Year-on-year there has been an increase in co-op marketing’s popularity among enterprise organizations and local franchisees. As we know, co-op advertising refers to an agreement between a brand or manufacturer and its local retailers to share advertising costs so as to create awareness in the market and drive more sales.
“The purpose of co-op advertising is to reduce the burden of advertising spend on local wholesalers, distributors and retailers thereby driving increased brand awareness and sales.”
Even though national manufacturers are subsidizing a part of the advertising costs for their channel partners it is found that millions of dollars of co-op funds remain unutilized every year and hence, get wasted.
“80% co-op dollars are spent on traditional channels such as, print, television and radio.”
It is also a known fact that traditionally, most co-op dollars have been spent offline. Even though as much as 80% of the ad spend happens on offline channels such as print, television and radio, online digital ads are catching up but due to lack of awareness, technology and skills among local channel partners, digital has been a lost opportunity.
“Lack of awareness, technology and skills are the major reasons why enough co-op dollars are not spent on digital advertising.”
A Creative Management Platform (CMP) that is designed and built to align with co-op advertising goals and stakeholder requirements can be a successful investment for brands to pave way for more co-op dollars being demanded by local partners.
Here are five ways in which a CMP can address co-op advertising challenges:
- Awareness br>
- Technology br>
- Skills br>
- Media and Formats br>
- Publishing br>
Many times channel partners are unaware of the benefits, techniques and tactics of co-op advertising. A good CMP allows brands to use the platform itself to communicate the significance and provide education about the channels, metrics and targeting so they can deploy their budgets more appropriately and distribute it fairly across all channels and media.
A CMP like Mediawide has an in-built workflow automation system that makes cross-geography and cross-functional collaboration between brands and retailers easy. For example, at the time of a new car-launch the marketing manager at a Chicago, USA based local dealership of Mercedes-Benz automotive can pick a brand approved Instagram ad creative within the CMP and easily edit it to include his showroom’s contact number, sales rep info, address etc. If protocol demands, he can send this ad for approval to the Brand Head in the headquarters at Stuttgart, Germany and she can review, comment and approve/reject. The dealer can then promote this ad through his local Instagram handle or provide it to his agency. Our workflow management system is flexible and if desired, a direct platform access can be provided to the co-op management agency to make the process even more seamless.
It is not enough to have the right platform as it is equally important to have people on your team who can best utilize such technologies to return an optimal ROI. Hence, it is crucial to choose a technology partner that can provide round the clock support, training and maintenance. With offices in the USA, UK and India, Mediawide provides 24×7 global support to its clients and internal staff training as part of onboarding and implementation process. We also deploy a dedicated team to regularly update our clients about system maintenance and new system upgrades.
As discussed earlier, even though co-op budgets were traditionally designed for the offline space, these days many brand have started allocating specific percentages for digital channels. Hence, it is important to pick a platform that can support all media types – print, web, mobile and video. Mediawide’s Creative Management Platform is the only technology in its space that supports all media and all formats. One can easily create a PDF for a local newspaper ad and at the same time personalize an MP4 TV commercial video for a regional channel. Our platform also supports language translation and rich-media HTML5 ads that include interactivity.
For a seamless user experience and to avoid platform switching, it is important to provide the designers, marketers and brand leaders on your team with an end-to-end platform with a single sign-on functionality. For example, the Mediawide CMP is fully-integrated with marketing automation platforms like Adobe Campaign Standard, Mailchimp, HubSport and Oracle Eloqua that allow national brands as well as local distributors to deliver personalized content via email. Our integration with Adobe Target allows for effective cookie-based remarketing on a website and with Facebook integration we can easily send personalized videos to leads captured through Facebook Lead Gen Ads. No need for users to login to multiple applications. For various digital channels, they can directly create, edit, review and publish (or download) the creative from within our CMP.
Therefore, in co-op advertising, by investing in a well-designed Creative Management Platform manufacturers can align their local channel partners with brand guidelines and headquarters’ expectations. At the same time, local partners can enhance their credibility, legitimacy and reputation by abiding to the brand governance policies through a CMP. Retailers can start demanding more co-op funds from the manufacturer and start experiencing increased sales.
If you’re interested to explore Mediawide’s platform and solutions for creative operations management in co-op advertising, request a demo.