The speed of change is impacting every aspect of your dealership and the inability to keep up is costing dealers money at every level. Co-Op compliance, for example, is directly connected to your bottom line and affected by these changes. Co-Op policies used to be updated every couple of years, but now we see updates on an almost monthly basis. The ceiling for Co-Op dollars has increased from 50% to 100%. Here’s what that means for your bottom line: if you have a $50,000 budget and spend it in co-op eligible marketing, you could have the opportunity to increase your budget to $100,000. However, if you aren’t up to date on these changes, you would miss out on thousands of dollars.

Too many dealers are struggling to keep up and are leaving Co-Op dollars on the table. The burden doesn’t have to fall on you if you are partnering with vendors who have their finger on the Co-Op pulse. Your vendors should want your people resources to be having conversations that sell cars and not trying to keep up with OEM policies and eligibility for extra funds.

Here are 4 crucial questions to ask your vendors to keep pace with Co-Op changes and to ensure you’re not leaving Co-Op dollars on the table.

The speed of change is impacting every aspect of your dealership and the inability to keep up is costing dealers money at every level. Co-Op compliance, for example, is directly connected to your bottom line and affected by these changes. Co-Op policies used to be updated every couple of years, but now we see updates on an almost monthly basis. The ceiling for Co-Op dollars has increased from 50% to 100%. Here’s what that means for your bottom line: if you have a $50,000 budget and spend it in co-op eligible marketing, you could have the opportunity to increase your budget to $100,000. However, if you aren’t up to date on these changes, you would miss out on thousands of dollars.

Too many dealers are struggling to keep up and are leaving Co-Op dollars on the table. The burden doesn’t have to fall on you if you are partnering with vendors who have their finger on the Co-Op pulse. Your vendors should want your people resources to be having conversations that sell cars and not trying to keep up with OEM policies and eligibility for extra funds.

Here are 4 crucial questions to ask your vendors to keep pace with Co-Op changes and to ensure you’re not leaving Co-Op dollars on the table.

1

What are the most up-to-date Co-Op policies and submission guidelines? And when was the most recent change?

Checking in weekly is a best practice to stay compliant and verify submission deadlines. Steps like adhering to logo and whitespace requirements, obtaining pre-approval, and submitting frame-by-frame screenshots of artwork vary by OEM and must be rigorously followed. These requirements are also changing at incredible speed. For example, many OEMS have switched from updating annually to quarterly. FCA is now updating their Co-Op requirements monthly.

Your vendors should also be keeping an eye on paperwork deadlines. Most OEMs require Co-Op paperwork be submitted within 60 days of campaign launch. Miss the deadline and all the time and money spent to accrue Co-Op dollars goes right out the window.

Application: Ask your vendors how frequently they are monitoring OEM policy changes. Settle on nothing less than weekly.

1 What are the most up-to-date Co-Op policies and submission guidelines? And when was the most recent change?

Checking in weekly is a best practice to stay compliant and verify submission deadlines. Steps like adhering to logo and whitespace requirements, obtaining pre-approval, and submitting frame-by-frame screenshots of artwork vary by OEM and must be rigorously followed. These requirements are also changing at incredible speed. For example, many OEMS have switched from updating annually to quarterly. FCA is now updating their Co-Op requirements monthly.

Your vendors should also be keeping an eye on paperwork deadlines. Most OEMs require Co-Op paperwork be submitted within 60 days of campaign launch. Miss the deadline and all the time and money spent to accrue Co-Op dollars goes right out the window.

Application: Ask your vendors how frequently they are monitoring OEM policy changes. Settle on nothing less than weekly.

2

Are there any special discounts or upcoming opportunities for additional Co-Op dollars?

Throughout the year, most OEMs offer additional Co-Op dollars based on sales forecasts, which is a great way to get more bang for your buck. Many OEMs also offer seasonal promotions when they add more Co-Op contributions to your advertising. For example, FCA offers “Special Programs” made available by region at certain points in the year.

Your partners have to stay on top of these changes to keep you informed of these programs. For example, during the last 12 months the Client Command® Co-Op team was able to find $700,000 extra Co-Op dollars for our clients that would have expired. Most dealers do not have enough time during a week to contact their OEM representative to find out if they are eligible for these extra funds. It is up to your vendors to contact the OEM for you and find available funds that add value to your bottom line.

