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 team in place that’s responsive, helpful and resourceful for dealers is a good start. But in order to go from a good program to a great one, 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 and often ambiguous waters of any cost-sharing program.
So how do we take an existing co-op advertising program from good to great? Below are four helpful tips to take your co-op management practices to the next level:
Co-op Management should be a two-way-relationship. Traditionally, co-op management programs have been 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.
The dealers an/or 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 your product.
Become an extension of your dealer’s and/or 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.
Co-op 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.