Usually when I say "consumer insights," people think I'm talking about the end-user consumer of a packaged goods product.
The following is not about end-users of a consumer product, it's about pool and spa equipment dealers.
Most homeowners with swimming pools have no clue as to the brand of pump, heater or filter they have on their pool -- they just want it to work.
As such, the dealer and the maintenance person are much more important to the end user.
In the mid-1990’s the pool and spa industry was in the midst of a share battle and our client was a distant third in the pool and spa equipment business. They had a limited product line, low awareness and weak perception among dealers, builders and end users.
We surveyed 3,289 pool and spa dealers via telephone to understand more about their attitudes and perceptions as well as what they wanted from their equipment supplier.
We learned there were many things dealers and builders wanted but were not getting:
- Frequent contact from sales reps,
- Good customer support,
- Sales incentive programs,
- Improved warranties,
- Faster parts deliveries,
- No competition with mass merchandisers,
- Sales support, and
- Integrated systems that are easy to install, repair and replace.
From these channel insights, we created a multi-faceted marketing program and developed communications built around improved service offerings for dealers and builders.
We showed the dealers we listened and responded to the feedback they provided.
In the first year of the campaign, sales increased 38%.
Dealers began to recognize our client as the “white knight” of the industry.
The number two player in the industry offered themselves for sale to our client.
Over the course of three years, this and other acquisitions enabled our client to overtake the market leader. Sales increased as did dealer satisfaction. All because we listened intensely to the channel's concerns and responded accordingly.
When is the last time you've asked your sales channel what they need/want to improve the sales of your product?