Frank Hurtte contributed a thoughtful, well-written article to Industrial Supply Magazine recently. The article, JOINT MARKETING PLANS: IT’S TIME TO RETHINK YOUR APPROACH, suggests most co-op is wasted and ineffective and that distributors and manufacturers thoughtlessly recycle old, non-performing approaches over and over again, hoping to get different results.
THE ARTICLE ALSO ENCOURAGES DISTRIBUTORS TO CONSIDER FOCUSING THEIR CO-OP EFFORTS ON DIGITAL CAMPAIGNS THAT ARE TRACKABLE AND MORE LIKELY TO GENERATE RESULTS.
While I agree with just about all of what Hurtte writes, I think he over-simplifies some things–which is easy to do in the limited space of a magazine article. His first premise is that most distributors generally do not understand marketing. As a result, they use co-op funds for logo’d golf balls, hats, etc. and put little thought into their use–or if they will help grow the business.
The fact is, most independent distributors have limited marketing expertise and do tend to use co-op funds for promotional items. And it is more than fair to ask if those items contribute to growth in a meaningful way. But let’s tap the brakes for a moment.
There are times when funding promo items with co-op funds is the ONLY choice. Some manufacturers only support promotional and print items. In other cases, when the distributor only has a few hundred dollars available, there simply aren’t many other options. With promotional products, they can still get valuable brand impressions and good will with those funds.
What’s more, there is a more strategic use for promo items in targeted sales promotions. For example, Rivet|MRO recently used a promo item in a sales promotion that DOUBLED SALES! It’s not just the item–it’s the item’s strategic use that must be considered. So, while the article correctly questions the pervasive use of promotional items, they can still play an important role.
The second major point of Hurtte’s article is that distributors need to divert co-op dollars to fund digital initiatives like Social Media, video content, email and more. Hurtte couldn’t more correct here. Digital marketing is infinitely trackable, allowing you to test, measure and refine. And when we’re able to drive measurable results, we can invest more with confidence. But there is a huge stumbling block distributors face here…resources.
Or, more precisely, the lack thereof. The vast, overwhelming majority of independent industrial distributors simply don’t have the team to pull this off–or access to outside resources that can help. Well, at least now you don’t have that excuse! That’s what Rivet|MRO does! We make it easy for you to leverage co-op dollars for targeted digital marketing initiatives that drive results!
And we do SO MUCH MORE! Rivet|MRO makes it easy for you to identify and claim co-op funds. Our team will do all the research and then craft thoughtful marketing plans (that include video, email marketing, social media and more!) that will help you grow your business. Simply put, we find co-op money for you to spend with us. That keeps the burden off of you and your team, allowing them to focus on day-to-day responsibilities.
Are you tired of missing out or misapplication of co-op funds? If so, call me, reply to this email or click here to see how we get you on the right track with our risk-free solution today!
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