Promotion Optimization Institute Finds the Consumer Products Goods Landscape is Rapidly Shifting in Annual TPx Vendor Panorama

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90 Percent of Consumer Goods Manufacturers Surveyed have Issues with Promotion Execution

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"Consumer buying behavior and the market landscape have dramatically changed in the last few years, which is further fueling a necessary but profound paradigm shift in the CPG ecosystem," said Pam Brown, Chief Commercial Officer of the POI.

The Promotion Optimization Institute (POI), the leading resource for trade marketing and merchandising executives, today released its 2018 POI TPx Vendor Panorama, an annual analysis of the trade promotion management/optimization market (TPx). The POI found that while there has been an uptick in improvement in the trade promotion process and enhanced vendor offerings with new technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), 90 percent of consumer goods manufacturers surveyed report they have issues executing upon promotion plans.

“Consumer buying behavior and the market landscape have dramatically changed in the last few years, which is further fueling a necessary but profound paradigm shift in the CPG ecosystem that calls for manufacturers and retailers to understand not only the consumer but pricing, trade deals, and digital marketing offers in today’s retail marketplace,” said Pam Brown, Chief Commercial Officer of the POI. “What we have found and reported in this year’s report is that vendors have upped their game and are offering predictive analytics, AI, machine learning, in-flight promotion tracking and other leading-edge capabilities that will help drive efficiency and trade.”

Included in the 2018 TPx Panorama are POI’s 16 best-in-class vendors across 15 functional areas that are helping retailers and consumer goods executives manage trade promotions effectively. Among the 2018 POI Trade Promotion best-in-class vendors are: Accenture, Acumen, Adesso, AFS, Blueshift, Data Ventures, Exceedra, Kantar, Periscope, SAP, Sequoya, T-Pro, UpClear, and Visualfabriq. This is Acumen’s first year breaking through as a POI best-in-class vendor.

The TPx Vendor Panorama builds upon the research of the POI 2018 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. Both panoramas are designed to help POI members improve their ability to manage trade promotions, enhance trading partner relationships, and drive profitable growth.

Key Insights from the POI TPx Vendor Panorama

  • Ninety-percent of survey respondents said they have issues with getting retailers to execute agreed upon promotional plans. Predictive tools that show promotional outcomes and their financial impacts on both parties can reduce this level of noncompliance by increasing retailer “buy-in.”
  • AI has considerable interest among vendors, and holds potential on how it impacts promotions and consumer goods.
  • Data quality and integration are large challenges to the promotional cycle, particularly in the areas of post event analysis, macros insights, and predictive analytics.
  • Twenty-percent of respondents stated they have issues integrating third party data such as POS. The TPx report found a strong correlation between companies that are satisfied with their promotions and their ability to bring external data into the process.
  • Data management is a key differentiator in vendor support and quality of promotional outcomes. There is only modest differentiation among TPM solutions at the transactional level for planning and executing promotions. Greater differentiation can be found in the ability to predict promotional outcomes and generate insights to improve overall promotional cycle.
  • TPx is becoming more of a subset of emerging revenue growth management (RGM) initiatives.

POI TPx Recommendations

  • Enable all of your trade promotion related processes with technology. Ninety-one percent of respondents augment TPx functionality with spreadsheets. POI recommends that consumer goods manufacturers valuate all processes when choosing a TPx solution. Adding spreadsheets to compensate for inadequacies only adds cycle time, complexity, and possibility for errors.
  • Prioritize functionality above delivery method. The lines between SaaS, managed services, hosted private cloud, and public cloud are blurrier than ever. Having the right functionality to deliver insights and build more effective promotions is much more important than how a technology is delivered.
  • Select capabilities that will help users to be more effective and efficient. Ninety-two percent of survey respondents answered 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.” The user experience should trump all other considerations.
  • Ask for best practices from your vendor. The POI 2018 Survey found a wide disparity between expectations for best practices and actual delivery. Many vendors can help assess current gaps in your processes, enable best practice discussions, and facilitate gap closure efforts. Document the targeted best practices, and incorporate them into your 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 vital.

“The big take away from this year’s report is that the CPG ecosystem is calling for increased evaluation, analysis and action from both manufacturers and retailers,” said Brown. “Improving efficiency and effectiveness of promotions can’t be done in a silo. It needs to be a holistic transformation of people, process and systems across the enterprise.”

Vendor Evaluation for POI TPx Best-In-Class
In the 2018 POI Panorama, solutions from 23 vendors were evaluated, including additional “localized” solutions that focus on specific geographic areas 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/industry strategy, partner leverage, company vision, product aptness and flexibility, delivery flexibility, TPM functionality, TPO completeness, user experience, analytical capabilities, product vision, and configurability.

“I’m excited to have Pam’s influence and expertise of years evaluating, and implementing technology solutions, leading POI research. I believe this report is one of the most important and exciting developments we have had to date,” said Michael Kantor, CEO and founder of POI. “Pam has extensive, recent, and relevant knowledge of CPG, retail, technology, including advanced analytics. This combined with her deep personal relationships with many of our members will be extremely valuable to POI constituents as they engage with her around leading practices.”

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 or email Mkantor (at) poinstitute (dot) com.

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Theresa Smith
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