AFS was contacted by a leading beverage manufacturer to help them establish a way to gain insights into their operator customers by monitoring coupon usage in their foodservice channel. Their main motivator was to micro-target customers to alter spending behavior without having to commit to long-term trade funding.
Coupons, like other trade spend, permanently drive consistent brand commitment and loyalty towards products. What makes coupons a more unique trade vehicle is that they allow for very specific targeting and have been proven to drive additional sales They can support manufacturers in capturing redemption details that can be analyzed to gain insights about the operator customers.
AFS had existing coupon functionality supporting the process from a Manufacturers’ perspective. What we were asked to do, was to expand our functionality by creating an operator portal. This would enable the manufacturer to make coupons a more strategic and consistent trade vehicle by adding the ability to:
• Determine true net redemptions
• Run and review comparative analysis by event
• Determine spend effectiveness to support trade optimization
• Drive operator growth through highly targeted short-term incentives
• Enable data collection at the operator level to drive future marketing campaigns based on:
o Who uses our product?
o Who is interested in our products?
The concept was to create a place where operators could easily submit their coupons for redemption. The redemption information is then linked to AFS Trade Promotion Management Foodservice where it can be analyzed by the manufacturer to glean deeper insights about their operator customer. This advanced coupon insight supports a micro-targeted approach in subsequent events by providing a proven direction on how best to customize the event (by geography, promotional type, operator type, product and rate) for maximum performance.
From concept through to launch, we listened to our customer. We heard not only the functional requirements of the solution, but more critically, the underlying business driver behind each ask. Through this collaboration, AFS gained a broader understanding of how and why manufacturers continue to use coupons in the marketplace as a compelling way to balance out inequities driven by club channel pricing, drive growth away from competitors, drive interest towards new innovation, and micro-target their operator customers in different geographical locations or markets to incentivize long-term behavior change and brand recognition.
The end result is a closed-loop solution that provides the manufacturer with single-source analytics to support their coupon trade while driving internal efficiencies through end-to-end process simplification and improved audit controls. The operator is rewarded and engaged with an easy-to-use platform that allows them to track their redemption submission all the way to payment, which furthered the manufacturer’s ability to capture user insights and visibility required to dynamically leverage coupons successfully today and into the future.