Guest Column: Promotion optimization lures shoppers

A funny thing happened on the way to the cash register. A coveted diabetic shopper intent on saving money saw promotions that resonated with value. She was hooked.

On this trip, promotions influenced her to expand her basket from just insulin to related care items, foot cream and a sugar-free treat. It was as if the retailer and suppliers completely understood her daily regimen, lifestyle, shopping behaviors, willingness to spend and purchase triggers. Indeed, they did.

How? They mastered the process of promotion optimization.

Together they share insights and data; segment and target the audience; strategize; accurately predict demand; establish the right message, price, feature and display; and execute. They work side by side in a refreshing, fully accountable, collaborative manner that maximizes event return. Then they refine for even better results the next time during post-event analysis.

Stores benefit on category and total-store levels from bigger baskets, more cross-purchases and more trips. Stores that optimize promotions differentiate and become stronger destinations.

In the high-performance world of promotion optimization, trading partners grow this way over and over again, through thousands of successes per day. Each is a triple-win for consumers, retailers and manufacturers. The most productive chains and consumer packaged goods companies already are building a competitive edge through this fast-rising discipline.

The evidence is clearer every day. It is documented in compelling research findings from the new “Charting Your Course to Trade Promotion Optimization” study, done by POI with Accenture, Gartner, SymphonyIRI Group and other experts. 

Among the study findings:

  • 90% of trading partners that have fully implemented trade promotion optimization, or TPO, solutions have increased profitability;

  • 60% of trading partners that have fully implemented TPO solutions have increased revenue, improved forecasts and plans, and decreased time spent on promotion-related activities;

  • Retailer and manufacturer profits and revenues increase as companies become more mature in their TPO implementation; and

  • More than 85% of national chains and 55% of super-regional retailers welcome the use of TPO with consideration of data availability.

To help ensure that retailers and manufacturers fully harness the power of promotion optimization into the future, POI has innovated a unique, accredited higher education breakthrough with Saint Joseph’s University. This program certifies retailer and manufacturer executives as Certified Collaborative Marketers (CCM) once they learn to achieve sustainable, best-in-class performance results from their collaborative marketing efforts. The CCM program is designed to teach retail and consumer packaged goods executives how to blend their respective cultures, personnel and technologies to maximize promotion collaboration success, as well as seed future generations of managers with a collaborative mindset that will enable them to act effectively on each other’s business perspective and needs.

The future of marketing and merchandising is a shared responsibility, growing more consumer-centric and collaborative as promotion optimization delivers greater return.

To find out more about the study or the CCM program, contact

Michael Kantor is CEO and founder of the Promotion Optimization Institute and a former SVP of Drug World Pharmacies.

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