Dawn of Owning the Demand: Are you Ready?

10 MIN

Do a Quick Search

Pause. Look around you. Think of a product in your head and then google for it.

No matter how niche the product is, you will likely have a merchant online ready to supply your needs. We are currently living in a world of convenience whereby a few button clicks would get you what you desire. What this tells us is that we are living in a world which is governed by a seemingly infinite supply of goods and services.

Through their book ‘Conversational Marketing’, David Cancel and Dave Gerhardt rightly pointed out that it is not just close proximity to customers that leads to success. Rather, it will be the shift in power from companies who own the supply to the ones who own the demand. Look at the world around: hotels own the supply but Airbnb owns the demand. Restaurants own the supply, but Grab and Deliveroo own the demand.

Demand over Supply

Owning the demand is one of the differentiating factors why super apps like WeChat, Alipay, Grab and Go-jek are successful. With all-in-one experiences for daily services easily available for users, these apps offer convenience like no other.

This shift has empowered all the buyers and consumers. As demand holds the most valuable position, consumers get to decide how they wish to be served. They determine what products they want and what they value the most.

In a world with infinite supply, you have to stand out by being the person who serves your niche or customers the best. In an era where customers are spoiled with choice, it becomes imperative for businesses to adopt tools that help cut across the multitude of data sources to extract intelligence that will bring businesses closer to their customers.

Businesses need to make an active effort to establish real time conversations with the new-gen customers across multiple channels to understand what they need. This is especially the case for businesses that are cluttered together on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon where they face stiff competition amongst each other.

In a world that is moving toward infinite supply, you have to think out-of-the-box. This is not only about the product or service you’re selling, but how you’re selling it, and how you’re marketing it. If you want your business to be resilient and sustainable for the years to come, then you need to look at the customers’ needs and make the effort to own the demand.

The Future of Demand

On-demand, on your terms, when it’s convenient for you, not according to my schedule at the company but your schedule as the buyer…that’s the future.

As per Mckinsey report, digital activities are growing, attracting both new and increased users during the covid pandemic. The future is already dawning upon us. Are we ready to meet the needs?

A company like Dollar Shave Club showed how owning demand could disrupt an industry that was dominated by a company like Gillette which owned infinite supply. Dollar Shave club disrupted the razor industry by coming up with subscription services for the consumers directly. Dollar Shave Club’s marketing strategy of focusing on consumer comfort for online purchasing turned out to be a masterstroke.

The first step towards owning the demand is to relook at the way you are engaging your customer. Think about these questions:

  • What have you done to engage the customers that have visited your outlet?
  • Have you tried to establish a communication channel with such customers?
  • Have you tried to segments your customers based on their preferences?
  • Have you tried to engage the segmented customers with the right message?
  • Have you been able to determine what’s the right value for your customer?

How do you own demand? Is it by owning the content, community engagement, brand awareness or communication? These are the questions that businesses should be looking to answer. This inward soul-searching will enable businesses to understand how they can go about owning the demand.