An effective route-to-market strategy is a company-wide effort

By our News Team | 2022

Implementing a successful RTM strategy at scale is always a challenge, but companies cannot afford to fail, conference hears.

Within an organisation, where does responsibility lie for the successful implementation of the route-to-market (RTM) strategy lie?

According to Alex Goma, Senior Adviser to Grand Cereals Limited in Nigeria and its former CEO, it is not solely a sales responsibility and should involve all elements of the business. If not, it will fail.

AMC Marketing Conference

Lucia Musau, CEO of Kenyan-based PR agency, African Elite Group Ltd, addresses AMC conference delegates. Photo credit: Dennis Mpofu

He was addressing delegates at the Inaugural African Marketing Confederation Conference 2022, held at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe last week, on the topic ‘Route to Market in Emerging Markets: Designs and Enablers of Developing a Supply Chain Route to Market Strategy’.

Goma said implementing a successful RTM strategy at scale is always a challenge, but companies cannot afford to fail, as it “enables firms to fish where the fish are”. It has also increased in important with the growth of e-commerce, which relies on efficient movement of goods and timely deliveries.

Before spending money on marketing a product, the fundamentals – of which the route-to-market strategy is a foundation – need to be in place, he stressed.

“Having the right RTM strategy is the key enabler for winning the war at the point of purchase and playes a critical role in supporting the winning of the other two key battles – Mind of Consumer and Point of Usage,” Goma emphasised.

He listed several key challenges to designing an effective RTM in Africa:

  • Lack of data about consumers, the retail environment, and cost structure.
  • Poor infrastructure in many countries, leading to high costs to serve.
  • A shortage of ready and competent distribution and supply chain partners.
  • An organisation’s unwillingness to change and move with the times, or limited willpower to change the RTM status quo.
  • A difficult and challenging business and regulatory environment.

“Having the right RTM secures winning at the point of purchase, reduces cost and supports innovation and speed to market of new products,” Goma said.

PR boss outlines online engagement strategies

Also addressing attendees from eight African countries on the third day of the conference was Lucia Musau, CEO of Kenyan-based PR agency, African Elite Group Ltd. She spoke on the topic ‘Integration of E-Commerce Activities in Marketing Strategy: Key Success Factors in Africa’.

African Elite Group is a boutique agency operating at the luxury end of the market with clients such as Hennessy, Moët & Chandon, Este Lauder, Clinique, Tom Ford and Radisson.

Musau explained how, during the Covid-19 lockdown in Kenya when her agency and its clients were unable to implement traditional consumer engagement strategies, they turned to hosting online events, conducted online customer training programmes for certain brands, and even got popular musicians to ‘entertain’ at online events by performing from home.

The aim was to create fun and enjoyable virtual experiences that allowed consumers to socialise and take a much-needed break from routine.

African Elite Group also assisted clients to enhance their engagement with e-commerce sites and, in doing do, were able to retain market share, Musau said.

The AMC’s inaugural conference, which attracted marketers from eight African countries, concluded on 22 October. 

Find out more about the conference here or here. Also look out for additional News posts about the conference on the AMC website.