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When It Comes To Trade Spending, All Retailers Are Not Created Equal

We have been big proponents of the concept of “Consistent Complexity” when it comes to CPG manufacturers dealing with the trade.

The premise is while trade spending is complex, that complexity is the same regardless of the size or type of CPG manufacturer. So while you can’t use the same trade promotion approach with every retailer, most CPG manufacturers have to deal with the same retailer the same way.

For example, Publix uses BOGO’s. Therefore, different CPG manufacturers can be helped by trade experts familiar with the different accounts and how they handle trade spending. Continue reading

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Getting another perspective on trade spending

Many of us often fall into the trap of living in our own little world. We are busy with too many things to do so we just try to keep our heads above water, meet deadlines, and approach problems and retailers the same way we always have.

There’s comfort in having gone down this path before. Tried and true.

But could you be missing something better?

Could you be leaving money on the table?

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The TPE Gap (Trade Promotion Effectiveness)

Everyone in CPG who has anything to do with trade spending knows the importance of having a trade promotion management or TPM product / solution.

Not everyone uses one, and many don’t use it correctly, but most at least see the need and benefit. CONTROL. TPM products finally provided the visibility and a tool to manage and “control” where the money is going so it can at least be tracked with a relative degree of both timeliness and accuracy without sweating while waiting months for final deductions to come in that could dramatically impact the financials.  Continue reading

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Why do “software analysts” exist?

The obvious answer is that software is complex and you need Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) to have the depth of experience and the time/role to evaluate all the solutions to provide an informed analysis of the focus, pros and cons of each solution provider. That is a 100% accurate answer. It’s just not the complete answer.  Continue reading

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Are you sure the TPM solution you are reviewing is fully transactional?

Some solutions are being positioned as fully transactional, able to handle all the trade promotion management needs of CPG manufacturers, so you have to be careful what you are reviewing. Therefore, you need to make sure they are capable of executing each step in the traditional TPM process of Plan, Execute, Monitor, Settle and Analyze.

There are several things to do to avoid making the wrong purchase. Continue reading

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It’s Not Just About the TPM Software

Too many small and medium sized (SMB) CPG’s seem to think that the “TPM software” is the panacea that will be the answer to their problems. Therefore, they send out their RFP and call in the usual solution providers in the TPM space for “demos” of the solution. And so it kicks off the next “rush to the demo” on the part of the providers anxious to display their fancy approach to clearing a deduction and how few clicks it takes to perform a particular function.

But this approach can be very misleading because maximizing trade promotion effectiveness (TPE) requires much more than just the software. It’s also about the approach, the partnership with the provider, and the ability to tap into a community of other SMB CPG’s for perspective and benchmarking.  Continue reading

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Can one TPM solution fit all?

The simple answer is a resounding yes!

Managing trade funds is complex. However, the basics of managing trade funds is not different, particularly between  the small and medium size CPG manufacturers. There just aren’t 10 ways to clear dedictions that are all “best practices”.  Continue reading

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Are you flying blind?

You wouldn’t fly a plane blindfolded because you can’t see where you’re going – whether it’s looking out the window or at the instrument panel. The same holds true for effectively managing your trade spending. If you don’t have both a TPM solution and syndicated consumer data you are really flying blind. Yet, amazingly, many – with some estimates as high as 40% – small CPG companies do not spend the now relatively small amount of dollars on securing solutions to see where 10-30%+ of their topline revenue is going.  Continue reading

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Does searching for and implementing a Trade Promotion Management solution have to be long, hard, painful and costly?

Not today. Years ago it used to be.

Then the TPM solutions from major software providers were all customized, costly, long processes that were also not that effective. Now the better TPM solutions can be implemented often within 12- 16 weeks or less since the product already exists in the cloud and your users just log in. All you have to do is add your data and configure it to your hierarchies for the retailers and products. TPM solutions are created with the ability to integrate to all of the ERP systems.

This isn’t as scary as it sounds and it’s done at every company so you are not unique. Then the set-up costs and monthly subscriptions are really very reasonable in both the absolute, and particularly when you view them as a very small percentage of the millions of dollars you spend on trade promotions to ensure they are controlled and effective. Continue reading

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