By Greg Reyneke, CSW-VI
You’ve researched available products and technologies, consulted with your mother and decided on a series of products to sell. What now? A simple SWOT (strengths, weaknesses/limitations, opportunities and threats) analysis is a great place to start..I’ll help you with a few; you get to fill in the rest. Be brutally honest with yourself.
You are a water treatment dealer (Access to customers who care about water quality)
Excellent Customer Service Skills
Aquaceuticals are becoming more fashionable
Aquaceuticals work best in purified water
You are a water treatment dealer (This is something new and out of your comfort zone)
Lack of product education
Untapped market of customers
Strengthening the lifetime service relationship with your customers
Lack of customer education
Inadequate employee training
Are local competitors selling the same products?
Can customers find the same product from internet merchants at a lower price-point?
Now that you know yourself, it’s time to get to know your product a little better and how it plays into the marketing mix (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. The marketing mix
Plan, execute, monitor and evaluate
Once you honestly evaluate yourself, and the market, you can develop your first aquaceutical marketing plan (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: Steps to developing a successful marketing plan
Marketing plans don’t have to be complicated. Just write down what you know, what you want, how you think you can accomplish it, the tools and resources needed. And most importantly, how to measure success.
- Clarify your marketing goals, and confirm that they make sense.
- Maintain focus on your overall business goals.
- Set reasonable criteria for success.
- Prioritize actions.
- Decide how long each step should take.
- Determine who will complete each executable action.
- Monitor the progress of the plan, review regularly and make changes as necessary.
The keystone to an effective marketing plan is to identify the opportunity and understand the target customer. Your target customer is most likely to be the baby-boomer demographic who:
- Is in the 50+ age group
- Is a homeowner
- Has disposable income
- Is concerned about health and longevity
- Is motivated to make health improvement decisions
Your very best customer is an existing customer. Those customers have taken a leap of faith in trusting you for managing their water quality improvement needs. They know that you and your entire team are focused on their satisfaction and in providing them with the very best water at the very best price. They will naturally assume that when you introduce them to a new product or technology that you have done the necessary due diligence. Most decent aquaceutical and nutraceutical vendors have experience in developing appropriate marketing and promotion strategies for each market segment. Consult with your vendor or trade association for best practices that work.
As a water quality improvement dealer, you provide your customers with excellent products and services to remove aesthetic and health-related impurities from their water. Since clean, purified water is the building block upon which all good aquaceutical formulations are built, it makes sense that you should be the one to help your customers enhance their water and bring it to the health-enhancing level that they desire. Seize the opportunity now, and help your customers enjoy better health and wellness!
About the author
Greg Reyneke, CWS-VI, is currently General Manager at Intermountain Soft Water in Lindon, UT and serves on the WC&P Technical Review Committee. He also serves on the advisory board of the Smart Dealer Network, a trade association dedicated to helping independent water treatment dealers succeed in today’s changing world and reach their full potential.