Training retail teams in new products is essential. Helping them sell them is even better! With several years’ expertise in how to grow sales and a specialist in multi-brand distribution, in this article [MAP | EMULSION] presents the best practices to ensure maximum leverage of the advice it gives the biggest retail brands.
Training is expensive. Ignorance is more than twice the price.
Certain sayings are worth remembering when allocating budget resources. “We’ve seen customers get enthusiastic about consumer research related to their next launch, have tears in their eyes because of a particularly poignant TV commercial, receive awards from their peers for the quality of their product developments, and experience a commercial flop that still depresses them…” explains Philippe Guguen, CEO of [MAP | EMULSION]. He has also experienced this kind of disappointment as Marketing Director at LVMH and L’Oréal Produits de Luxe in a former life.
Informing your partners and resellers about your product, and then training them to talk about it means not only telling them about typical benefits, a design concept or even raw material formulas… it means first and foremost involving them in the strategic genesis of the product to make them its allies and ambassadors. Nowadays, this can take many different forms and modalities. For example, [MAP | EMULSION] develops “fun kits” to allow learners to discover through play and informal experience, and “ambassador boxes” for a sensory experience on the key messages to remember, because it’s well known that using our senses is incredibly effective when it comes to retaining information.
Retail businesses usually need to move very fast when it comes to large-scale rollouts: all points of sale, in different markets, in different countries. [MAP | EMULSION] has been working with Teach on Mars for many years as a tried and trusted partner for digital learning. Mobile learning is a good way of deploying a wide range of activities to meet this rapidly changing need for the dissemination of messages. It’s an essential lever for driving a brand’s ecosystem towards better knowledge of in-house products.
Transforming a learning initiative into a sales “booster”
To transform a learning initiative into a sales booster, a number of innovations can be activated in the application to increase its power:
- An “Advice” add-on can be used to advise a customer live through rapid diagnosis of their needs and the selection of appropriate products.
- An interactive brand catalogue, presenting each of the products in detail, for example a bottle in 3D, key words when talking about it, an anecdote on its creation, assistance with raising the product when talking to customers, and most importantly, complementary sales recommendations on a reference by reference basis. A barcode reader is included in the interactive catalogue for easy access to the product datasheet.
- To simplify advice giving, another useful feature is the advanced multi-criteria search to select THE product the customer has been eagerly waiting for: by type of need, texture, olfactory family, protective index or any other criterion in order to meet the needs expressed in real time as closely as possible.
The add-ons offered by [MAP | EMULSION] are currently used in 11 languages and in many countries including China which has its own dedicated hosting service.
Add-ons to develop advice and sales
Upcoming features include the possibility of each country selecting its own references: a practical development for make-up shades or skincare products that meet specific needs and don’t have a standardised marketing strategy.
“Every 6 months we add something new to the sales development tools included as an add-on in our customers’ Teach on Mars application. A single point of entry for multiple usage scenarios, and features complementary to the training course,” explains Philippe Guguen.
“Our mission is to develop the business of our customers step by step. “Done is better than perfect”: we’re strong believers in agility and continuous improvement where others might get bogged down in perfection. Test & learn is a more modest and more pragmatic approach: it fits in with our philosophy of showing that training isn’t a matter of visible costs but of hidden revenues,” concludes Philippe Guguen.
Philippe is President and Founder of [MAP | EMULSION], a marketing & communication agency specialized in retail and digital.