March 03, 2024

Odd Things Happen When You Don't Understand How Customers Interact With The Merchandise You Sell

Very early in my consulting career I visited a company that simply did not understand how their merchandise performed.

The CEO told me there was a marketing issue.

The VP of Marketing told me that the analytics guru could not solve the marketing challenges the brand faced.

The Analytics Guru had no idea what was happening. This is a far more common scenario than analytics gurus would have you believe.

Just a simple review of their marketing reporting showed that there was a significant merchandising problem. All customer segments were performing 10% worse than the year prior. New/Reactivated customers were performing 10% worse than the year prior. Customers simply didn't like what the brand was selling.

The CEO, the Marketing VP, the Analytics Guru ... when told that there was a merchandising problem ... all dug in harder and fought for marketing solutions. When I didn't offer marketing solutions, they dug in against me. Now I was the problem!!

Can a business struggle because of marketing issues? Yes.

Is it far more likely that a business is struggling because customers don't want to buy the merchandise you are selling? Yes.

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