Application: Ask your partners to help you be proactive about special events and programs.

2 Are there any special discounts or upcoming opportunities for additional Co-Op dollars?

Throughout the year, most OEMs offer additional Co-Op dollars based on sales forecasts, which is a great way to get more bang for your buck. Many OEMs also offer seasonal promotions when they add more Co-Op contributions to your advertising. For example, FCA offers “Special Programs” made available by region at certain points in the year.

Your partners have to stay on top of these changes to keep you informed of these programs. For example, during the last 12 months the Client Command® Co-Op team was able to find $700,000 extra Co-Op dollars for our clients that would have expired. Most dealers do not have enough time during a week to contact their OEM representative to find out if they are eligible for these extra funds. It is up to your vendors to contact the OEM for you and find available funds that add value to your bottom line.

Application: Ask your partners to help you be proactive about special events and programs.

3

How much of my Co-Op money is available for digital?

Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mini, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Volvo now all have digital/email Co-Op reimbursements for compliant advertisement. Similarly, Ford’s program requires 75% ad spend on digital for all but the highest volume Ford dealers. You must know the digital specifications in order to build marketing campaigns that earn you money back.

Because so much of the shopper journey happens online, you can expect to see OEMs continue to skew co-op programs toward digital media. It pays to stay on top of changing requirements. Dealers who do it successfully could get 100% of marketing reimbursed.

Application: Strategize with your partners to evaluate if the marketing solutions offered maximize your digital spend. Your best option is to leverage your Co-Op dollars with partners who have omni-channel solutions that work across all devices and channels.

3 How much of my Co-Op money is available for digital?

Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mini, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Volvo now all have digital/email Co-Op reimbursements for compliant advertisement. Similarly, Ford’s program requires 75% ad spend on digital for all but the highest volume Ford dealers. You must know the digital specifications in order to build marketing campaigns that earn you money back.

Because so much of the shopper journey happens online, you can expect to see OEMs continue to skew co-op programs toward digital media. It pays to stay on top of changing requirements. Dealers who do it successfully could get 100% of marketing reimbursed.

Application: Strategize with your partners to evaluate if the marketing solutions offered maximize your digital spend. Your best option is to leverage your Co-Op dollars with partners who have omni-channel solutions that work across all devices and channels.

4

What tracking do you provide and how do you measure ROI for Co-Op dollars?

As the digital requirement in Co-Op continues to grow, so does the necessity for 100% transparency in ad spend and performance for your marketing dollars. The opportunity for digital waste and fraud has been well-documented. Don’t be a victim of waste. This requires you be diligent in holding your partners accountable in how they are investing these digital ad dollars.

Application: Make sure the partners you choose can track the dollars spent, create visual graphics of campaign performance, and provide meaningful reports detailing Co-Op reimbursements.

4 What tracking do you provide and how do you measure ROI for Co-Op dollars?

As the digital requirement in Co-Op continues to grow, so does the necessity for 100% transparency in ad spend and performance for your marketing dollars. The opportunity for digital waste and fraud has been well-documented. Don’t be a victim of waste. This requires you be diligent in holding your partners accountable in how they are investing these digital ad dollars.

Application: Make sure the partners you choose can track the dollars spent, create visual graphics of campaign performance, and provide meaningful reports detailing Co-Op reimbursements.

It’s estimated that only about 20% of dealers maximize Co-Op opportunities. You don’t have to fall into the 80% who leave money on the table. If you haven’t evaluated Co-Op at the rate policies are changing, that has to be top of mind. Take inventory and challenge your vendor partners to do their due diligence to be experts and turnkey providers on your behalf. As the industry becomes more and more competitive, staying up-to-date on the frequently changing Co-Op landscape will put much needed marketing dollars back in your pocket.

It’s estimated that only about 20% of dealers maximize Co-Op opportunities. You don’t have to fall into the 80% who leave money on the table. If you haven’t evaluated Co-Op at the rate policies are changing, that has to be top of mind. Take inventory and challenge your vendor partners to do their due diligence to be experts and turnkey providers on your behalf. As the industry becomes more and more competitive, staying up-to-date on the frequently changing Co-Op landscape will put much needed marketing dollars back in your pocket.