We created Ecosystem Maps to understand the existing business model with brands & independent retailers and how they interact.
Conducting Field Research
We conducted field research under product strategy as a service and methodology to accomplish the task at hand with multiple iterations of Research->Plan->Create->Test. When we began with the field research, the first activity we performed was mapping the ecosystem in an “As Is” state. We gathered the following insights:
- Most brands were heavily dependent on field sales for their in-store advertisements and promotional activities and yet they were not able to achieve desired results — one of the biggest reasons being that brands had no control over the daily plan and schedule of field sales. Therefore, they were not able to put quality checks on field sales agents and their performance reports.
- Brands had no channel and medium for receiving the media activation evidence, thus leaving them in the dark from a data perspective as to — how many retailers have activated the media advertisements in their store. This further created a problem of poor reporting for brands to their senior leadership as they were not able to communicate the campaign status with the right data.
- Brands were also facing losses in terms of print media waste simply because of the constraints injected by field sales. As brands had no data related to the interested retailers and their participation, brands kept on printing media assets for masses in the hope of covering maximum retailers through the field sales channel.
- The existing model for retailer community had shortcomings. Retailers were simply getting no rewards for activating the media in stores. All the budgets that the brands carried were consumed on running advertisements through wholesalers and field sales.
Based on the above insights, we proposed the following solutions to leverage the opportunities present within the existing system:
We created a “To Be” version of the ecosystem map to highlight all the possibilities and to create a brand positioning strategy for Hubpix. We highlighted all the opportunities and areas that can be addressed through a brand new platform that connects brands with retailers:
Created a Digital Model Sans Field Sales
We created a new digital model where brands can create their advertising campaigns and retailers can earn cash rewards by using a mobile app to provide evidence for in-store media activation. With this digital model, both ends of the network would derive benefit from each other.
Through the new model, we completely removed the brand’s dependency on field sales for media activation. We also reduced the print media waste in this process by pre-validating the retailers, who are actually willing to activate the campaign in their stores, rather than sending media assets to everybody in the hope of activation, which was being practiced in the existing model.
Building the Feedback Loop
The feedback loop for brands and retailers that we built for the client was an important feature. Earlier, brands were clueless about what elements worked for retailers and what challenges they had. With the new digital platform, both brands and retailers were able to communicate with each other during the campaign to correct any ongoing engagement or to provide retailers with better offers and more customized campaigns in the future.