Why are co-op programs lagging so far behind in offering digital options?

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Any new idea must provide advantages to all parties in the ecosystem where it lives, or else it won’t be adopted.

We saw this in the late 1990’s with a new idea: Digital Print.  It was a compelling idea, but printers didn’t want to decrease the volume on their offset presses.  Agencies said it was more difficult to create variable data campaigns.  Clients looked at cost per page which was higher early on.  It wasn’t until each player in the ecosystem saw a benefit that it began to take off.  It took years.  Fast forward to today.
Ms. Rebecca Lieb from the Altimeter Group made a convincing case at the IAB recently for why digital media is lagging so far behind with co-op funded advertisers.
First, she makes the case that local digital advertising is vastly under supported by most co-op programs.   Only 30-40 percent of formal coop programs support digital according to the latest studies.

In our opinion there are 3 reasons why the use of online landing pages is taking time to catch on:
1)       Dealers aren’t clamoring for a solution they can’t envision.
2)      There are no publication costs for most of the uses of these landing pages.  Therefore there is nothing to reimburse for, so some co-op administrators don’t pay attention to it.
3)      This digital system is outside of a co-op firms traditional  business model.  Because the landing page is from a template it is automatically pre-approved.  Because the adbuilder hosts the page there is no need to monitor a link to see if it’s up and running.  Because so many of the uses for this landing page are free of publication costs there is no invoice to check nor money to reimburse.

Bringing co-op advertising online will be neither quick nor easy. But with billions in consumer purchases to sway, you can bet it’s bound to happen.

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