Tag Archives: coop

Summertime Co-op

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Summertime Co-op

With Memorial Day Weekend in the rear view mirror everyone’s thoughts turn to summertime and vacation mode. With co-op advertising, that gives us a raft of new things to focus on and new brands to explore. Think of the things folks do in the summertime and then focus on the brands of products that exist in that area. For example:

Summer Road Trips…lots of tire brands count on those and several have promotions available to help their dealers get the word out. Brands like BF Goodrich, Michelin, Goodyear, and Hankook all have sales promotions going on through the month of June with special offers on replacing your set of tires. Lucrative co-op offerings as well that can pay up to 100% of the ad costs.

Pool Time…while there are a few pool brands that offer co-op to its dealers, the easier co-op to discover lies in the chemicals and products to help keep that pool looking good. Brands like AquaBot, Hayward, and Zodiac with their automatic pool cleaners are a hot topic right now. And don’t forget the pool chemicals with products like Leisure Time and Baquacil that have solid co-op offerings as well.

Bar-B-Que…nothing says summer better than grilling outdoors and most of the grill brands have advertising programs to support their local dealer base. Companies like Broilmaster, Big Green Egg, Dimplex, and Weber have programs to keep your customers top of mind when somebody’s grill needs replacing.

Come the end of June a bunch of seasonal plans will expire and the earned co-op will simply disappear. One of the brands whose co-op plan expires at this time is Weber Grills…take note of that one and get your local dealer to run some Father’s Day promotion before their co-op expires. Other brands of note with expiring co-op in June include Amarr Garage Doors, Aveda Beauty Care, BRP ATVs, Columbia Flooring, Do It Best Paint, Flexsteel Furniture, Honda Outboards, Jayco Rvs, Karastan Carpet, Mohawk Carpet, Nikon Cameras, Oreck Vacuums, Snapper Lawnmowers, Stainmaster Carpet, Toyota Parts & Service, and Vespa Scooters.

It should be a busy month for you. Go sell something.

Tim Brennan, VP of Strategic Development for Recas

This information is provided by LSA Recas to help take the mystery out of co-op advertising. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com. Email Tim at tbrennan@recas.com. 

Best Practice No. 10: Arm Your Reps with Research

Best Practice No. 10: Arm Your Reps with Research

Have your local champion do the research for your sales reps up front for targeted accounts. If the prospect is Bob’s Hardware Store, the local champion (or a corporate level co-op subject matter expert) will go to the store’s site and investigate what brands they carry, and research which offer co-op, what the current promotions are and so on. Then the rep can at least take that into the sales call and say, “I see these five companies you were with are offering co-op plans today and I have the details of those plans etc.” This research boost for reps elevates the conversation they have with the prospect to something more than just, “Hey I know you have co-op available.”

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Organizations that rely on reps to take the initiative to do this research will have inconsistent results. Supporting all reps with co-op prep will produce more consistent and better conversations about co-op on sales calls.

iconThis article was written by Charles Laughlin of the Local Search Association in Breaking Through the Co-op Clutter: Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com.

Best Practice No. 9: Contests and Promotions

Best Practice No. 9: Contests and Promotions

awardribbonc1408_x_th_cContests can work to drive short-term boosts in co-op sales. However, they are by their nature not sustainable, so they should be seen as a supplement to more fundamental, long-term changes like integrating co-op into the sales process. Simple things like a party for the local office or media property that generates the most intake forms or inquiries can amp up short term performance.

iconThis article was written by Charles Laughlin of the Local Search Association in Breaking Through the Co-op Clutter: Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com.

 

Best Practice No. 8: Provide Ongoing, Online Training

computericonsc1506_x_th_cHaving a training program accessible online. On-site co-op training is great, but what is the back-up plan for new hires after that, or refreshers when co-op numbers are sagging? An online training program that people can take on demand can be helpful. Gatehouse’s Sigler said his organization creates these for their sales people, and he notes that the more localized the training the better. He also notes that Recas is a great resource for online training tools as well.

iconThis article was written by Charles Laughlin of the Local Search Association in Breaking Through the Co-op Clutter: Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com.

Best Practice No. 7: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

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Best Practice No. 7: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Gatehouse Media produces a co-op newsletter every other week. “We will take a sampling of manufacturers who have just released promotions and we will put those logos in the newsletter — click here to get details of the promo, here’s a link to Recas for more info,” Sigler said. “It keeps it out there all the time. We can then take that list and share it out with local champions, and reps can access that too.”

iconThis article was written by Charles Laughlin of the Local Search Association in Breaking Through the Co-op Clutter: Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com.

