The editors at CGT Magazine asked the top Trade Promotion Management solution providers to weigh in on omnichannel retailing. Our own Rick Pensa had this to say in the magazine’s February issue:

Q: HOW HAS THE MOVE TO OMNICHANNEL RETAILING CHANGED TRADITIONAL TRADE PROMOTION MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AT CONSUMER GOODS COMPANIES? 

I think omnichannel retailing has forced Consumer Goods companies to really re-think their go-to-market strategies.  The path to purchase is hardly a straight line anymore. Traditional opportunities such as store circulars and display programs are still important, and still effective among certain customer sets. But there are new vehicles to integrate and measure.

The trade promotion management playbook manufacturers have relied upon for decades has to change. When it comes to Amazon, it’s impossible to manage that partnership using spreadsheets – there too much big data. Yet companies insist they can push a square peg through a round hole.

Omnichannel retailing is forcing manufacturers to integrate digital and traditional promotions to fully understand ROIs. That is a challenge if your company is still relying on spreadsheets.  Consumers are tech savvy, so I’m always baffled as to why so many CG manufacturers are slow to adopt technology.

 Q: ARE TRADE PROMOTION MANAGEMENT SOLUTION VENDORS HELPING CONSUMER GOODS COMPANIES ADDRESS THESE NEW CHALLENGES?

Data is the new currency; and a TPM solution empowers CG companies to manage, mine and analyze real-time data in one place. In today’s omnichannel landscape, retailers are under a lot of pressure to drive in-store traffic and optimize shelf space. Manufacturers armed with fact-based data and what-if scenarios derived from a trade promotion management solution will be more successful at generating profitable collaborations with retailers.

Manufacturers who start using data to personalize promotions down to the individual store level versus running a blanketed promotion across all banners will have a leg up on the competition. Trade promotion solutions that are agile and in continuous development are purposefully designed to help manufacturers do just that. It’s about selling smarter.

I can’t speak for all TPM providers, but our partnership with Salesforce has really helped CPGToolBox anticipate features and functionality that will help manufacturers manage digital and traditional activities.

Q: WHAT MUST CONSUMER GOODS COMPANIES DO TO MOVE BEYOND ISOLATED TPM AND TAKE A MORE INTEGRATED, MORE STRATEGIC VIEW OF THEIR COMMERCIAL INVESTMENTS?

Working in silos is detrimental. It’s impossible to be strategic without understanding what impacted sales, volume, lift and brand loyalty. Manufacturers should integrate their trade promotion solution with shopper marketing and retail execution data. They can align insights and gain a comprehensive, 360° view of trade spending. Companies will find it faster and easier to determine compliance levels of an event and how it impacted consumer conversion.

TPM can no longer be an isolated point solution. Feeding more data points into the solution will bring more aha moments to the surface.  Sales, marketing, field teams, finance – they all need to work from the same playbook. A true trade promotion management solution helps make that a reality.  Integrating data and tools will lead to streamlined processes, automation, and accountability.

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