Consumer Discretionary

6 'Tips' To Enter The FMCG Market

<p>So here it goes, hope it helps you. The&nbsp;<em>&ldquo;tips"</em>&nbsp;- which I am reproducing below, with a few tweaks to make it a little more generic for the larger audience.</p><ol><li><strong>The consumer -</strong> It starts with her.&nbsp;Respect that. This is true in every industry, most tellingly so, in FMCG.</li></ol><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Whether in Sales or in marketing, keep your ears on the ground to always try and understand how she is reacting to the product propositions which you are putting out there. Even the smallest of changes in her behavior patterns needs to be paid heed to.</p><p>The end consumer is the final decision maker-so do respect that, always.&nbsp;</p><ol start="2"><li><strong>Listen - </strong>For the first few months on the job, just listen. And I cannot underline this enough. Listen to your brand team members, listen to your colleagues from other brand teams. If from sales (or in marketing ) , listen to your sales manager, listen to your wholesalers, the retailers, the team that you shall manage, your merchandisers, everyone. As a sales team member, when you are in a sales or brand cascade, reach out to the HO team members and ask the dumbest of questions, and listen. Listen to your cross functional team members, to the members from your agency. To consumers, yeah, them again.&nbsp;</li></ol><p>This industry is a goldmine of marketing information, and keep absorbing it all, even if not relevant in your current job and role, it shall come in handy later at some point, trust me on this.</p><ol start="3"><li><strong>Numbers -&nbsp;</strong>Master them always. Never look out of control while managing them. Your boss should depend on you after a few weeks on the job to ask every imaginable possible number to ask. This gives you confidence like nothing else. I have been in the middle of a really well made presentation, which has got derailed owing to a slip up on one number on one slide out of 70, thereby jeopardizing alignment on the overall presentation.</li></ol><p>On the other hand, I have surprised myself over the years how knowing the smallest nuggets about the category I have worked on, has helped me win negotiations with my seniors and other team mates alike, because people respect you the most in FMCG when you are in charge of your numbers.</p><ol start="4"><li><strong>Keep learning -</strong>If in sales, don&rsquo;t limit yourself to sales. Say you are selling a mosquito repellent every month, and your only KRA is to deliver the targets for the month, the quarter and the year. Do that, but don't stop there.</li></ol><p>Make an effort to learn how it is manufactured in the factory, what is the packaging material which is going into it. The raw material which goes into it. Not relevant for your current role may be but keep learning them. This industry teaches you the fundamentals of 6Ps of marketing like no other, so don't let your current role limit your learnings to only a few Ps (Placement for Sales is the most relevant one, for example ).</p><ol start="5"><li><strong>Lead with humility - </strong>Lead people like your life depends on it. As an ASM when you start off, you shall get the ownership of a region, you shall feel like a king soon, with your team as your subjects, loyal ones :) But lead them like you would like to be led by your boss. Earn their respect not through your designation but through your humility.</li></ol><p>&nbsp;<img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" /></p><p>Same holds true for somebody having a role in the marketing/brand division. Share your learnings on marketing with them to train them, your own learnings get reinforced when you narrate it to people reporting to you.</p><p>I have learned something having been in this industry for a few years now, word travels, really fast, about who you are as a person - basis how you treat people around you, in office or in your extended teams outside the organization. As a sales manager, this is even more significant.</p><ol start="6"><li><strong>The consumer- </strong>It ends with her too. In one of the organizations, I worked in previously, the guy in finance who used to send the sweet monthly mail at the end of every month informing that the salary was going to be credited during the day, used to end his mail with the following words:&nbsp;<em>&lsquo;remember it&rsquo;s the consumer who made your salary happen.&rsquo;</em></li></ol><p>Those are the wisest words I have ever heard from a finance professional. Or may be any professional now that I think of it.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Alekhya Chakrabarty

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