Are Retail Promotions Working for Your Food Business?
How can you tell if promotions are working for your business? Here are the insider secrets on creating promotions that retailers actually want to share... without sacrificing your sales margins.
One of the most crucial aspects of running a successful food business is creating promotions for distributors and retailers. As many food and beverage veterans know, a robust promotions and shelf placement strategy offers an added incentive to inspire retailers to take a chance on new products and increase order sizes; this means that, particularly for new or small batch food distribution or manufacturing companies, a regular offering of promotions can make or break your broker's success in placing your products. As operating overhead costs rise, retailers depend on your promotions to attract customers and increase in-store purchases amid the increasing popularity of online shopping.
However, effective promotions require a careful balance: too many promotions, and you risk stock shortages; too few, and excess inventory spoils on the shelf during slow seasons. Without diligently considering what would happen if your retailer used every promotion you offered them, you may find yourself undercutting your own profits.
Have you achieved that balance? Many businesses struggle to create promotional marketing campaigns that strengthen their brand and still appeal to retailers. Here are some ways to improve the success of your food business's marketing campaigns.
Stop Losing Profits with Better Promotions Management
We've done the math — a food business that offers too many promotions leaves itself with pennies in profit. How can you offer promotions, satisfy your retailers, and avoid undercutting your own brand? Simple — by tracking your promotional activities and sell-through data more accurately. But while the solution may seem simple, for many organizations the processes and implementation are anything but.
Most companies have almost no idea how their promotions are performing until the impact hits the accounting department. Taking away existing promotions can create bad blood with retailers or distributors, so it is critical to know what promotional benefits to offer from the beginning of a working relationship that will help both you and your customer succeed.
Tracking promotions with multiple spreadsheets, email chains, and documents simply doesn't work when business moves so quickly. Even for the largest teams, tracking the success of campaigns can be challenging, and updating the right spreadsheet often falls through the cracks. Version control, manual updates, and promotional campaign follow up leaves lots of room for error, especially as your business scales and new members join the team.
That's why, as part of GoldFinch's ERP & CRM software, we've included promotions management as one of our key features. With our software solution, we tackle every area of promotion that confronts food businesses, like financial management, analytics, client communications, and version control for both metrics and creative. When more of your processes can be automated or managed effectively, fewer manual actions become necessary to obtain results, and those untracked manual actions are usually what ends up costing a business most in both funding and productivity. We find it vitally important to meet the needs of customers, marketers, and C-Suite so everyone can walk away with a clear understanding of how promotions are performing.
Tracking Promotions Success for More Impactful Offers
Simplifying the process of creating and managing promotions can substantially increase a campaigns's success, but measuring is often where food corporations fall short. More transparency and accessible data around your organization's retail promotions goes a long way to build buy-in with new clients, existing clients, and other departments within your own organization. With a clear system to creating, executing, and measuring promotions, your food business is ahead of the curve and in the black every quarter.
Exploring sell-through data helps your team understand the impact that current promotions are having on sales across all retailers; with advanced filtering capabilities, you can gather a lot of information about what locations can value most from promotions and when these promotions will have the most impact. Knowing what promotions are working and which promotions aren't saves you time so you only offer and honor the promotions that are actually making you money and helping your retailers effectively sell your products.
Successfully tracking promotions is where most manufacturers struggle most. Up until now, measuring was a largely manual process, with most measurement activities falling to the wayside as your marketing team's to-do list grew. Matching off-invoice discounts, store scans, and other charges takes time without the business and accounting infrastructure to support it, meaning your team may be spending more time researching and recording than they are in action.
That's why combining your ERP and your Salesforce CRM can have a huge impact on your bottom line: when these typically separate systems exchange data, tracking becomes substantially less time-consuming. We've created a series of automated process flows to manage your promotions more effectively, so your team can have velocity when testing the success of your campaigns. Ultimately, this means bad promotions are killed off faster and the better promotions become a powerful selling point for future retail partners.
Change your data view to create reporting that helps you and your team make better decisions. Track success by item, retailer, or location to determine the true value of your promotions over time.
Creating Promotions Calendars That Work
One of the easiest ways to track promotions is to create a self-populating promotional calendar. This takes one more thing off your employees' plates and keeps your entire team on the same page about progress made on particular promotions. When your promotions calendar is aligned with existing customer data from your Salesforce CRM and ERP system, there's no need to maintain separate Google Calendars for individual clients or have one employee responsible for maintaining your deployments and promotion lengths.
With our innovative tracking program, your calendar can easily be filtered by retailer, item, or store location to trace the true impact of your products. Real time customer data, sales history by item, and so much more become available through your systems being interconnected. Quickly input necessary data and view all your promotions at one time.
Sharing promotion calendars with your sales team, along with the data about successful campaigns, provides more leverage as they negotiate deals with new clients. The data provided by our combined ERP and CRM system gives your sales team leverage for what promotions are working best in a particular area, what retailer's competitors are having the most success with, and what promotions can have the biggest impact on a retailer's bottom line. Being armed with this information prior to a sales conversation will increase trust and build instant credibility, putting you two steps ahead of your competitors at every turn.
As your sales increase and benefit from an intelligent promotions management system, having extensive customer data available for review can go a long way in improving production processes. With access to your promotions calendar, your warehouse and manufacturing teams can better manage inventory control and anticipate spikes in inventory with increased reliability. This can dramatically save your food business money, especially if you've found your products being sent back following unsuccessful promotions. Streamlining your inventory predictions can increase profits and help your business surge.
Start Developing Mutually Beneficial Promotions for You and Your Retail Partners
With more data available and a quicker method to analyze that data, our promotions management system adds dramatic velocity to a typically tedious promotions cycle. When necessary measurement information is properly tracked, your business walks away with valuable insights that help you better serve your client and leave your competition in the dust.
At Goldfinch, we're committed to offering you more opportunities to create promotions that benefit both you and your customers. Creating successful promotions has a huge impact on your business revenue, and using our ERP & CRM software can keep your entire team on the same page so you make better business decisions.
Successful promotions build goodwill with retail partners, and optimizing your process for testing promotions can give you a whole new perspective on how you market your products. Your dedication to your customer's sales success will always set you apart from similar manufacturers or distributors, plus it may even result in larger order sizes over time! Creating mutually beneficial promotions can, in the long run, increase the lifetime value of a retail partner, so why not start today?