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As individuals, we rely on basic analysis and reporting to make better decisions. Before we change our 401K allocation, we ask ourselves is this fund growing? Declining? At what rate? Before we purchase a new vehicle we expect basic information: What is the anticipated life of the vehicle? Gas efficiency? Consumer rating? Cost to maintain? Yet every year, manufacturers offer between $50 billion and $100 billion in co-op funds to their channel worldwide, without having basic information with which to evaluate and improve that investment.
As a channel marketing executive, are you running the right promotions at the right level? Are those promotions driving local demand results? Do you know which dealers are spending effectively and which are not? Do you know what activities within the MDF or Co-op program offering yields best results? If not, you are running a bit blind.
Fortunately, with today’s technology, brand executives can now expect quality reporting, analysis, and insights from their channel marketing partners. Good analytics and insights applied to your channel marketing program will support better decision making and improved ROI because they will enable:
- Better channel partner relationships
- Improved media effectiveness (making sure your spend is effective and efficient by choosing and promoting the right marketing activities.i.e.no more yellow pages and golf balls, but instead targeted digital marketing campaigns)
- Better leverage of your brand to drive local traffic.Are they using your brand equity correctly?Are they using it at the right time within an effective integrated campaign?
Here are the most common ways that our clients, some of the world biggest brands, use advanced analytics and reporting to improve their channel marketing ROI:
- Optimizing budgeting and forecasting: For example, use the date to optimize spend by region, by dealer, etc, allocate funds in high growth potential markets and to do course correction as needed.
- Better allocation of funds among trade partners: It is important to know before the budget year ends if your trade partners are on track to utilize the funds.If not, then channel execs can take action to encourage use while time remains in the plan year, or choose to re-assign those funds to someone else who will use the funds.
- Understand what marketing activities have the highest ROI: Which activities are correlated with growing local demand and who are your most successful dealers? The channel manager can then adjust their program elements accordingly.
- Manage trade partners / dealers: Identify which dealers are not engaging, and take pro-active action to address their utilization. Conversely, identify the most successful dealers and deploy their best practices to other dealers.
- Who are your most active dealers?
- Who has the most errors and denied funds? Once you know this, you can start coaching for improved success.
- Identify “total cost to serve” at the product level by looking at all of your promotional spending, i.e. spiffs, consumer rebates, Co-op funds, MDF funds, loyalty incentive funds, etc. by individual dealers and by products hereby creating a cost to serve model universe to optimize spend and behaviors. Understand profitability at a local level, dealer level, regional level and analyze which of the program elements are driving profitability at the local level.
- Modify your plan accordingly:Once you have the above information, determine what element(s) you increase, eliminate, or adjust.
As the old saying goes, “What you don’t measure, you can’t manage.” By utilizing solid reporting, analytics, and insights, you can improve your channel “intelligence”; making better decisions and ultimately improving your channel ROI. Everyone, from the smallest retailers to the largest distributors and those on your team, will appreciate the benefit.
If you have any questions, or would like to learn more, please contact us or drop me a note.
President / CEO