P.O.P Materials Need To Be There!
According to more than 100 store, branch office and dealer sales managers across leading industry sectors in North America, reported in the Promotion Commotion Study, by NVISION, and the CMO Council's Marketing Supply Chain Institute, 68% of frontline customer-facing executives have experienced difficulty using marketing systems for replenishing critical consumables. In fact, just 6% give access to the ordering of marketing consumables an excellent score.
Marketing is investing billions in the production of point of purchase displays, sales collateral, brochures and in-store materials, says the report. But, there is little regard for the actual targets, locations and resources required to turn these displays into demand creation assets, noted the CMO Council.
Marketers are focused on sales support and driving business, but according to front-line individuals in the fashion, beauty, and retail industries, marketing should be better adjusted to the Marketing Supply Chain. The front-line believes that while critical to sales success, the messages and materials are being wasted.
When it comes to marketing consumables, the store managers' message to marketers is clear: Keep it coming, but get it here on time and in the right amount:
- 9% of the front-line managers surveyed felt the marketing literature, point-of-purchase, or promotional materials held little value or proved to be irrelevant to the sales process
- 44% believe that these consumables are critical to the decision-making process
- The main obstacle is ensuring corporate-level marketers and front-line managers are on the same page in terms of which materials are important and when they need to be delivered in order to effectively promote a special program or incentive
According to survey respondents, when there is no visibility or accountability at the Marketing Supply Chain level, the process becomes almost impossible to execute effectively. In the world of interactive displays, flashy signage, window treatments, and larger-than-life cardboard cut-outs, optimized operations and fully automated and managed supply chains are needed to effectively exploit the critical sales touch points.
CMO executive director, Donovan Neale-May, says "Understanding the needs and requirements of different selling environments and situations should be an integral part of marketing's field and channel provisioning process,"
According to 51% of those surveyed in the second quarter of this year, location-based marketing consumable forecasts, predictive analytics and automated fulfillment are rarely in place. However, most believe that this level of insight would allow marketing to:
- Embrace technology to reduce in-store obsolescence and waste (30%)
- Notify store or field assets on new material arrival, allowing the front line to plan accordingly (23%)
- Localized and personalize materials to best reach the locations target market (19%)
- Get the right number of items required to properly cover floor space (14%)
68% of respondents have experienced difficulty using the systems that are offered to access critical consumables. A lack of follow-through and timely delivery of materials is the top issue, specifically the feeling that materials take too long to arrive (41%) or that requests made through the sales or customer service reps were not processed in a timely manner (36%).
28% of respondents said that materials never arrived. Even the 9% who have direct access to materials through their corporate website experience significant issues.
Only 6% of the respondents give the consumable access experience excellent scores. 47% of the respondents only give the systems a C grade, while 19% consider the experience a failure. When asked how marketers could improve the impact of consumables, process improvement and delivery efficiencies rose to the top of the list, underscoring the sense of frustration over missed opportunities due to missed deliveries.
46% of respondents are using some form of technology that allows them to input their individual store locations and specific marketing material needs and requirements, thereby localizing the content, but 51% are not. Those who are leveraging a process or technology, say that eliminating waste because the proper quantity of materials is delivered is the top benefit (30%).
Mike Perez, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for NVISION, notes that "... oversights in the Marketing Supply Chain are resulting in over-spending and missed opportunities to make a real impact on the sales and demand process... customers demand a flawless experience... our front-line resources are looking to marketers to deliver the materials and consumables that will advance that experience."