What challenge(s) do our clients face?
Despite genuine best efforts, well-informed discussions with comprehensive plans and executive PowerPoints can remain stuck in limbo. Sometimes strategy fails to be translated into execution and, more importantly, value generation.
Considering retail’s evolution into a complex omnichannel landscape that merges online with offline and traditional with modern, the organization and synchronization of marketing and trade marketing activities has become increasingly challenging. To build brands, companies must consider each customer interaction across all channels and how they should be activated. Visibility of all these interactions and building an effective strategy to control them is challenging.
Yet what is often most demanding is the day-to-day coordination and management of your team and activities in order to guarantee that your brand strategies are realized across channels as planned.
Without the necessary discipline and processes that guarantee effective collaboration between teams, companies experience various execution challenges that ultimately impact conversion at the point of sale (POS).
Organizations, as a result, suffer in many ways:
- Inability to successfully execute brand plans
- Miscommunication between decision makers and operational staff
- Difficulty in knowing how to prioritize
- Diminishing internal capabilities due to over-reliance on agencies or partners
- High turnover impacting knowledge retention and training
- Incapacity to reorient towards new Go-to-Market strategies
How do we help?
We support our clients to translate strategy into execution through targeted and tailored actions that improve business operations across 3 fronts:
- Developing the organization and management of the marketing and trade marketing areas, ensuring well-defined roles and responsibilities between teams.
- Optimizing processes to ensure integrated execution of internal and external activities
- Strengthening relationships and governance models to optimize collaboration and alignment among local, regional and global organizational structures.
Throughout the project we rely on a multifunctional team which brings your senior team members, together with Integration professionals, using a project ‘war room’ to unravel and address your unique challenge. This means that our solutions are grounded in reality, and we can build momentum from day one. So, whilst there are often natural tensions in the working relationships between marketing and trade marketing, our experience in change management ensures alignment, consensus and buy-in from the operational to the executive levels across both functions.
What are the benefits?
- Clearer understanding of performance across channels, empowering decision makers
- Higher revenues from improved customer needs alignment across channels
- Better efficiency in marketing spend, driven by collaboration and clarity
- More agility to respond to customer needs
How does it work?
We bring an outside-in perspective which can help unlock the potential that already exists inside your organization.
We are convinced that our clients know their business better than anyone else. At the same time, we provide outside experience, proven methodologies and cross-industry benchmarks that help them to overcome their challenges.
To build up your marketing and trade marketing capabilities, we take a step by step approach that ensures we (i) understand you and your business, (ii) develop a tailored solution grounded in reality and (iii) road-test the solution with you to overcome any teething issues and prepare you for the future. This typically translates into 3 project stages:
Throughout this journey we take into consideration not just your people but also the technology you have at your disposal. Plans, processes and tracking can all be integrated into the tools you already use as part of your day to day – whether that’s Salesforce of Microsoft Teams etc. This means there is no need to implement expensive or highly customized systems to support the rituals and processes we design with you.
Whilst Integration does not believe in ‘copy and paste’ solutions, we have developed templates and frameworks through our cross-industry experience that help our clients to orient themselves around best practices and break down difficult issues. A framework which often supports our analysis considers the macro-processes that marketing and trade marketing must address to succeed. It considers the natural interdependencies of the functions whilst clearly outlining the needs and exclusive spaces that each must fulfil.
The Marketing & Trade Marketing areas have complementary roles in organizations and must work together to deliver:
- Differentiation – ensuring that product USPs are clearly communicated
- Organization – ensuring coordination and synchronisation across all brand activation levers
- Velocity – ensuring rapid adjustment to customer needs and environmental changes
- Relationships – ensuring connections at a B2B and B2C level
A leading multinational beauty company, with aggressive recent growth in Brazil due to the launch of new brands and acquisitions, sought help in organizing the marketing & trade marketing processes for one of its recent acquisitions. The main challenge was related to the lack of coordination between the innovation time-to-market and the trade marketing execution in points of sale, generating a downside impact in Sell Out of ~30% of net revenue.
The project re-designed the entire cycle, from ideation to product launch and placement at the point of sale, which included:
- re-defining details of all the processes involved
- clarifying roles and responsibilities of each area
- defining KPIs
- designing a governance model
Integration also supported the implementation of the entire new model with pilots per process and meetings with customers and distributors whilst involving the entire group in decision making.
The project delivered customer-centric and integrated Marketing & Trade Marketing processes with:
- a coordinated platform between all areas
- innovation launch packs now delivered on time in full
- successful marketing campaigns with integration not only inside the acquired company but also between itself and the group
- sales recovery with 20% YoY growth in year 2
- increased target SLA to be able to answer 95% of distributor requests in 24h.
A leading global ingredients solutions company was having difficulty in developing a marketing area capable of providing both short term commercial support and long-term product innovation, without impacting the day to day business.
In addition to this, the area had poor connections with the regional and global organizations, was not leveraging R&D and did not have clear priorities for projects and trade marketing initiatives. Information management, marketing routine efficiency and interactions with the commercial area were pain points that generated a weak pipeline and lack of clarity in roles. This all culminated in an operational marketing organizational structure.
Integration supported with the design of a new Marketing Cycle considering all deliverables, routines and interfaces and providing clarity on local and regional roles, separating the interactions and guaranteeing the team’s focus. Together with the client we developed a prioritization scorecard and connected all R&D routines with each business area, whilst streamlining product innovation. In addition, we clarified all roles and responsibilities creating a matrix and tools that helped tracking and supporting the day to day.
The Marketing area gained more relevance inside the company, maturing from an operational sales arm into a strategic partner capable of managing client segments and long-term trends across the region through a close interface with a cutting edge R&D team.
A leading spirits company had commercially neglected the on-premise channel (bars, restaurants, hotels, nightclubs etc.) in the US given its siloed organizational structure and lower volumes per outlet compared with the off-premise channel (supermarkets, liquor stores etc.).
This was a setback because the brand teams believed that on-premise was a key channel for experimentation and memorable experience creation, in addition to being more profitable than off-premise. The main challenge was to connect the brand’s ideas and programs to the channel’s reality, guaranteeing execution with clear strategic segmentation and different trade marketing packages that consider the channel realities (trainings, tailor-made experiences etc.) and ultimately increase their resource efficiency by setting process standards and connections with other areas.
By creating a multifunctional team, we segmented accounts considering geographical, venue type and social data, enabling us to strategically focus on priority segments and create a new structure to focus only on on-premise. In addition, we unified points of contact to align both the brand and commercial views, creating commercialization/execution roles, as well as channel marketing capabilities. As a final step, we defined processes and timings, creating space for the channel in the company’s governance.
Resource re-sizing and geographical shifts to focus on priority cities drove more strategic coverage, doubling the number of accounts called by trade specialists and generating savings in the organizational structure. In addition, brand plans and the on-premise channel marketing cycle added value to execution and reduced the amount of time spent troubleshooting. Distributor wiring was also an important benefit, with excellent feedback and alignment to the new account segmentation and trade marketing service levels, strengthening customer relationships and adding a commercialization angle to the company’s strategy.
OUR INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE
Integration has an extensive track record in many industries such as Health & Beauty, Food & Beverages, Agribusiness etc., supporting clients in improving their processes and time to market in a consumer centric way from both a B2C and B2B perspective. Through these experiences our professionals have been able to test and adapt different governance models and processes mainly between the marketing, trade marketing, innovation and commercial areas, ensuring significant gains in terms of internal efficiency and effectiveness in activating shoppers through different channels (POSs, media, influencers etc.).