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Why You Need a Promo Post-Mortem Analysis

Published: Reading time: 5 min
George Bobin Head of Revenue Growth Management at Pernod Ricard
George BobinHead of Revenue Growth Management at Pernod Ricard

Promotions are here to stay

Common implementation pitfalls

The steps to a successful implementation

Make your trade terms and promotions work together


Despite deploying cost-optimization strategies, the pressure is still on consumer goods companies to achieve higher off-takes. Promo post-mortem analysis—or the process of using the learnings from past promotions to improve future ones—is one method FMCG companies can leverage to get the most out of their promotion solutions and grow their revenues amidst an increasingly complex and volatile market.

Promotions are here to stay

According to a recent study by IRI, more than 50% of FMCG products are sold on promotion in the UK. Promotions have become more than just a temporary sales booster for companies—they’ve become business as usual. Unsurprisingly, they tend to be the first area of focus for FMCG companies looking to grow revenue. Despite their rising popularity, however, many companies’ promotion solutions tend to yield suboptimal results with only 41% of trade promotions breaking even according to a study by POI.

To unlock the full potential of their solutions, companies must first embrace a new approach to implementing them. This blog will cover the most common implementation pitfalls and the steps to increase the likelihood of a successful implementation.

Common implementation pitfalls

New solutions without new ways of working

Investing in a promotion solution is a step in the right direction for many consumer goods companies looking to grow revenue. But companies will struggle to achieve the desired results if they fail to implement the right processes and involve the right people. By taking the time to devise new ways of working, companies can greatly increase the effectiveness of their promotion solutions.

Investing in inflexible solutions

The speed of technology change is only increasing. Rigid promotion solutions risk becoming obsolete after implementation due to their inability to keep pace with change. The best promotion solution is flexible, extensible, and can change with the market.

Not involving users throughout the process

Since a significant determinant of a solution’s success comes down to how well users interact with it, failing to involve them could result in a lack of adoption. Involving users from the beginning—from selection to implementation—ensures investing in a solution that users will love and use.

The steps to a successful implementation

1. Build the right team by asking the right questions

Questions such as, “how the new tool will be incorporated into the business, how will KPIs be set, and how will they be tracked” will help leaders build an effective implementation team. For example, the team might include:
– An implementation sponsor
The main objective of this role is to hold the business accountable. Far from a nominal role, having a sponsor helps the team concentrate on the implementation, avoid distraction from other projects, and receive necessary recognition from the business.
– An implementation leader
This person will have a high-level view and both manage and coordinate a cross-functional team. At the same time, this stakeholder should be aware of all the details and issues regarding the implementation and be able to procure the resources needed to solve critical issues.
– A cross-functional team
This team will be responsible for data preparation, data analysis, building and discussing recommendations, corrections control, etc.

2. Align on expectations

Too high of expectations can sabotage implementations. So can a lack of understanding of the changes that will take place. Interviewing stakeholders about their expectations and depth of understanding can ensure that all levels of management are prepared for the implementation. If interviews reveal that multiple stakeholders are not prepared, training or webinars can be provided by those already working in the new environment.

3. Experiment and learn

Once the solution has been implemented, building a basic spreadsheet that KAMs can test in business-as-usual can help them generate new ideas and recommend corrections for both processes and the tool. At this stage, experimenting with different calculations, formulas, and formats tends to generate additional value. At a minimum, companies will save on the cost of hiring consultants.

4. Perform a promo post-mortem analysis

After the implementation, the team should perform several waves of promo post-mortem analysis to demonstrate how the solution can be improved on a day-to-day basis. Using examples from other companies, categories, and markets, leaders can ask questions about how they are going to use the learnings from the post-mortem and correct their actions. Service maintenance is crucial for both sides: for the team to ensure their new ways of working are working and for the key account manager to be guided in the new environment.

5. Keep track

Creating a “book of learnings” that can be used as a historical reference by customers, channels, and managers provides the team with written promotion history. They can then track their progress and codify any key learning along the journey.

Make your trade terms and promotions work together

After you’ve chosen the right tool and action-oriented implementation process, the next step is to find a way to make your trade terms and your promotions work together. Read my next blog to learn how.

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About the author

George Bobin Head of Revenue Growth Management at Pernod Ricard

George Bobin

Head of Revenue Growth Management at Pernod Ricard

George Bobin is a revenue growth strategist who last 10 years leads RGM and finance practices to help companies increase the efficiency of existing resources. His expertise spans Finance management, Price and Promo Strategy, Trade Relationships and Mix Management in different FMCG companies & categories, such as tobacco, beverages, snacks, biscuits, cereal, cosmetics, and spirits.


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