenever they require them during the peak seasons.
Effective Approaches in Enhancing Customer Relations in Marketing of Slow Moving Products
In order to effectively markets products that are not easily sold, companies must deploy appropriate strategies that would enhance good customer relationships between the company and its customers. Firstly, a company should segment the market in relation to various characteristics that the consumers posses. Through market segmentation, the company will be able to identify and develop suitable marketing strategies that will suit each market segment. Market segmentation will also help in understanding the various needs of different customers and how to effectively meet such needs. Market segmentation will also ensure target marketing and hence help in building strong consumer relationships.
Secondly, as Stephenson and Thurman puts forward, a company should keenly watch and observe the current trends in the market. Marketers should ardently monitor and examine the changes taking place in the marketplace (2007). Through such market examinations, the company will be able to know what the customers want and hence be able to deliver the required products effectively. This will help in meeting and exceeding the customers’ expectations. Consequently, a pool of satisfied and loyal customers will be created. Furthermore, it will facilitate building of strong customer relationships since the customers will always be delighted with the company’s products. For example, due to technological advancements, desktop computers have become less desirable to many consumers who nowadays prefer laptops.
Thirdly, a company may sell its slow moving products at discount prices in order attract potential consumers as well as retaining current customers (Boone & Kurtz, 2010). Marketers of such products may set competitive prices so as to lure customers. Fourthly, companies that market products that are not easily sold must ensure that they develop high quality products. This entails developing products in relation to the customers’ expectations. Goods and services should be customer focused. In my view, this will help in meeting customers’ expectations and hence wining their loyalty.
Additionally, businesses may provide auxiliary services such as insurance and free delivery to allure and entice customers. They can also use intermediaries to ensure timely delivery of goods and services. Similarly, companies may build strong customer relationships through effective communication and exchange of ideas, information and experiences between the company and its customers.
In conclusion, organizations should find the most effective and efficient ways to market their slow-moving products. Businesses should be able to stimulate demand by providing after-sale services such as free six-month repairs and maintenance for purchased products. Through appropriate forecasting of demand, companies must ensure that the right quantities of products are held in stock to prevent stock wastages, under-stocking and overstocking. They should also adopt appropriate inventory management methods, for example, the Just-In-Time technique. Companies may as well use the economic order quantity (EOQ) model to minimize costs associated with ordering, handling and holding inventory, and hence create value to its products.
Lastly, organizations should make overall efforts in becoming more efficient and competent in provision of slow-moving goods and services. They should deploy appropriate techniques in managing such inventories. In my view, concentrating on effective inventory management techniques will help in increasing sales volumes as well as generating reasonable returns from such inventories, regardless of whether they are fast-moving or slow-moving products. The techniques employed are the most important.
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