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Understand the Purchase Journey Through In-Depth Discussions and Online Communities

Our client, a corporation that develops medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and consumer packaged goods, wanted to understand the needs and expectations of Indirect Purchasers (Distributors and Wholesalers) around the globe to enhance those relationships in ways that will have a positive impact on the partners’ business and the customers they serve.

Today, these partners represent over $12B in annual sales for the manufacturer. They are an extension of the manufacturer’s brand and have a direct impact on the customers’ experience, so it is critically important to identify ways to support these partners in their efforts to streamline and enhance the customer experience.  

What we did:

Our approach involved learning from several stakeholders:

  1. internal account managers,
  2. segment leaders who serve as subject matter experts (SME’s) with knowledge of products, markets, and competitive mix, and
  3. partners- distributors and wholesalers, across product segments and geographic regions.

We used a combination of methods to glean insights from these stakeholders through in-depth discussions and a Digital Hive in native languages. Our focus during these conversations was to understand the purchase journey (emotionally and functionally)—the steps, the interactions, preferred communication channels and data sources, digital tools, data accuracy, experiences with manufacturers, and the consequences of the inability to meet needs and expectations.

The result:

The insights from Big Village led to the socialization of the persona profile to build a common understanding of this important partner—their needs, expectations, and opportunities—across the business. Four critical areas of focus were prioritized along the purchase journey that tie directly to discrete actions and investments underway. Each action/investment gained additional insight to fine tune how processes and digital tools can be further enhanced to streamline the journey, which has had an immediate impact on the ability to better fulfill end customer needs as well as maintain/grow market share for this manufacturer.

The shift in focus away from short-term tactical initiatives to long-term strategic planning has enabled the corporation to drive a much deeper partnership with their Indirect Purchasers. The resulting actionable insights have been used to shape their strategy, and the organization is now equipped with an understanding of the Indirect Purchaser’s needs that can be used to drive operational and customer-focused initiatives.