How effective is your Co-op Marketing Program?

by Bill Harriss on May 12, 2010

Bill Harriss

Using marketing analytics, data and technology to drive improved program performance.

As a consumer marketer reaching your customers through a franchise or retail distribution network, you know it’s critical to coordinate and leverage marketing activities for maximum impact and results.  More than ever, your marketing budgets are under scrutiny, while at the same time there’s ever-growing pressure to achieve sales goals.

One of your major marketing expenses:  your co-op marketing budget!

Marketing has become more sophisticated in the past decade, with cascading closed-loop planning processes, Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) metrics, and near-real-time program tracking facilitated by the Internet. However, the tools and controls available for managing co-op marketing have generally lagged behind. And this is true despite the fact that the marketing activities supported by your co-op dollars are typically closest to the customer and are critically important to brand communications and driving sales.

One of the major challenges facing marketing teams in their efforts to make co-op marketing more effective is at the very heart of what defines the century-old co-op marketing concept — the coordination and execution of programs and transactions across two separate organizations. Today, when a marketer is working with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of different locations, the scale and breadth of the effort can be overwhelming.

Until now, even with the complexity added by an increasing number of co-op marketing options, managing the co-op marketing process has not progressed at the same rate that technology has enabled improvements in other marketing management functions. Applying technology and automation to this function delivers the key benefits of dramatically simplifying the process for both marketer and reseller while at the same time making co-op marketing efforts more effective at the local level.

Data, analytics and technology can drive success.

Marketers need to assess what existing co-op marketing program data elements are available for measurement and tracking:

  • Customer data
  • Creative and brand assets
  • Funding and reimbursement information
  • Activity tracking by channel
  • Local media and marketing planning

Once the key data elements are in place, then you are in a position to analyze how your program funds are being allocated and evaluate the results.

Improved performance is within reach.

Marketers are wasting millions of dollars by allocating co-op funds via outdated program platforms and decades old processes. By combining data, analytics and technology, you can significantly improve the performance of your marketing co-op program.

About the Author:

Bill Harris is a Practice Leader in the Healthcare and Consumer Markets for SIGMA Marketing Group.  Connect with Bill on , or follow him on .

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