Are your co-op auditors helping your dealers and your brand?

Co-op advertising auditors have oversight on your brand at the local retail level, and they interact daily with your dealers. Are they invested in the overall success of your brand? Or are they just going through the motions? Below are a few questions to ask yourself and your greater marketing team about the service that’s being provided by your co-op marketing auditors.

1. Do you get emails from frustrated dealers or sales staff about your auditors on a regular basis?

It’s understandable to have the occasional dealer or regional sales manager get upset with the co-op advertising auditors working on your brand. It becomes a problem when the perception of the co-op auditors among dealers and corporate staff starts to sour. It’s not only the reputation of the auditors, but it’s also the reputation of your brand that’s at stake. Your auditors should be treating every dealer or retailer as a client, and resolving their issues accordingly. Providing a different level of service to dealers and corporate staff is unacceptable and could do lasting damage your brand.

2. Do you get the sense that your auditors are willing to help your dealers?

Co-op advertising auditors must do more than just hit the approve or deny button-there are many occasions where a simple phone call or email about a denied claim or prior approval would go a long way. It’s that kind of personal attention that gets dealers and retailers excited about co-op marketing. With the slightest extra effort by the auditor, dealers and retailers will have increased confidence in their own co-op advertising, because they know there is someone looking out for them. That kind of white glove, proactive service by co-op auditors also increases the level of trust dealers have with your brand’s co-op advertising and marketing program, which leads to happier dealers and a stronger retail brand presence.

3. Are your auditors doing their best to help your dealers increase their knowledge of the brand and the co-op program? 

Co-op auditing without education is a disservice to dealers/retailers and your brand. If a dealer or retailer has a denied co-op claim and it’s not clear to them what they did wrong and what they need to fix next time, there is a good chance they will continue to make the same mistake, or worse, they will stop advertising altogether. Co-op auditors should be more than just enforcers of the rules or co-op guidelines mandated by marketing-they should be invested educators who have the full confidence of your sales and marketing departments.

4. Do your auditors think critically about your brand and provide intuitive feedback? 

When was the last time your co-op auditors provided useful feedback on a program or campaign? The answer is likely ‘never’ if the company who handles your co-op advertising auditing simply functions as a machine when processing prior approvals and claims. If your auditors were truly invested, they would give you feedback on what’s being utilized by dealers and what those dealers currently don’t have that could help with the brand’s collective success.  Co-op auditors have the opportunity to communicate with dealers all day, every day. They should have some useful feedback to show for it.

5. Do your auditors provide beneficial metrics that go beyond basic “Co-op spend”? 

Think about all the incredibly useful metrics that could be captured when co-op claims are audited. There is a good chance your co-op auditors are not capturing any of this incredibly important information, nor would they even know what to look for. With digital advertising’s increasing importance and utilization, metrics for dealers’ co-op advertisements should mandatory for auditors to capture and report-and that should not cost any extra. The information is at their fingertips. They’re just skimming over it.

6. Do your auditors nickel and dime you? 

There is a good chance your co-op auditing provider is charging for their service per claim or prior approval. You’re also probably getting charged for every email and phone call to a dealer. That means your brand is often paying too much for adequate support. It’s time to get rid of that pricing model. Your co-op advertising audit provider should charge you a flat fee for their services, which are clearly identified in a scope of work. Otherwise, auditors are incentivized to do a great quantity of work at very low quality, instead of giving everything the adequate attention it requires.

Cooperate is a marketing agency based in Chicago that has over 10 years of co-op advertising and marketing expertise. Our co-op programs are recognized nationally for their dedication to quality service. Through our own experiences and observations of co-op auditors in the past, we know exactly what it takes to provide the top level of co-op auditing service to brands and their dealers and/or retailers. Our team of dedicated marketing professionals are problem solvers who are invested in the brands we work on, which is proven by our track record of white glove, concierge-level service. Give us a call or shoot us an email to start the conversation about how we could benefit your brand, and increase the impact your co-op advertising and marketing dollars get at the local store level.