What’s Going On? Let’s Find Out.

I have never been a survey taker. Not really.

But I do like to see what other people say about things, so naturally, I am a fan of intelligence and knowledge. The problem is that the information we seek must originate somewhere; and that is generally going to come from someone asking questions and other people answering them.   Right?

For longer than I care to state, I have been involved in trade promotion management and execution (what I am calling “TPx,” because it involves far more these days than planning, audit and settlement). And for at least that long, I have consumed every report based on surveys among the industry trade press, analysts, consulting firms and vendors. All that data has a purpose, and I have always appreciated the validation that my own understanding of the industry is pretty much dead on.

After several personal conversations and interviews I’ve conducted, it is my opinion that the wheels are soon coming off traditional TPx.  I have long had my suspicions that today’s revenue management practices around trade funds and spend management, which are based on a rather ancient model, will be forced to change because of the consumer shopper-driven digital transformation.

The retailer especially feels the heat. Name one brick and mortar retail chain that is performing to a level like Amazon.com or Google.  I’m sure you can’t. Show me a major retail chain whose marketing and merchandising people are not nervous about the impact of online shopping on their future and I’ll show you a company doomed for their ignorance. But my guess is you won’t find one of those either.

Consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers are already changing the old paradigms of consumer marketing, and that must impact TPx. How? Let’s find out.

Looking at the currently available data from the numerous trade promotion surveys taken by different organizations, we get a solid view of what is happening today. We can feel comfortable with those numbers because they are the same ones everyone measures – percentage of revenues spent, top tactics used, fund types and so on. But we need to dig much deeper before we can effectively determine the metrics that truly drive revenue performance, attract the consumer/shopper to the store and enable a truly repeatable precise and trustworthy predictive modeling of effective promotions. As I have mentioned in my past blogs, the dramatic changes taking place in both the process and technology of shopping and buying will continue to cause product roadmap planners big headaches.  Moreover, being able to relate trade promotion performance to specific factors that impact corporate revenue, profit and share still presents a huge problem for operations, sales and financial executives to solve.

We are about to release a survey that is going to look a little different from those you have already completed over the years. While it will seek some of the same data elements, it will also contain new routes of questioning that will enable us to drill into more detailed analyses of performance and render a better judgment of exactly how trade promotion performs within the assets used to drive revenue.  You will note by the nature of the questions that this will deliver a better result – one that will help you understand how, where and why TPx will contribute to a measurable incremental increase in the bottom line.  It will show the differences between companies that leverage the trends to produce higher results and laggards who can’t seem to move away from traditional practices of trade and revenue management.

Never mind how we do that – that is our secret sauce; but what is most important is that you take the survey. If you are an industry professional in trade promotion, revenue management or another related post where you must work with TPx, you qualify to take it.  If you will take the survey, we will have a roundtable exclusively for survey respondents where we will introduce the results and allow for discussion before it goes public. please ask me directly and I will forward one to you.

We all need to know how to reach the next level in trade promotion management and execution.  This survey will open some eyes and provide more clarity on the future of trade promotion. In the first meeting of our Trade Promotion Share Group I mentioned last week, we will cover this data in more detail to be sure; but it will also serve to stimulate our vision for the future.

Speaking of the TPx Share Group, I am grateful for the response and I urge you all to consider being a part of history that plans the future of the next generation of trade promotion.  If you have not received your invitation, please let me know via comments to this post or email at rob.hand@supplychaininsights.com.

This is one survey I would love to take.   I hope you will take a few minutes and share your opinions with us. We will all benefit.

Rob Hand

Author Rob Hand

For most of my career, I have worked in four industries: Consumer Products, High Technology, Retail and Wholesale/Distribution. I was fortunate to begin my career with of one of the oldest channel promotion management companies in the world where I cut my teeth on the heart of consumer marketing around the business processes of co-op advertising, trade promotion and market development. Within consumer products, I covered all major sectors including fast moving consumer goods, fashion, DIY/Hardware, home furnishings, consumer electronics, retail telecom, oil & gas retail, automotive and beer/wine/spirits. I have formed and brought to successful outcomes three companies focused on these business processes and technology. I have worked with companies like Frito-Lay, Southwest Airlines, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Nike, Sealy, Hanes, SABMiller, Anheuser-Busch and so many more – all of whom enabled me to build a strong cross-industry and cross-line of business viewpoint. I have guided the industry strategy and product management for companies like SAP and Oracle. Each of those companies gave me unique insights that have helped forge the way I look at every aspect of the consumer chain. My career has also provided me with a drive to be realistic in my analyses of observations and a pragmatic view of solutions. My parents blessed me with a penchant for hard work and an attitude that honesty is the always the best policy. I am a musician and a former NCAA football and basketball official; and I have a wonderful wife and children who continue to teach me something new every single day. I consider my opportunity with Lora Cecere and Supply Chain Insights as an excellent and inevitable channel to provide guidance, counsel and advice to a transforming group of industry leaders.

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