One of the most common challenges we hear from national beverage brands with distributed sales teams is that the field and national marketing teams are both spending so much time problem solving and handling one-off requests that they can’t focus on doing what they do best – marketing and selling.
From challenges with creative development to procurement and marketing collateral distribution, marketing and training groups at enterprise spirits brands are looking for partners to improve costs, shorten timelines, and ease the pains for their associates.
Managed marketing solutions providers with strong POS program management experience provide marketing and supply chain with the control and process needed to deliver and track marketing collateral, while empowering sales professionals at the local level with marketing collateral, branded merchandise and POS displays needed to drive revenue.
If you are exploring managed marketing solution providers, here are three key areas to consider for your POS program:
1. Centralized Marketing Technology
As any marketer responsible for their brand’s budget knows, sourcing vendors and strategic partners for marketing material production, kitting and fulfillment is a significant portion of the POS spend. Centralized marketing technologies help improve costs, end user satisfaction and visibility into program success.
Reduced Spend on POS Materials
Sourcing technologies that incorporate a certified supplier network allow the POS team to rest easy with improved pricing and reduced labor costs. How does it work? The managed marketing services provider will collect the specifications, and seek out only those certified suppliers that can meet expectations. The managed services provider will then deliver the pricing available in the market, with transparency to the national brand. This helps reduce procurement labor hours internally at the brand. It also provides a consolidated, leveraged approach to buying, which reduces historic spend.
Improved Visibility and Speed to Market
Most of us have experienced inefficiencies in the brand supply chain that leave an unsatisfied user base in its wake. The results can vary from phone calls and complaints to rogue spend and self-generated marketing collateral and branded merchandise. A centralized ordering system helps reduce these headaches. Often called a Marketing Asset Management technology, this solution allows for multichannel localized collateral to be customized and ordered consistently, with speed and accuracy. Users access what they need, when they need it, and it arrives where they are sending it, without a lot of time spent managing the process. The national brand team benefits too, with a decrease in custom requests, reduced time spent managing and tracking materials and improved visibility to who is ordering what materials, how often, what is in inventory today, what are reorder points, etc. Often, obsolescence is reduced due to increased control and historical reporting. This results in lower overall costs for brands, which can then more effectively manage and plan their marketing collateral inventory.
Coupling these two technologies can lead to a most cost effective POS program with higher end user satisfaction.
2. Accurate Kitting, Fulfillment and Instruction
Strong POS materials are required to reach and influence the distributor, just as they are important in marketing to the consumer. A lot of time and money goes into the creative, design, and messaging for these documents, so ensuring their distribution and packing becomes paramount. It is also important to make sure instructions for putting the POS materials together and setting them up are present, as well as easy to follow.
Kitting and Fulfillment
Strong marketing materials need to be in front of their target audience, and many top beverage brands rely upon managed marketing providers with inventory, kitting and fulfillment solutions for this task. If items materialize late, or that are damaged from shipping, that brand loses credibility in front of the distributor, which may result in loss of exposure at the expense of its competition. Strong managed services providers focus on accuracy of the box, consolidating shipments where possible for better freight costs and drive on-time delivery for improved user satisfaction.
Content of the Box and Instruction
3. Optimized Product and Freight Costs
It is often not enough to optimize the procurement and fulfillment process. Shipping is a large component of any program spend. Strong managed marketing solutions providers have established relationships with national (and even international) shipping companies, to ensure the brands they work with can improve freight costs.
Managed services providers with deep supply chain efficiency expertise will help you with deeper visibility into the order process to further refine and optimize the freight component. For example, do you know which of your sales reps is ordering overnight shipments, time after time, continually pushing up costs? Can you see which users are ordering two to three times per week for one distributor vs consolidating the order and pushing one per week or one every other week? With a solution that offers visibility into these metrics, shipping rates can often be improved to save considerably on your POS program.
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