Best Practice No. 5: Eliminate Complexity

Best Practice No. 5: Eliminate Complexity

Simpler is always better. But simple isn’t easy. Innovations that limit the steps required of local businesses and media sellers, that make information more accessible and easier to understand and streamline the approval and reimbursement processes, will gradually transform the co-op opportunity.

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For example, Netsertive has developed an approach that narrows the set of choices that a local dealer needs to make to a simple few, so that co-op becomes more like a simple opt in than a raging battle against red tape and opaque rules.

iconThis article was written by Charles Laughlin of the Local Search Association in Breaking Through the Co-op Clutter: Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com.

Best Practice No. 4: Track Performance

Best Practice No. 4: Track Performance

“What gets measured, gets done.” The quote has many fathers (Peter Drucker and Tom Peters among others). But it applies to co-op. Organizations that measure co-op performance in real time are in a better position to drive co-op performance.

goalchartc1411_x_th_cSigler note that Gatehouse tracks its co-op sales by property on a monthly basis, which enables the company to know if co-op utilization is keeping pace, lagging or exceeding its targets. These figures can be triggers for conversations at the local level to improve performance or to glean best practices from those media properties that are outperforming the company as a whole.

A key challenge with best practices 3 & 4 is that many media organizations lack the mechanisms to track co-op revenue performance, making it difficult to hold sales leaders accountable for co-op performance.

Sales organizations using CRM tools do better with tracking performance and holding managers and reps accountable.

“Those using CRM tools do better,” said Hall of the RAB. “Especially if there is a manager checking in who can say, ‘Hey I see you are calling on an HVAC guy, but I didn’t see anything in there on co-op. So what’s the deal?'”

iconThis article was written by Charles Laughlin of the Local Search Association in Breaking Through the Co-op Clutter: Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com.

Best Practice No. 3: Hold Sales Leaders Accountable for Co-op Results

Best Practice No. 3: Hold Sales Leaders Accountable for Co-op Results

While it’s critical to have a local co-op champion to service as a resource to local sales reps, the local champion is not likely to have the authority to compel a sales rep to bring up co-op in a sales call. That authority rests with sales leadership, which tends to be fickle when it comes to co-op. They may push it in spurts when they need to revenue boost, but they are rarely held accountable for co-op results. And when they are not accountable for a number, they won’t feel obligation to drive that number.

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“You need someone local who has a vested interest in co-op who is in a position to talk to the reps,” a senior local media sales executive said. “Sales reps will not listen to a clerical person.”

iconThis article was written by Charles Laughlin of the Local Search Association in Breaking Through the Co-op Clutter: Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com.

 

Best Practice No. 2: Have a Local Champion

Best Practice No. 2: Have a Local Champion

Several of the co-op experts interviewed for this report cited a strong relationship between having a co-op champion/subject matter expert in the local sales office and greater success with co-op.

“Having a local champion at each location is key,” Sigler said. “This person can remind the sales staff of new promotions that are out there. This person can remind them to make co-op part of every needs analysis and new and existing customers.”

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Giving local sales mangers and their superiors a co-op target and holding them accountable for it is a powerful driver of co-op performance. This used to be a common practice but the industry has drifted away from it, amid shifting priorities and thinning ranks.

In recent years, trends have been moving in the opposite direction. Many organizations have let their local co-op managers go, or moved them into new roles, leaving little in any local co-op support for sales reps.

Adding to the difficulty is the new era of virtual sales office, where reps work from home and are managed remotely. The Yellow Pages industry in particular has moved in this direction, which has many benefits, including reduced sales costs and greater autonomy for sales reps. One drawback is it makes promoting co-op more difficult.

“It creates another challenge,” a senior Yellow Pages executive said. “You are not able to hang up posters. You are not able to have the co-op subject matter expert walk up to a rep and say, ‘Hey, I see you were calling on a roofer last week. How much co-op are they using?'”

If a dedicated local co-op manager isn’t realistic given your organization’s resources, consider designating someone at the local level to be the co-op champion, even if it is only a small part of their job description.

iconThis article was written by Charles Laughlin of the Local Search Association in Breaking Through the Co-op Clutter: Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com.