5 Challenges of Online Prospecting for the Food Industry

1 June 2023

Food companies operate in a highly competitive environment. It is only possible to work successfully in this field by constantly developing and using the best practices and technologies.

1 June 2023

  • Scenarios of Prospecting Evolution for the Food Industry
  • Food Sector: How to be Ready for Digital Prospecting
  • Lead Generation and Prospecting Tips for the Food Companies

Food companies operate in a highly competitive environment. It is only possible to work successfully in this field by constantly developing and using the best practices and technologies. It’s hard to sit back on a niche exclusive product – in a month your competitors will start copying your successful experience. Today, managing a food enterprise is impossible without the use of automation of all processes: from planning and marketing to logistics and reputation management.

Marketing activities of the food industry enterprise differs from industrial, commercial, banking and other types of marketing. This is determined by the dependence on agriculture. Natural and economic processes in agribusiness are integrated and form special conditions for food production, as well as the organization of prospecting, sales and marketing in the food industry.

Factors affecting prospecting in the food industry

1. The supply of essential products

Marketers in the food industry deal with the life’s essential commodities – they need to satisfy customers’ needs and requests in a timely manner, in the right volume and assortment.

These products are usually perishable, which is why sales team need intensive prospecting, fast journey through the sales funnel, prompt delivery, appropriate packaging, responsive client support and aesthetic appeal.

2. The mismatch between the working period and the production period

Such a peculiarity of agricultural production as seasonality affects the forms and methods of marketing activities of food enterprises and makes them different from the forms and methods of industrial marketing.

For example, crop products are produced once or twice a year, while the working period lasts all year round. In this connection, sales reps should be able to forecast the dialectics of consumer demand, know well the tendency of its satisfaction, the market situation, etc., as soon as the efficiency of the entire sales activity depends on it.

3. Greater adaptability

Greater responsiveness, self-organization and self-adaptability of the food industry marketing system compared to other types of marketing can be explained by the peculiarities of consumer demand, fierce competition at the food market due to the identity of products, the need to quickly adapt the marketing system to governmental regulations and other policy decisions.

Food industry: 4 scenarios for change by 2030

The food landscape has evolved. Located at the intersection of the social, environmental and digital revolutions, food and its consumption are no longer simply synonymous with ‘eating’: they have become an expression of individual choice and responsibility.

In this context, food companies are reacting in different ways. While some have recognized the opportunities of this revolution and are using them to stand out the competitors, others are allowing themselves to be overwhelmed by profound changes they can no longer control.

Four scenarios to better prepare for the evolution of the agri-food industry

· Scenario 1: The energy costs associated with digitalization and food transportation are slowing digital development and favoring local sourcing. This is a world in which food is produced locally, with preference to organic products, with suburban farming development and direct sales by producers of minimally processed foods. In the first scenario, preference would be given to local brands tied to the area and able to work with local logistics. In such a scenario, it is certainly useful to innovate according to the production traditions and know-how of the local market. Online prospecting targets local companies.

· Scenario 2: If energy costs, problems and perceived inequality in buying power lead to a continued supply of cheap food of low environmental and sanitary quality through mass distribution, we may see the development of small supermarkets owned by large retailers who buy products locally and use their bargaining power to lower prices, with a low degree of food processing. The second scenario would lead to the development of companies that have always worked with mass distribution, able to produce private labels while controlling their costs. This scenario is less favorable for product innovation, but very favorable for process innovation. Online prospecting targets local and nationwide companies.

· Scenario 3: If digital technologies develop without energy constraints throughout the value chain, and transportation costs do not impede personalized logistics, and if at the same time environmental and social concerns prevail over everything else, we may see the development of FoodTech startups, the strong influence of big data players, the development of metasystems, with the need to strengthen personal data protection. Online prospecting targets both local and national companies.

· Scenario 4: If concerns and perceived inequality in buying power lead to a continued supply of low-cost food of low environmental and sanitary quality, then we will see the development of large digital players such as Amazon, which can take over the distribution of imported and processed products at low prices and with delivery as close to the consumer as possible. The fourth scenario is generally unfavorable for transformational SMEs, but favorable for startups dealing with apps and big data. Online prospecting targets national and foreign companies.

Whatever the scenario, the food industry will face the need to digitize all sales processes, from planning and prospecting to pipeline management and analytics.

Digital Technology and the Food Industry

Recently, online sales in the food industry have been increasing dramatically due to innovations, integrated by its players in distribution and digital technology. Lead generation in the food industry has never mattered as much!

Globally, online sales of food products are projected to account for 15-20% of total food and beverage industry sales, so online represents a huge opportunity for commercial development amidst the growing economic crisis.

Food industry players with e-commerce materials, offerings and services will have a better chance than other companies, thereby benefiting from the growth of the digital boom in the food and beverage industry.

Therefore, it is in the interest of companies to validate and optimize their digital presence in order to generate maximum traffic, as well as to optimize lead generation paths, since the market remains very competitive even online. Since the food industry is a highly regulated sector, a digital marketing strategy can be an effective way to attract potential customers that you might not otherwise reach.

  • To showcase its products and services, a food company can develop its own website to attract potential customers. To do this, it should provide Internet users with relevant and customized content through content marketing, which will allow the company to improve its organic link position, meaning it will rank better in search results for prospective customers.
  • In order to optimize lead generation paths, it is necessary not only to act through content marketing, but also to use effective online digital prospecting solutions.

Moreover, this digital marketing strategy in the food industry has the advantage of being less costly than conventional marketing campaigns. Through this active lead generation, the company is also able to quickly identify, qualify and convert these leads into loyal customers.

Clock’s ticking, time is running short, and its challenges must be met promptly: use Kompass digital tools for online prospecting and lead generation just now!


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