Anti-parasitic products mark between April and June (spring – starting of summer) the strongest sales peak, who miss this period have great chances to miss their annual targets.
That is why in March-June are concentrated the majority part of the commercial and marketing activities for this product segment.
In MYPRODUCT18, MYPRODUCT21, MYPRODUCT26 and MYPRODUCT38 I detailed how since 2010 as Commercial Manager Veteco I optimized TV campaigns to promote the Frontline Combo brand with spectacular results in brand indicators and sales.
Anti-parasitic products mark high seasonality reason why the Frontline Combo TV campaigns were usually aired from the end of March until the first part of July.
There are exceptional cases in which weather essentially influences the running period of a campaign.
As a commercial manager, marketing manager, how do you proceed when you plan well in advance to start you TV campaign on March 20 for example, but that period is marked by cold, frost, snow? In other words, a totally inappropriate selling time for anti-parasitic products?
Behind TV spots appearing on TV screens is a sustained and long-lasting work done by the marketing team in collaboration with specialized partners, work that involves:
-developing the strategy and media plans with the media agency, the agency that deals with the reservation of the spaces for commercials at the TV stations
– the actual production of the TV spot where the first stage involves an advertising agency that comes with creative concept and execution, then the effective realization of the spot together with a production house
– if the TV spot is taken over from the network, then it is necessary to adapt it to the local market, situation in which the advertising agency together with the recording studios have a direct contribution to the final local version.
I made this very brief description to highlight that implementing a TV campaign is a complex process that can last from few weeks to few months.
In addition, in order to start on March 20 a TV campaign, media plans and space reservations at TV stations must be approved at least few weeks in advance.
In this context, to postpone a TV campaign is a thorny problem that is not usually accepted by media agencies and TV stations because TV stations have nothing to fill in the free spaces resulting from a potential customer exit.
In my career I was twice in front of running a Frontline Combo TV campaign when weather it was totally inappropriate.
The primary goal of the TV Frontline Combo campaign was to support sales, the brand performance scope being on second place because Frontline Combo brand indicators were anyway at very high level.
In this context it was vital for us to run the TV campaign in the optimal period, correlated with the weather considerations.
In other words, if the start of the TV campaign overlapped for 2-3 weeks with snow, we simply dropped out the money for the campaign during that period.
In light of these considerations, I argued in front of the media agency how important is to postpone the start of the campaign with few weeks in order to maximize the significant investments allocated in the TV campaign.
McCann, the traditional Romanian partner for the implementation of the Frontline Combo TV campaigns in Romania, understood this exceptional situation and helped us in the relationship with TV stations, so we were able to postpone the start of the TV campaign.
Instead, the Hungarian media agency responsible for Frontline Combo TV campaign did not show understanding in a similar exceptional situation, so in a year a part of the campaign was broadcasted when outside were snowing, a totally adverse weather for anti-parasitic sales.
In marketing and communication areas I prefer long-lasting collaborations because engaging and constantly exposing partners to our business specificity is critical in adapting and optimizing our campaigns.
When special or exceptional situations arise, the traditional partners you have worked with for a long time fully understand the commercial consequences and take all the measure to solve these problems.
Changing or expanding your supplier portfolio represents a normal process of cost, service optimization, but you need to be careful when you make such choices in order to be sure that your partners understand you and help you in exceptional situations not only provide the standard services in current working situations.
Notification: MYPRODUCT reflects my real professional experience and expertise as well as my subjectivity. I do have a profound respect for all the companies I collaborated to and for all the people I worked with. It is not my intention to approach any sensitive, confidential or offending information related to companies, projects or people. If you the reader deduct or recognise companies, projects or people in my examples, I kindly ask you to respect MYPRODUCT and my professional and ethic approach and to not share any detail, information, situation, name, company.