Your Co-op Marketing Program Should Be Powered By People
The way that most manufacturers and brands think about the management of their co-op program differs from 10 to 20 years ago. Thankfully, technology and automation are now able to conquer administrative tasks and help streamline the manual, monotonous submission and reimbursement process. But don’t be fooled; it’s easy to get distracted by shiny new objects that take your attention away from one of the most important things that your retail partners really need: a program powered by people, not just a co-op portal.
A Robust Co-op Portal Is a Must, But It’s the People Powering the Program Who Matter Most
We know first-hand the importance of using a tool that takes the guesswork and heavy lifting out of the co-op process, because we built one that we use every single day. Even though our platform uses industry-leading technology and was built upon years of insights, it’s important that we communicate one fundamental learning and key truth that seems to sometimes take the backseat in today’s co-op equation: People > Program.
Think of it like this: The co-op portal is the vehicle that your co-op program sits in. The team that manages your program need to be the ones who drive that vehicle every single day. Your channel partners are your passengers, relying on their driver (program managers) and the vehicle that they’re sitting in to get them to where they want to go. The last thing that you want to do is leave your passengers stranded.
What Does People>Portal Really Mean?
The end goal of any partner agency charged in managing your co-op program is to leverage your co-op marketing efforts into greater sales for your organization and retail partners. The co-op portal is simply a means to that end and a tool that your retailers will undoubtedly come to rely on for easier access to their co-op funds and co-op marketing initiatives. Put simply, the co-op portal is a bare-necessity for a program’s overall success.
The greater value however will be found in a team of experts who are advocating for your retail partners’ success each and every day. The people powering the portal who live and breathe your program and understand that not even the best co-op technology has the ability to make necessary program optimizations, interface and empathize with channel-partners, nor effectively help those partners drive sales at the local level – all while guaranteeing channel-partner satisfaction.
When it comes to your co-op program, high-tech and high-touch are not mutually exclusive. You can have the best of both worlds to ensure that your program is being run effectively, but getting the mix just right could be challenging. Contact Cooperate Marketing today for a complimentary Co-op Checkup™, and we can provide some additional ideas on how to further optimize your program.
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