Your co-op advertising platform is an often-overlooked source of channel data. Co-op platforms facilitate claims processing, and the data gathered during the co-op claims process is invaluable. This article will help you understand what data exists and its potential in helping you optimize your sales channel.
The Account Overview
One of the simplest, yet most potent reports provided by the co-op platform is the Account Overview. This report helps channel partners understand the status of their funds and claims. It gives an overview of funds allocated, funds used, funds committed to current activities, and even projects funds that will be available in the future.
From this one report channel partners can understand their entire co-op advertising activity. It also provides your Channel Account Managers all the information they need to collaborate with channel partner on market development effectively.
This “big picture” video also provides sufficient data to regional and corporate headquarters to allow them to compare behaviors across divisions, regions, nations or any other important segment, allowing them to profile attributes of “like” channel partners.
Industry studies show that approximately 50% of co-op funds go unused each year. The lack of fund utilization is a constant frustration for brand managers, but most CFOs have a different perspective. Most companies realize they get a solid return on investment for funds which are used by channel partners.
Understanding the percentage of funds utilized only identifies the problem. It doesn’t provide enough information to begin formulating potential solutions. To do that, channel managers need to understand which channel partners are using funds and which aren’t. This information needs to be broken down by channel tiers and geographies to get to usable data.
CO-OP Advertising Platform Reimbursement
Industry studies also identify reimbursement cycle times as critical to co-op program success. Let’s face it, most channel partners have very tight cash flow and can’t afford to have their money tied up for an extended period. For this reason, it is essential to monitor co-op claim reimbursement cycle times, the time from claim entry to the release of funds reimbursement. This is a great time to evaluate the steps in your existing process and identify any extra steps that can be eliminated.
The Next Level – Activity Monitoring
What marketing activities are your channel partners spending their money on? Which activities produce leads? Which leads become sales? This is the next level of co-op advertising data, and many companies rarely reach this level.
To achieve the next level requires planning and a platform that helps facilitate information gathering. For example, you don’t simply want to know a channel partner is doing a local event. You want to know which of products will be showcased, the number of attendees anticipated, the number in attendance, leads created from the event, and more.
You can’t do this if your co-op advertising platform doesn’t facilitate the information gathering. To effectively gather the information, you’ll need to know what questions to ask making them unique to the marketing activity being funded, when to ask them, and the platform to gather the information.
Do you know what levers to pull to produce the best results from your co-op advertising program? We see channel programs continually changing year-to-year as channel managers try to produce better results. Most are flying blind with little to no information to focus their efforts.
To effectively optimize your co-op program you’ll need channel insights which can only come from using your co-op advertising platform to gather the information.