Scott SandersCPG/food strategy, sales, marketing, pricing

Director at Growcery Partners helping food/CPG clients answer big questions about price, strategy & more. Past roles: Bosco Chocolate Syrup (co-owner), Simon-Kucher, Acosta Sales & Mktg, Pivotstream. Believer in scrappy ideas, including one that landed Bosco as George's ATM code on Seinfeld. Fees donated to Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Boston.

Recent Answers

@Stuart Briscar is right: RangeMe handles this function well. Its parent company, ECRM, also hosts what they call EPPS (Efficient Program Planning Sessions) trade shows, but which are really speed dating sessions with retail buyers.

There have been some others who have tried similar concepts, but the big impediment for a new player is getting a large enough audience on both the buying and selling sides. ECRM has been doing this long enough that they have a significant head start in amassing an audience.

I want to answer your questions, but the truth is that I don't know -- nor should anyone else who sees these questions.

Without knowing your product more specifically, it's impossible to give you good answers. And even if I knew what your specific product is, I would be highly reluctant to give you answers without research on what consumers think.

Several years ago, I conducted research for a $1B+ snacking brand. Their team was sure they understood answers to questions very similar to yours. (After all, they are good questions.) My team and I set out to understand their consumers from the ground up, assuming that we didn't know anything. And the results shattered their understanding of how consumers actually used their products, leading to dramatic shifts in their positioning and product development.

You're smart to think about aligning your marketing efforts to your consumers' usage. To do that, it's worth investing in research to understand exactly how your consumers do interact with your products.

Stephan Schiffman's Cold Calling Techniques is one of the most practical sales books I've read. He has written many others, too.

Dan Pink's To Sell is Human is excellent, too. It takes a non-traditional look at selling and helps understand some of its psychology.

Beyond that, I don't have a lot of specifics. There are many sales methodologies out there, and you should use one. It's not important which one you use -- just that you do adopt one.

There are survey research firms with consumer panels that target medical conditions. There are many such companies, and I'd suggest reaching out to several to get competitive bids -- both on price and quality of respondents. You might even want to ask them to launch a test survey to understand the incidence rate in their panel, even after they deploy to a targeted group of panelists. It will be expensive, though.

I've had good experiences working with Survey Sampling (SSI) and Harris Interactive in the past. There are dozens if not hundreds of others. Some are listed here:

I'd be happy to talk about the process - or create an RFP to send to research firms and evaluate the responses.

Good luck!

You may want to talk to a Certified Marketing Representative (CMR), which is an agency or broker authorized to place yellow page advertising across many directories. I used such a service many years ago (pre-Internet) and found the advice to be valuable and rates to be lower. They should be able to offer some good advice -- but will definitely be biased toward actually selling you ads. A conversation may offer you some good points of information one way or the other.

My family and I own a fourth-generation syrup manufacturing business, and I can directly help you with this question if you'd like to move to a more industrial process. Glad to discuss further if I can be helpful.

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