Chandani Parihar holding an MBA in Agribusiness Management from the National Institute of Agriculture Extension Management (MANAGE), Hyderabad, has been associated with Nutreco for six years now. Before this, she has held key marketing roles in the industry.
How are the evolving market dynamics reshaping marketing strategies for animal nutrition and health food products currently?
The use of technological advancements and data are the two major factors that are shaping the marketing strategies for animal nutrition and health food products. At the same time, a fast-evolving consumer base, changing consumer behaviour, and uncertainties in the livestock business – all have an impact on how the marketing strategies are formulated. Being dynamic is key. A basic practice of marketing, when we talk about customer segmentation, is targeting them according to their requirements. However, how you view data now, store it, generate insights, and understand the buying patterns of customers have taken a better shape today. Also, the extensive usage of technology tools such as AI, e-Commerce applications and WhatsApp is another key factor that impacts how we choose to reach our customers.
What is the impact of prevalent industry trends on marketing strategies within the animal nutrition and health food sector?
As I mentioned earlier livestock business is seasonal and has many uncertainties, while at the same time consumer base is evolving with more information available readily. One particular trend that is reshaping the dynamics is the presence of D2C platforms and the increase in the use of processed items. Keeping the end consumer in mind is becoming more important, branding of end products (chicken, egg, milk) is a requirement rather than an option. Information about feed-to-food safety, anti-microbial awareness, mycotoxins and consumer awareness are all bringing changes in marketing strategies. These factors play prominent in organizations’ long-term marketing and business strategies.
Suggest a few ways in which organization can adopt their marketing strategies when exploring new markets or segments.
This has much more to do with how an organization wants to view itself in the long run – vertical or horizontal expansion, organic or inorganic growths. For any business, it is critical to first analyse the feasibility of the project – Capex, Opex and expected revenue generation. However, when exploring new markets and segments, first and foremost is to identify your potential customers, the pain points that you are going to solve for them, what your products are, and do your products meet their purchasing power. Therefore, it is important to conduct thorough market research of the region you want to foray into, launch a pilot project, gather feedback, and tweak your offering as per that feedback before deploying a full-scale product/solution.
Tell us about the role of marketing in an organization’s innovation and research efforts pertaining to animal nutrition products.
In marketing, one of the most important aspects is to have a clear understanding of your customer’s requirements and perform a gap-need analysis. Post identifying that, they can assess areas of innovation and collaborate cross-functionally to achieve desired outcomes. On a function basis, I strongly feel that innovation is also related to some of your day-to-day activities. Following the cycle of implementation, assessment and adoption of changes is necessary for any activity or process to bring efficiencies.
Briefly explain a few ways organizations can engage customers and foster brand loyalty within the animal nutrition industry.
It is often said that brand loyalty is a myth. When it comes to brand loyalty, the only strategy that works is to be close to your customers and keep an eye on what their needs are at all times. If you miss out on it, you are just creating an opportunity for your competitors to come in and take advantage. Especially in the animal health & nutrition segment, this requires very close coordination between marketing, sales and technical teams and support each other in every way possible.