Promotion Optimization Institute Releases 2017 TPx Vendor Panorama and Identifies Best-in-Class Vendors for Consumer Goods Companies

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Eighty-six percent of consumer goods companies are unsatisfied with their ability to manage trade promotions

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Consumer goods manufacturers that are still trying to manage trade promotions on spreadsheets should consider automating the process and adding analytics that will provide more insights through one of the many solution options featured in this report.

The Promotion Optimization Institute (POI), the leading resource for trade marketing and merchandising executives, today released its 2017 POI TPx Vendor Panorama, an annual analysis of the trade promotion management/optimization market (TPx) that was developed to help guide consumer goods companies to successfully execute trade promotions at the headquarters level.

After a thorough analysis, the 2017 TPx Panorama identified 17 best-in-class vendors across 12 functional areas that are helping retailers and consumer goods executives manage trade promotions effectively. The 2017 POI Trade Promotion best-in-class vendors are: Accenture, AFS, Adesso, Blueshift, Data Ventures, Exceedra, Kantar Retail, Nielsen, Periscope, Ri, SAP, Sequoya, TABS Analytics, T-Pro, Upclear, Visualfabriq, and WPAS.

"Managing promotions executed through retailer partners has never been more critical. The announcement in the press this week that a record number of retail stores has closed this year, besting 2008, means that manufacturers need better collaboration with retailers to offer insightful and compelling promotions,” said Dale Hagemeyer, partner and board member of the POI.

“In the face of growing on-line incursions, now is the time to dig in and become more relevant than ever before. Consumer goods manufacturers that are still trying to manage trade promotions on spreadsheets should consider automating the process and adding analytics that will provide more insights through one of the many solution options featured in this report. Those that are already managing the financial aspects of trade promotion with server-based solutions should look to advanced analytics to be more insightful and predictive about promotional outcomes as a way of getting better collaboration, retailer buy-in, and mutual benefits. This is a mature space and there are excellent options to fit any budget, geography, or technology delivery preference."

The TPx Vendor Panorama builds upon the research of the POI 2017 Retail Execution Vendor Panorama, a detailed analysis of the Retail Execution market and the technology vendors that support it. The two panoramas are intended to be companion documents -- the Retail Execution Panorama evaluates the in-store component of the promotion cycle, while the TPx Vendor Panorama focuses on headquarters.

Key Insights from the 2017 POI TPx Vendor Panorama

  • There is some differentiation among TPM solutions at the transactional level for planning and executing promotions. These differences typically are in the user experience and ability to evaluate promotions before and after they are executed.
  • Eighty-six percent of consumer goods executives surveyed report that they have issues with integrating third party data such as POS which is a nine percentage point decline from the prior year’s survey.
  • Eighty-four percent of those surveyed said that they have “challenges finding qualified personnel who can use and understand existing solutions.” This is a seven percentage point decline from the 2016 survey.
  • Eighty-five percent of survey respondents said that they have issues with getting retailers to execute promotional plans as agreed upon. Better tools that can show promotional outcomes and their financial impacts on both parties can help to reduce this level of noncompliance by increasing retailer “buy-in.”

POI TPx Recommendations

  • Enable all of your trade promotion related processes. Eighty-seven percent of respondents augment TPx functionality with spreadsheets. POI recommends that CPG companies evaluate all processes when choosing a TPx solution. Adding spreadsheets to compensate for inadequacies only adds cycle time, complexity, and the possibility for errors.
  • Prioritize functionality above delivery method. The lines between SaaS, managed services, hosted private cloud, and public cloud are blurrier than ever. CPG companies need to decide whether to customize a solution that will take it out of the vendor upgrade path.
  • Select capabilities that will help users to be more effective and efficient. Ninety-three percent of survey respondents said that the “entire process of creating a promotional plan, from budgeting to planning to execution to settlement to post event analytics, takes a burdensome amount of time.” Therefore, the user experience should trump all other considerations, including low price points and promises of easy integration.
  • Ask for both best practices from your vendor as well as the background of those who are expected to deliver them. The POI 2017 Survey found a wide disparity between expectations for best practices and what was actually delivered. Document the best practices you expect and make this part of the scope of work.
  • Don’t underestimate the need for change management. Whether moving from spreadsheets to a server-based system or implementing optimization capabilities, getting people to embrace change is critical.

Vendor Evaluation for POI TPx Best-In-Class
In the 2017 POI Panorama, solutions from 25 vendors were evaluated including more “localized” solutions that focus on specific geographies such as Europe or North America. The following 16 capabilities were analyzed and compared: company viability, geographic strategy, market responsiveness and track record, deployment capabilities, market understanding, vertical and industry strategy, partner leverage, company vision, product aptness and flexibility, delivery flexibility, solution completeness, offline capabilities, user experience, analytical capabilities, product vision, and configurability.

About the Promotion Optimization Institute
POI brings together manufacturers, retailers, solution providers, analysts, academics and other industry leaders. Members of the POI share cross-functional best practices in both structured and informal settings. Additionally, members benefit through our industry alliances, the Certified Collaborative Marketer(CCM) curriculum and certification, industry leadership events, and the Promotional Collaborative Capability Matrix (PCCM). POI aims to instill a financial and metrics-based discipline not typically found with other trade groups.

The goal of our innovative approach is collaborative promotion optimization. The focus is on the customer/shopper through sales, marketing, and merchandising strategies. POI is based in Wyckoff, New Jersey. To learn more about the POI, including how to participate in research, how to register to attend or sponsor events, and how to engage with leaders on the CCM, visit http://www.poinstitute.com/ or email Mkantor (at) poinstitute (dot) com.

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Theresa Smith
POI
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