A brand/manufacturer will put together some detailed co-op programs for use by their reseller network. It may be distributors, dealers, retailers, or anyone who buys their products to sell. It is easy to see what is in it for the brand/manufacturer – more product orders! If that local distributor, dealer, or retailer advertises that they carry “their” product in their local advertising, normally more of that product flies out the door and the reseller then orders more product(s) from the brand/manufacturer. That is a WIN/WIN for both the brand and the reseller.
But…sometimes the co-op process “overloads” the distributor, dealer, or retailer. The Co>Op Connect team received a call yesterday from a Media Publisher that was working with a window installer on an ad campaign. This Media Publisher was savvy and knew that one of the brands that they sold the most offered co-op funding. When they brought this up to the installer they said “yea, that whole process is just too painful” and didn’t seem the least bit interested in utilizing their co-op funds.
Now, why would he say that; its “free” money? Well in his case let’s look at the fact that he carries multiple window and door brands. Each of the brands he carries does offer a co-op funding program for their retailers/installers. But…each program has different guidelines, and each brand has individual portals for the resellers to utilize when requesting logos, artwork, pre-approvals, and then for submitting claims. The portals are “slick” – everything you need is there, but that means this installer needs userids/passwords for “many” different portals. In some cases, brands don’t have a portal, so the reseller needs to look up contacts and email addresses or fax numbers to find out their accrual balance, send an ad for approval, and so on. These folks are still struggling with getting their businesses back on track in a post-pandemic world. They need to worry more about staffing and pricing and other day-to-day issues and learning the nuances of all these portals is too overwhelming.
What does that mean for you and how we can help!
If you can help these advertisers utilize their co-op funding it would go a long way in keeping them as a satisfied customer. If you want to tackle the “pain points” for them, they will then think of you as their partner and trusted advisor. It may also help you financially as you may be able to get them to increase their ad spend with you since you will help them get their funding and it will not cost them a penny more than they originally planned to spend. They may have been a faithful newspaper advertiser and you may be able to get them to add in a Social Media campaign that will get more people in the door. In some cases, utilizing co-op funds may actually “save” a customer that may be considering dropping their advertising. We all know that is a bad idea as that is what gets people in the door but again, it all goes back to these folks are trying to “keep their lights on”. Anything you can do to bring them new customers is a WIN/WIN for both you and them.
However, you (or your staff) may not have time to do any of the additional work required. It may be the job of your sales team to make a quick sale and move on to the next one. If you do not have any internal support help that is where we come in. The Co>Op Connect team has years of experience in working with these brands (and their portals). We can research accrual balances, get ads approved, even create ads (if needed), and then work with you to create the claim package for your advertiser. We can get that claim package uploaded or emailed to the brand and the advertiser will receive their reimbursement without having to do it themselves.
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