Given the growth of disruptive brands, fragmented media, and retailer investment requirements (data costs, digital media, eCommerce start-up) over the last several years, many CPGs have seen total Trade Investment (or vendor income, as defined by many retailers) become their 2nd or 3rd largest P&L investment. And yet, for many, ROI in trade investment has declined and many businesses are falling short in delivering business unit strategies and annual goals.  This ROI decline has led many to conduct extensive analysis to turn around this trend, but while improvement opportunities can be identified through analysis, in market change that leads to better results is much more challenging.  Simpactful, with our team of real world CPG AND Retail experts, has the process, capabilities, and experience to deliver meaningful improvement and better ROIs.

If you’re waiting for it to get easier, it won’t.

“In 10 years of working in the trade investment space, I’ve never seen more pressure to make trade investments work harder,” says Phil Morris Senior Consultant at Simpactful, “particularly when trade represents the second or third largest P&L investment by every manufacturer.” Many CPG company trade investment programs have not evolved with the changing retail marketplace and shopper dynamics.  The easy path is to anniversary the same events year after year without understanding if there are incremental results or the ROI.  This approach often leaves the innovations and investments in new retailer programs and shopper targeting as a bolt-on to the traditional methods or the mindset “whatever money we might have left we’ll support for new strategies.”

Trade Investment Planning & ROI Optimization

Simply put: Simpactful’s program is for manufacturers who want to reinvest 3-5% of total trade investment savings into more strategic, higher ROI opportunities. Our experienced team of executives from CPG manufacturers and leading retailers have years of experience improving trade investment planning to target investments and accelerate profitable growth. “I’ve worked for small, medium, and large-sized manufacturers for over 21 years and one thing is common across all of them; they struggle with how to get the most from their trade spend.  I’m excited to see that Simpactful now has a proven, comprehensive process that can deliver 3-5% savings,” adds Julie Oxner VP of Operations at Simpactful.

Our program transforms the Trade Investment Planning process in four areas:

  • Creating a collaborative and transparent trade investment planning process: Today, there is often a lack of transparency and collaboration between brand marketing, internal sales planning, and customer teams when allocating trade investments for the year. The end result is funding that does not support category strategies, a lack of transparency where funds are being invested and inconsistent metrics.  Simpactful’s approach integrates collaboration between brand marketing, internal sales, and customer sales that leads to an aligned plan not only internally but also with the retailer.
  • Increasing focus on delivering aligned goals, better retail execution, and accelerating growth: When manufacturers focus on an aligned annual plan with regular checks to evaluate progress on delivering the plan, sales capacity is built to focus on executing with the retailer and addressing opportunities during the year.  Our approach significantly reduces “dialing for dollars” that zaps capacity and creates tension between organizations.  The proven Simpactful Trade Investment Planning approach creates a focus on delivering category / brand strategies in an annual plan, with the agility and flexibility during the year to revise plans based on marketplace changes.  It moves the buyer/seller interactions from transactional (win/lose) to transformational (win/win)
  • Enabling focused financial analytics: Given the size of trade investments, leveraging one set of data and common tools and approaches to perform analytics is extremely critical. Simpactful has proven analytic capabilities to improve any type of future trade investment execution and deliver a higher return for shareholders.  There are programs that are profitable for the retailer but unprofitable for the manufacturer. Similarly, there are programs that are profitable for the manufacturer but not the retailer. Our financial analytics allows you to identify the programs that are profitable for BOTH the retailer and manufacturer. Simpactful Partner, Bryan Stuke, adds, “I have seen how the 3-5% savings have been achieved when retailers and manufacturing double down on the events where they both have a positive ROI!”
  • Improving collaboration and culture: The Simpactful plan transforms siloed decision making with lack of visibility to a new process driving collaboration, alignment, accountability and a focus on delivering the annual plan.

What Trade Investment Planning & ROI Optimization is not

Trade investment planning and ROI improvement is not simply a means to reduce trade spending, or challenge sales representative’s plans with the retailer or be an instant fix with less work. Instead, this program accelerates profitable growth and improves trade spending ROI.  Categories / Brands will have transparency of how investments are delivering against strategies and key business drivers.  And, when properly executing the process, the sales organization will see increased capacity, agility and flexibility during the year.   

If your company wants to capture a 3-5% ROI improvement on total trade spending then call the experienced team at Simpactful to get started! Please contact us at: or 925-234-6394.

About Simpactful

Proven | Connected | Results

Meet Simpactful – a CPG/Retail consultancy firm built for today’s challenges, with a team of experienced leaders from both CPG and Retail firms.

Our experience spans functions – Sales, Marketing, Consumer Research, Human Resources, Product Supply – and all retail channels including eCommerce, Food, Drug, Mass, Club, Dollar, C Stores, and more.