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Trade Marketing & Demand Planning Alignment for Improved Sales Forecasting

Contributors: Kristine Pettoni

Trade Marketing & Demand Planning Alignment. An accurate Sales Forecast.

Consumer Products companies today have a wealth of information, capabilities, knowledge and technology to generate demand forecasts. So, why is it so hard to generate an accurate and agreed upon forecast? There are typically two organizational groups within a consumer products company that have the visibility, insight and responsibility to create the sales forecasts – trade marketing and demand planning. The two groups have unique processes, vantage points, organizational structures, data and methodologies, and therefore generate different versions of the forecast. Since the best forecasts leverage information from both of these groups, the key to success is to overcome the challenges that keep these organizational units out of sync. The following pages outline four basic challenges that organizations face in aligning Trade Marketing and Demand Planning. Each challenge covers the perspectives of both groups and provides recommendations on how organizations can tackle these common challenges.

1. What is the forecast? The What & When of Selling

What the company will sell and when it will sell is often defined differently between trade marketing and demand planning, and since they do not plan at the same levels, translating between the two cannot be solved by a simple math equation.

2. Who does what? Two Cooks in the Kitchen

The challenge is not that Trade Marketing and Demand Planning are duplicating efforts – it is, instead, understanding how each of their inputs can be best understood and leveraged.

3. How can Trade Marketing and Demand Planning agree? The Consensus Number

Differences in levels of information, methods, timing, and how trade marketing and demand planning are organizationally aligned make creating a well-defined forecasting process complicated.

4. How do we merge it all together? Data, Data Everywhere

Different information, from different groups, from different systems at different levels can often make data feel like the enemy and not the answer.

For more, please download our report.

Tags: Sales and Marketing Technology, Supply Chain Planning & Execution, Supply Planning & Execution, Trade Promotion