Mastering Your Annual Promotional Planning with PRESENCE: Essential Tips and Guidelines

June 7, 2024 |

At PRESENCE, we take a comprehensive approach to your annual promotional planning, which is one of our most significant recurring endeavors. Your Distributor Relations and Brand Management leads are soliciting calendars, with peak planning occurring thru July when contract deadlines nip at our heels.

There are three essential levels of promotional activity: Distributors, Key Accounts, and Independents. 

Here are some general tips and guidelines to ease the process:


Working with our Distributor Account Executives (DAE’s), you will lay out your core promotional framework for the year:

  • Plan for published deals, digital ads, shows, seasonal items, shippers, and the like. 
  • Tailor your strategy to reach all accounts, specific accounts, or just Independents.
  • Note program deadlines and ship windows. Also note that some programs can only be utilized by in house sales teams.
  • Keep DAE’s and NBM’s apprised of product launches and changes; these need to be coded in advance of program deadlines. 


Alongside Distributor programming, our National Brand Managers (NBM) can post your overall guidance for Account Executives to customize retail plans:

  • Document direction in calendar format with suggested guidelines and guardrails. This will include unpublished deals you want to offer throughout the year. 
  • Guide retailers to target monthly themes, hit desired price points, or achieve a specific aim like selling multiples or an off-shelf display. 
  • Account Executives will share retailer-specific requirements and opportunities. 
  • Maximize planning discussions to plot next steps around category reviews, seasonal, shippers, secondary displays, and creative marketing options.
  • Buyers will use promo plans to budget and allocate space, and while changes may be made prior to submission, contracts are expected to adhere to initial agreements.


In addition to your Distributor and Key Account programming, layer in support for Independent retailers:

  • Annual planning is not typically conducted for Independent accounts, however, it is advantageous to have deals and objectives identified several months to a year in advance. 
  • Our National Brand Management team uses plans to develop brand initiatives and tools for our Sales team.
  • Independents use deals to build displays, promote your items, and stay price competitive with chain retailers in their area.
  • These accounts may not report into syndicated data but are foundational to your business as a natural product. Their impact can be seen in your distributor orders and national brand awareness.

Our National Brand Managersare available to help pull recaps of your previous year’s plans at both distributor and retailer levels, communicate your promotional strategy to lay foundational plans for accounts, and share visibility on retailer contract deadlines and submitted contracts. Once your retail promotional plans are finalized, approved, and uploaded into our system, we can provide a recap to base future contracts on. They will also guide you through reviewing the effectiveness of your promotional strategy, offer data contract insights, and provide templates and best-in-class guides for processes.  

Wishing you a productive promo planning season and a successful year ahead!