Just because a co-op funded campaign has been distributed doesn’t mean that it has worked. The results need to be measured and put into perspective so you can assess whether the messaging and methods have made your investment worthwhile.

Understanding the Real Impact

Assessing a co-op campaign’s success requires more than assumptions. Tangible, actionable insights from the data can help you analyze value and create next steps that will benefit your brand and the partners who sell your products.

One of our co-op marketing customers — an outdoor power equipment brand — had focused a lot of its energy and ad spending on one major metro market. Unfortunately, the distributor didn’t have concrete evidence that the ad investment yielded the desired sales or in-store traffic.

That’s where a clear view of performance was necessary — from retailer feedback to tangible sales and foot traffic numbers to granular insights that attributed specific outcomes to individual marketing tactics. Pairing our data and analytics with the communication gathered from our relationships with the retailers, we uncovered that the mobile ads produced more foot traffic, but direct mail promotional offers directly led to more sales.

Shining a light on these findings helped to validate and improve this client’s investment. By allowing performance to dictate next steps, the distributor could plot the optimal course of action to meet its KPIs.

Results Help Key Campaign Growth

Even when co-op success occurs, that doesn’t mean it’s time to sit back and run on autopilot. Good or bad, you should use results to develop, test, and deploy new channels and tactics with your co-op partners that can build upon previous successes or mitigate past failures.

Let’s say an HVAC distributor wants to feature its installers on TV. It’s hard to justify the expense of broadcast television that covers all designated market areas, especially when many of its partners are smaller HVAC businesses. With a co-op marketing campaign, the distributor could achieve similar optics by testing connected TV with 15- to 30-second ads in specific markets featuring specific installers.

If the test is successful, the campaign could then be scaled beyond those initial markets into more retailers and regions with greater confidence, making it possible to focus on the media tactics that work. It also allows your brand to offer more resources to retailers that provide actual results — all while using the co-op funds the dealers have earned.

No matter the results, information helps put co-op marketing plans into action.

Partnerships Contextualize Your Co-Op Performance

You probably pour significant resources into your co-op marketing program and expect it to push success across several channels. But success needs to be quantified and put into perspective. When put into the proper perspective, your co-op spend, tactics, and program next steps will only improve.

A marketing partnership focused on maximizing the impact of your co-op investment should bring the best out of all partners. If you need a hand, Valassis can step in to give each partner the expertise and tools necessary to drive successful results. To learn more about what we provide and how to incorporate it into your campaigns, visit our co-op solutions page.

Need to improve the ROI of your co-op marketing program? This series provides a step-by-step guide to help you actualize your co-op marketing objectives. Click through for more details on taking a hyperlocal approach to co-op, where a full-funnel approach might fit in, when to provide advice to a retail partner, and how to uncover insights for campaign success.

Greg Potts is currently a senior sales executive at Valassis. He has more than 20 years of experience in the marketing and advertising industry including martech, media, and branding. Co-op advertising has been a part of each of Greg’s career stops and he has worked with all three sides of the co-op advertising triangle: media, brand, and local affiliate.