This month PROMO Magazine introduces a first-of-its-kind electronic system that enables brand marketers and their agencies to plan and execute marketing programs quickly and easily.
Dubbed PromoXchange, the electronic system uses the Internet and e-mail technology to aggregate the numerous pieces of information required to launch a successful promotion. The system will be unveiled at PROMO Expo, Oct. 6-8, at Chicago’s Navy Pier.
PromoXchange begins with a click-through planning model that suggests appropriate tactics and strategies based on various marketing objectives and provides backup information in the form of articles, research, and even case studies.
The heart of PromoXchange is a proprietary “SmartPurchase” model that allows marketers to select vendor categories and prepare detailed proposal requests which vendors in those categories can view and respond to via the Internet.
“Promotion campaigns succeed or fail based on how well they’re executed,” noted promo Publisher Kerry J. Smith. “Finding the right suppliers is critical to success. But marketers don’t have the time to research what’s available, let alone organize and compare information supplied by multiple sources in inconsistent formats. With PromoXchange, a few mouse-clicks is all it takes to put marketers in control.”
The user-friendly system anticipates the information that marketers would need to provide to vendors in each category, and in turn what questions marketers should ask of vendors as a condition of responding to their proposal requests. Using simple pull-down and click-on tools, marketers can quickly input all the relevant information and then post their jobs on the system.
Example: a marketer is introducing a new soft drink and wants to build trial via sampling. He enters PromoXchange, selects “Sampling” from a menu of categories, and is asked to answer a series of questions about his promotion – timing, target audience, objectives, type of sampling preferred, and so on. Next, the marketer can select from a list of pre-loaded questions to ask of vendors who respond, such as “Do you provide delivery audits?”, “Describe similar programs you’ve conducted for other clients”, “Describe your areas of expertise.”
Once the marketer is satisfied with his proposal request, it’s entered into the system and made available for free viewing to the universe of suppliers in that category. Suppliers can enter PromoXchange and browse through proposal requests at no charge. They are able to view basic information such as timing, product category, budget range, and objectives. If they elect to respond to the request, they incur a nominal charge and are then able to view the complete information supplied by the marketer and respond via the system.
Marketers are alerted every time a response is received. To view the vendor proposals, they simply enter PromoXchange and go to their Account Management Page where they can flow responses into a custom template that they can manipulate and print out for easy and organized comparison purposes.
“PromoXchange offers tangible benefits to both marketers and suppliers,” noted Smith. “With a few mouse-clicks, marketers can post a proposal request to hundreds of suppliers and receive and organize responses in a consistent, easy-to-read format.”
For promotion suppliers, PromoXchange provides an efficient source of new business leads and access to projects they might not otherwise have known about. Once a supplier has registered to use the system, he will be automatically alerted as jobs are posted in his categories.
Smith pointed out that PromoXchange is not an online auction or bidding system. “Face-to-face interaction and personal relationships are important factors in selecting suppliers,” said Smith. “PromoXchange is designed to help marketers cast a wide net to find suppliers they may not be aware of who can provide valuable services.”
Marketers who register to use the system in 1998 will have complete access to PromoXchange on a charter complimentary basis for all of 1999. Suppliers who register in 1998 will qualify for discounted usage of the system. For details visit promoxchange.com on the Internet. Suppliers should call Alan Steen at (203) 358-4191 or Chris Kimball at (203) 358-4189 for membership details.