Efficient process without conflicting goals thanks to the integrated channel management system
Despite the increasing importance of online retail, stationary retail is an important pillar of indirect sales to consumers. Either for the presentation of the products, for individual advice from the seller or simply so that the customer can see the products in direct comparison to others. For this presence on the shelf, high budgets are still allocated from the channel marketing pots.
Control of marketing activities at the POS is necessary
Since these budgets are used locally on site, central control by the key account management is necessary. And unfortunately not just once, but in a regular cycle. Usually the control of the situation on site is carried out by the same people who also set up these actions. From the external merchandising team. Be it in your own team or from a specialized service provider. This is certainly problematic, but will not be discussed further in this blog entry.
Conflicts of goals between service provider and client
When using a specialized service provider, the respective merchandising system of the service provider is usually used. The task of these systems is that the employees can implement the defined tasks as efficiently as possible. In order to optimize the earnings of the service provider as a result. There is nothing wrong with that per se. However, the manufacturer sometimes has different goals than the service provider. Logically, the perfect implementation of the action, the generation of sales and a success control through a return on investment consideration with effort and sales.
Control options by the client
What control options does the client now have? Of course, the merchandising system should first be mentioned here. The extent to which this is fundamentally possible and makes sense due to the conflicting goals mentioned depends on the individual situation. However, the client is certain to receive appropriate reporting and access to images.
Reporting of visits and tasks
Depending on the possibilities and interests of the service provider, the reporting will be more or less useful. However, it will rather not be integrated into the client’s channel management system or be enriched with other relevant sales information such as sales figures and thus enable success control. In many cases, this has to be done manually. Which in turn means a lot of effort and is often prone to errors.
Pictures of the shelves as a perfect snapshot
With modern smartphones it is easy to quickly create an infinite number of images of the respective action. But that’s actually where the problem begins. How do different groups of people access the appropriate images of a market or an entire campaign as quickly, easily and contextually as possible. The challenge is of course multiplied by the number of stationary markets and the number of tasks. That will quickly add up to several 10,000 images a month. This is actually impossible without a powerful search system. Especially if access to the images is only required a couple of month after the marketing campaign.
Here, too, the service provider’s system probably has options to enable the client to access the images or to make them available by download or email. But as expected, there is the well-known conflict of goals and the lack of integration into the rest of the data world of channel management. Because the management of an action through pictures in the email or many hundreds of pictures in the download is more a matter of luck than targeted and effective.
Process recommendation: Management with your own, integrated system
In summary, it can be said that the use of an external merchandising service provider usually works very well with the correct selection of the service provider and professional management. For the control of the implementation of the marketing campaigns on site, however, a system is recommended that is geared to the needs of the client. On the one hand, it automatically integrates all relevant data (visits, tasks, images), links it with other important data and processes of the entire sales process (sales, promotions, stocks, etc.) and is geared towards the control and analysis of processes. This is the only way to achieve the necessary transparency in the channel process and to make the best of the channel marketing budget that is, of course, always too low.
Are you interested in how you can solve these challenges with the specially designed products from value chain solutions? We would be happy to present you the appropriate solution in detail.