4 things dealers hate about co-op advertising

Dealers and retailers have a great incentive to participate in co-op advertising programs: free money. Sometimes, however, the program itself is standing in the way of a dealer’s participation. Make it easier for dealers and retailers to participate by avoiding these four common issues with co-op programs.

  1. Poor support
    Dealers don’t have time for incorrect information or delayed responses. The best way to avoid these issues is to establish a core group of co-op experts who are responsible for providing all the answers in a timely and orderly fashion. Dealers will appreciate your brand’s effort when it saves them time and money. Don’t make dealers think about where to go with their co-op questions. Provide a dedicated, friendly support staff, a single phone number and a single email address. They will repay you by singing your praises and supporting the brand.
  2. Complicated guidelines
    Dealers should not have to read a set of guidelines multiple times to understand what they need to do or how they need to do it. Make the guidelines straightforward by focusing on organization and checklists. The organization factor will ensure that dealers don’t waste their time trying to find specific information in a long document. Checklists will ensure that dealers can easily digest that information once they have found it.
  3. Confusing audit results
    Audit results for prior approvals and claims should be thorough and succinct. Often that is not the case, and dealers become frustrated trying to decipher the ambiguous reason(s) their ad was denied. If a dealer requires clarification on a denial, the explanation of the denial was not sufficient. Take a look at some of the recent denials in your program and read the audit feedback. If you were a dealer, would it be clear to you what the change(s) needed to be?
  4. Outdated co-op fund management platform
    Does your co-op management site make your brand look technologically advanced or inept? Dealers will notice, especially when their user experience is poor. Your site should be simple and fast—not confusing and slow. In addition, think about how well your site captures and reports useful advertising metrics submitted with dealers’ claims.  Enhanced reporting provides useful insights that can be leveraged to further improve your overall marketing program. Your brand could be losing out on a ton of data due to an outdated platform and aged auditing process. 

Cooperate is a Chicago-based agency that solves complex problems for OEM’s and service providers through our insightful, collaborative and cost-effective approach. We pride ourselves on providing white glove service to our clients and their dealers. Do you have a co-op issue that you’re struggling to solve on your own? We’re experts in the field and would love to offer our perspective.

4 top tips for co-op & trade fund management

For brands that rely on dealers or retailers to sell their products, it’s imperative that their co-op advertising program operates in a way that keeps their dealers/retailers happy. Having a dedicated co-op advertising management and support team in place that’s responsive, helpful and resourceful for dealers is a good start.

In order to go from a good program to a great one, however, your dealers need to feel that your co-op team is a functional extension of their business, put in place by your brand to effectively help your dealers navigate the sometimes murky, ambiguous waters of any cost-sharing program.

So how do we take an existing co-op management team from good to great? Below are four helpful tips to take your co-op management practices to the next level:

1 – Co-op funds Management should be a two-way-relationship.

Traditionally, co-op management programs are reactive account service structures, operating as a customer service hotline. A great co-op team is there around the clock to help resolve any co-op inquiries that arise but should also be doing its part to proactively reach out to help resolve something that could potentially pose an issue for a dealer or retailer. Your dealers or retailers will be thankful that you are looking out for their best interest and have their back.

2 – Dealers/retailers that make up your network are the lifeblood of the brand

Your co-op managers should understand that there is a “trickle up” effect when it comes to ensuring that your co-op advertising program is healthy, and it starts with making sure that the dealers are taken care of. When your co-op advertising program places the emphasis on dealer satisfaction, it will result in more engagement with the program and more advertising efforts made by dealers to sell.

3 – Become an extension of your dealer’s/retailer’s marketing department

This ties into number one and two above, but it really deserves its own bullet point, too. Your co-op management team must feel like a consultant to each and every store that makes contact with you. Become a partner that’s vested in your dealer network’s best interest. After all, you are representing a brand that relies heavily on the dealers to move product. Understand the ins-and-outs of the program, available advertising assets, available resources, and how to best utilize co-op funds so that you can guide dealers in a direction that’s going to prove successful and beneficial for their business and the brand.

4 – Co-op funds management should provide insights and direct feedback from the field to the marketing team

This is key to help improve overall programs and help evolve co-op from good to great status. Utilize your co-op management team for inbound and outbound communication. They help monitor the pulse of the dealers and are essential to objective, real-time feedback as to what is and isn’t working.

We hope that the above tips will help serve as a quick guide on how to take your co-op management to the next level. Encourage your co-op advertising management team to go above and beyond, and see for yourself the benefits that it will have on your brand.

Cooperate is a Chicago-based agency that solves complex problems for OEM’s and service providers through our insightful, collaborative and cost-effective approach. We pride ourselves on providing white glove service to our clients and their dealers. Do you have a co-op issue that you’re struggling to solve on your own? We’re experts in the field and would love to offer our perspective.