How Is Your Game Going?

By Bruce Montgomery, General Manager

And the final score…New England Patriots 13, Los Angeles Rams 3. Whether you felt Super Bowl LIII was a close, defensive game or a total bore, the bottom line is that the Patriots made fact-based adjustments, executed better and came out ahead. Obviously, most of us will never coach or play in the NFL. However, many of us compete at a high level when it comes to our jobs in the consumer packaged goods industry. We are up against a variety of opponents: well-entrenched competitors, hot upstart brands with trendy new benefits, and ever-evolving technologies. Just like football, our “game” has four quarters, only ours stretch over the course of a year.

The first quarter of your 2019 game is coming to an end and it is time to take a look at how your initial plans are unfolding. What corrections need to be made and which opportunities do you want to pursue? With three quarters to go, there is still time to impact the outcome of your year. But first, you need to gather, analyze and interpret data. Once you understand the current “game conditions”, you will have to make hard choices and act decisively. Which accounts are performing well and why? In which retailers are your brands struggling to achieve your goals? How should you address?

Your initial plans were grounded in data and logic and looked great when they were approved – then the 2019 game started. A competitor took unexpected action, a new item wasn’t accepted as planned and/or implementation of a new planogram has been delayed. Now what? Just as a good coach builds an excellent roster of assistant position coaches, so does a good CPG sales leader. CMG can work with your team, providing confidence that your firm’s significant investment in customer marketing (often the third largest line in a CPG brand budget behind COGs and personnel) is being effectively and efficiently allocated, implemented and measured.

At CMG, our team is comprised of highly-trained, experienced practitioners who solely focus our expertise on optimizing retail customer investments for CPG brands. We manage your customer investment dollars at the brand, account and program levels so that you know which investments are (or are not) working. We constantly track your top accounts, call out “gaps to plan”, and provide options for corrective actions designed to close such gaps.

Just as teams alter their original game plans to come out on top, CMG can help you adjust your retail spending plans based upon what is happening within each of your key accounts as well as how your business is responding.

The end of the first quarter is quickly approaching. Please contact us if you would like to talk with an expert about evaluating current game conditions and making adjustments to ensure your 2019 plan is achieved.