Web Site Eliminates Red Tape and Waiting Game for Retailers
ATLANTA-Archer/Malmo has designed a new type of Internet site expressly for retail co-op clients. The venue is said to make it simpler and faster for indie businesses to order promotional products and get reimbursed for local advertising purchases.
“It used to be that what companies had to do to get reimbursed for [advertising] spending was send all the documentation to us,” said Gary Lendermon, vice president of the Memphis, Tenn.-based agency’s co-op division. “Videotape of the commercial, copy of the print ad, invoice from the television station or the newspaper, etc. . . . The complaints have always been that co-ops take too long to pay, and this [method] speeds up the payment to these guys.”
What Archer/Malmo has done is create Web sites intended solely for co-op marketing programs. Retailers who sell a company’s products can log in to the Internet site with a unique password, download claim forms for reimbursement, learn how many co-op dollars they have left in their advertising budget, the fund’s expiration date, and where they stand in the claim process for financial reimbursement.
Co-op shops can also order promotional products like caps, shirts, buttons, calendars and “literally over 1,500 different products” by simply accessing the Internet venue, Lendermon said.
“This is the coming thing and we always want to be before the cutting edge,” said John Chipinski, manager of trade promotions for Pennzoil and Quaker State brands, both of which maintain co-op Web sites. “Our customers like it because they get all this information right at their fingertips. We’ve become much more efficient and saved a ton of money. Where I used to have 13 people, I now have three, and we’re doing more work.”
“No one else in the co-op industry is doing this,” said Lendermon. “I think the big reason . . . is because they haven’t figured out how to charge for it. Our competitors, they want to touch paper as much as possible because that’s how they charge. We would rather touch less paper because it lowers our overhead and we end up making just as much money.” ƒ
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