When I think back about my many years as a fashion buyer in the 80s and 90s, sometimes I wonder how we managed to be as successful as we were, working with limited information and using last year as the major indicator for this year’s planning. This obsessive reliance on last year drove all aspects of our planning, from the building of seasonal financial plans to the planning of the promotional offerings in our weekly advertising circulars. It was expected that what we submitted as advertising offers for this year’s weekly ad was repetitive of last year, in both look and price. Many times, buyers fought the directive, pleading their case as to why this year they could get a few dollars more for a new, more fashionable offer or showing recent sell through that supported the volume potential of their new advertising candidate. Advertising, Marketing and Merchandising all had their own points of view and the discussions got heated and emotional and ironically, the only point of view that was completely void was the customer’s.
Flash forward to today’s retailing and the advertising planning process is far more complex given that competition for the customer’s dollar is not only around every corner but comes from every channel, everywhere, at all times. Lucky are today’s retailers who have the benefit of sophisticated science and integrated technology, not to mention the efficiencies of a single collaboration platform when it comes to advertising planning and execution.
Let’s look at some major business benefits of PMR 7.1
- It takes the guesswork out of promotion planning by using scientific based algorithms to predict consumer demand for specific products at specific store locations.
- It provides “what if” capability to compare financial expectations for different versions of ads and even integrates the vendor fund concept into the overall planning process.
- Advertising, Marketing and Merchandising departments can now work with a single view of the entire promotion planning process and focus on bringing value to the customer no matter where or when they shop.
- Integration with SAP’s (ECC 6.0, ehp5) ensures that the right promotional prices go down to POS in a snap and the analytical capabilities through BW enable full reporting of actual to plan/projected for both individual offers and overriding events.
At last, the customer’s voice can be heard and in a timely manner to enable retailer’s to plan respond and deliver more relevant and profitable promotional events this year and stop looking in the rear view mirror.