The Changing Incentives Landscape

Early October, several pep team members were able to attend the annual conference for the Association for Coupons & Promotions in Chicago. It was great to collaborate in person with many of the manufacturers, vendors, and agencies that pep partners within the incentives space. While at the conference, we heard from leading experts in their field on topics like emerging technologies that limit coupon fraud, current consumer trends, and new tactics that we will be able to leverage for incentives in the future. A highlight was hearing about the anticipated acceleration of the 8112 Universal Barcode and how it will revolutionize this industry. It is clear that consumer demand is high for incentives and as an industry we need to continue to find strategic ways to reach the consumer in an ever-changing market.

 Our very own Chelsea Parker and Ben Seinen presented at the conference on how to create a strategic incentives plan in this crowded, complex, and evolving landscape.

Technology and digital transformation, inflationary economic conditions, and private label competition are just a few of the many factors having a major impact on our industry and there is no one size fits all answer for the perfect incentives plan.  pep created this approach that we shared at the ACP Conference, to determine the most effective unique consumer promotion plan based upon each CPG’s individual business challenges and objectives.  The process starts with thinking, not only about your brand and commerce objectives, but holistically about your corporate and category objectives, as well, and the role incentives play to achieve them.  Next it involves a situational analysis of determining and documenting internal strengths and weaknesses relative to things such as your goals, target, distribution, tentpole timing, and historical performance.  You will also need to consider external opportunities and threats related to things such as your competition, category trends and economic conditions.  pep then uses a consumer promotion matrix which plots tactics along with objectives each tactic is effective in delivering, to narrow in on relevant levers. Once tactics are selected, pep uses a structured approach to determining the right offer values for any incentives tactics included in the plan.  Finally, pep establishes a KPI scorecard upfront with metrics and benchmarks to measure success against on the back end.  Once the plan goes live, it is important to monitor results against benchmarks as early as possible and optimize the plan ongoingly.  Strategic planning is a full circle, continuous process!  We closed our presentation at the ACP Conference sharing a case study that brought this strategic planning process to life.

If you are one of the many wondering where to begin as you think about your consumer promotions plans, reach out to Rebecca Brezel, Senior Director of Client Growth at We’d love to partner with you to help you get the most out of your marketing investments!

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