In Conversation with… Daniele Palmieri
Daniele Palmieri, the new marketing and commercial director of Fiocchi, one of the world’s leading ammunition manufacturers, talks about challenges and objectives for 2020.
Q. How long have you worked for Fiocchi?
A. I joined the company in November 2019
Q. Are you a shooter?
A. No, not yet at least. But I have always been fascinated by shooting and during these first months at Fiocchi I had the chance to try clay shooting, pistol and rifle shooting in the USA: it was really exciting. I am now looking forward to stepping up my practice when our Fiocchi competitions will start towards summer.
Q. What are your biggest business challenges in 2020?
A. Looking “inside” my courtyard, I see two main challenges:
1) lack of data and 2) price.
1) Our industry still makes a lot of important decisions based on internal experience and knowledge but we know little about our consumers and their needs.
Apart from my long professional experience in the consumer goods segment, before joining Fiocchi I spent three years in the sport industry and there is a significant link between running, skiing or shooting: the passion. People put their heart into these outdoor disciplines because they make you feel good.
However, the biggest difference between these industries is that in shooting/hunting we lack data about people. And data is key to understand what people really want and their needs. The good news is that this is changing and, in Fiocchi, we are pioneering new techniques and platforms to increase our connection and understanding of consumers.
2) Price is the other, never-ending hot topic. I have visited a lot of stores already; the first request they come up with is a price discount. However, when you start to elaborate, they understand that price is one – important but one – of the levers, there are many others to pull: services, content, loyalty programs, events. And, again, it all comes back to knowing what people really need and want. Of course, there are other overarching, important topics like a lead ban and plastic but, as I said, I want to focus on what I can change for Fiocchi in the short term.
Q. What are your biggest marketing challenges in 2020?
A. On one side, we are embracing an important journey as a group to further improve our communication: it doesn’t matter if we are selling in Italy, in the UK or in the USA, our communication and assets must be consistent everywhere, of course respecting the local needs. On the other side, I want to transform the way we interact with our customers and consumers, offering services and tools that make them feel part of the Fiocchi family.
For example, offering trainings or visibility tools to customers to make Fiocchi stand-out in their stores; and inviting consumers to test our products, or interact with our experts via the social media channels.
Finally, shooting sports are beautiful sports, we want to create more content and leverage our athletes. By the way, let me congratulate once again with Dorothea Wierer, who won two gold medals at the World Championship in Anterselva a month ago: there were more than 130,000 people cheering her victories, it was amazing!
Q. What are your key business objectives for 2020?
A. Fiocchi is market leader in Italy and among the top three or four players in the USA, so we want to consolidate our positions in these markets. At the same time, we are turning every stone to accelerate globally: reaching new markets, demanding more to our distributors, revamping our portfolio, launching new products and, of course, looking at future trends.
Q. What are your key products and why are they so successful?
A. It is the whole Fiocchi portfolio that makes it successful. Fiocchi manufactures and distributes high quality ammunition covering the whole spectrum of shooting sports, hunting, personal defence, military and law enforcement. And, of course, we are always striving to improve the quality of the service we offer to our customers and consumers.
Q. What marketing changes have you made to ensure future growth?
A. As said, we are changing the way we interact with customers and consumers, and this includes more extensive use of digital and technology. It does not mean we are just posting more on Facebook or Instagram but a completely different marketing and media planning strategy: working with leading edge digital agencies, creating a 360° approach with customers and consumers where we interact with them across all the possible touchpoints
Q. Where do you see marketing in five years?
A. People today don’t buy your products because you recommend them on TV: they first search online, then they read reviews, then ask questions on forums, then go to stores to seek advice and, eventually, buy. They want to say what they think of your products and be part of the creation process.
The problem is that if you don’t listen from the very beginning of the process, it’s impossible – or very difficult – to catch them. So, it will be crucial to grow our interactions and establish a continuous two-way communication.