Navigating the shift in Consumer Health habits: The role of forecasting and promotion management
In a world forever transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the consumer health industry is experiencing a seismic shift in consumer habits and expectations. The days of waiting for the doctor to prescribe something or just “riding out the flu” are gone, and individuals are increasingly taking proactive steps to manage their well-being.
This is more than just an attitude shift; it’s also driven by changing demographics. An aging population, with, on average, better health and more purchasing power than previous generations of seniors, wants to remain as healthy as possible. This change brings with it a host of new challenges and opportunities for companies in the fast-moving consumer healthcare sector.
The evolving landscape of Consumer Health
The COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for a significant shift in consumer behavior. A previously passive approach to healthcare has given way to a more proactive mindset, with individuals taking charge of their well-being. They no longer wait until they fall ill; they’re actively seeking preventive measures to maintain good health. This transformation has led to a surge in demand for over the counter (OTC) products.
Consumer Health companies now find themselves catering to an expanding consumer base looking for vitamins, supplements, and other self-care essentials. And if people find themselves falling ill, they are actively seeking relief. Understanding and adapting to these evolving habits is crucial for the industry’s success.
Forecasting in the post-COVID era
The ability to forecast accurately is more critical than ever. As consumers make more informed choices about their health and well-being, the demand for specific selfcare products becomes increasingly subject to various factors, including seasonal trends and health concerns. Reliable forecasting is key to managing inventory effectively.
For example, consumers today actively try to aid recovery. If a potential flu outbreak is on the horizon, consumers may start stocking up on vitamins and supplements. However, whilst flu can race through a population in just weeks, the lead time for selfcare products is often longer. Therefore, it’s crucial for companies to anticipate these surges in demand long before “cold and flu season” starts and ensure stock is readily available to ship when needed. This means that insight into consumption drivers is crucial to forecasting. It also forces manufacturers in consumer health to be ready to “stock up,” ahead of that peak in demand. Reliable forecasting and planning are vital to meeting consumer needs promptly.
Balancing promotions and sustainable growth
The shift towards preventive self-care and the growing demand for consumer health products make the market ripe for growth. However, this growth is not guaranteed and largely depends on a company’s ability to navigate the delicate balance between promotions and sustainable growth to maintain, or preferably grow, market share.
Consumer Health companies need to devise effective promotion strategies to capture and maintain market share. For instance, in the sunscreen category, timing is critical. To secure a share of the market before the summer holidays, companies must promote their products at just the right time. Being too early could lead to missed opportunities as consumers are not yet “ready” to purchase, while being too late might result in lost market share to competitors who tempted consumers to stock-up during their promotions.
The key is in crafting strategies that align with the changing consumer health habits. Consumer Health companies must continuously adapt and innovate when it comes to their promotion techniques to keep pace with consumers’ evolving preferences and needs.
Leveraging technology and TPM Solutions
In this dynamic landscape, technology becomes an invaluable ally. Trade Promotion Management (TPM) software, such as Visualfabriq, plays a pivotal role in optimizing forecasting and promotion management. Here’s how TPM solutions can assist Consumer Health businesses:
- Insight into promotion impact: TPM software provides companies with a comprehensive view of the role promotions play in their overall revenue volume. It helps distinguish between the volume that is driven by promotions and regular sales, shedding light on what portion of profit is attributable to promotions.
- Precise ROI calculation: Accurate ROI calculation for promotions is often elusive without the right tools. TPM solutions empower companies to calculate returns on investment with precision, helping them make informed decisions and achieve higher profitability.
- Post-evaluation and learning: TPM and Trade Promotion Optimization (TPO) tools streamline the post-promotion evaluation process. They automatically gather the available data to assess how promotions are performing, helping companies to extract valuable insights for future planning.
- Scenario planning: TPM software allows businesses to explore alternative scenarios for promotions. This feature provides companies with the flexibility to test various strategies and evaluate their potential impact before implementation.
The shift in consumer health habits has ignited a transformation in this industry. Companies must be agile and forward-thinking to thrive in this transformative period. By embracing accurate forecasting, adaptable promotion strategies, and Visualfabriq’s advanced Trade Promotion solutions, Consumer Health companies can not only adapt to the shift in habits but also seize the burgeoning opportunities they present.
In a world where healthcare is no longer a passive endeavor but an active pursuit, commercial teams must leverage the right tools and insights to stay ahead of the curve. Visualfabriq’s Trade Promotion Master software is a vital resource in this effort, offering the capabilities necessary to navigate the evolving consumer health landscape successfully.
To discover how Visualfabriq’s Trade Promotion Master software can empower your Consumer Health business, book a demo today or download our TPM brochure. Don’t miss the opportunity to stay at the forefront of the consumer health revolution.