With beer volumes down 2.4%, distributors are having to make a choice if they will continue to spend at the current levels to promote declining brands while risking overall profitability. According to David Stokes, the owner of Grey Eagle Distributors in St. Louis, who was quoted in a recent article in the Wall St. Journal, “Wholesalers are wrestling with a decision right now.” He goes on to say “Do you continue to invest behind Bud Light and make a little bit less money right now to build for the long term, or do you cut costs to try to maintain the health of the bottom line?”
At EasyCheck, we believe that you choose to do both. First, you have to spend to help to ensure the success of your Premium Light marketing campaign and maintain the revenue per retail outlet that is critical. Both Distributors and the Brewery devote significant time and money on promotional campaigns. However, not knowing whether this investment is both effective and efficient can lead to a waste of precious profit dollars.
EasyCheck is helping distributors allocate promotional dollars against the right activities in the right outlets at the right time. In a recent interview with one of our clients, this successful distributor revealed that they had decreased their marketing spend by 20% in 2017 while still increasing their marketing reach and increasing overall sales. Specifically, they reduced their marketing waste by over 75% on beer racks due to the results of field audits using EasyCheck. Results found that while racks were being ordered, they were never placed in the field. Some of the reasons for not being placed correctly included “the retailer said it took up too much space” and “customers want cold beer so we put the cases in the fridge.” In the end, marketing materials were ordered and dollars were spent but sales were never realized from those marketing dollars.
So how do you spend and save at the same time? You eliminate waste while spending money on only the most effective marketing items.
Eliminating Marketing Waste
Distributors of all sizes spend millions of precious dollars on marketing items with no knowledge of result. Like the client mentioned above who eliminated 75% of their marketing spend on beer racks, distributors are having to find specific areas that are not achieving the results they are looking for to gain from particular areas. By collecting accurate data about which items have been deployed, where they were deployed and the dates which they have been deployed, this information can be tied back to sales information to find materials that are not pulling their weight in the field.
Eliminating Shrink of Marketing Assets
Distributors have known for many years that neon signage has a particular “cool” factor and are known for selling well on sites like eBay, Craigslist and Facebook. In a recent search of eBay, more than 15,000 neon signs showed up for the specific search “beer neon.” Priced from $20 to over $5,000, many of these items have come from the marketing warehouses of beer distributors. By using ordering and tracking procedures with EasyCheck, distributors are able to reduce the number of items sold for profit on the side as a loss to the distributor. As one distributor told us - “EasyCheck has eliminated most if not all of our marketing asset theft.”
Measuring Marketing Effectiveness
Breweries create more marketing campaigns than many of us will ever realize. From specific campaigns by NFL Teams to sponsorships of NASCAR Teams, dollars are spent to grab the attention of the end customer. Distributors have a responsibility to help measure the most effective uses of the brand’s marketing spend. By creating detailed EasyCheck Assignments, distributors are able to know precisely when promotions have been placed and when competitors have begun promotions for competing brands. Using this type of field data collection, distributors are able to gain an edge over the competition. The measurement of each marketing campaign gives both the distributor and the brewery key information to perfectly time campaigns for maximum effectiveness.
EasyCheck gives you “eyes” to retail execution with real-time information that will improve your promotional effectiveness and efficiency. Knowing what works and what doesn’t help you make more money.