Meet Melinda Wienand:

The future of trade promotion optimization is here, but can an AI approach, with all the complexity of creating a promotional calendar, really work? Melinda Wienand, a Revenue Management professional, talks about it and offers some thoughtful career advice in the process.

In this podcast episode you can learn about:

  • How it is important to partner with stakeholders such as sales teams to show them the power of new analytics and its ability to transform the business and relationships.
  • New trends in the food and retail industry: personalisation, convenience, and digitalisation. How understanding your customer at a granular level while leveraging data with analytics can help determine product resilience in unprecedented times.
  • Learn what led to Mel’s decision to look for a better way in trade promotion creation and the birth of HIVERY Promote: 3-year research & development partnership.
  • Learn what it’s like working in a relatively new field of Revenue Management; juggling time vs stakeholders’ needs all the while determining the ideal promotional strategy. Mel shares how she was often limited in time to explore different promotional scenarios to determine the best action to take. She explains, how the moment you agreed on an “ideal scenario”, the model’s results would become obsolete. In the pursuit of finding a better way, Mel and her team needed to master two fundamental things: 1)ensure the price demand elasticity model kept learning with live data (so it would never become obsolete), and 2) allow the team to run many more scenarios more rapidly.
  • What is the difference between the old school way of creating trade promotion calendars vs the new way? With the ‘old school way’, you would not only need to forecast the “demand elasticity” of a promotional group but also determine the revenue impact of that proposed promotional calendar. Due to the labour-intensive nature of creating each calendar, the team would often see the impact of a promotional calendar through a single lens (i.e supplier or retailer) rather than three lenses simultaneously (supplier, retailer and shopper). Moreover, a team would also need to ensure that the calendar was executable in trade with all the important constraints being considered as well as concisely communicate it to all stakeholders involved. This is very hard to do following the ‘old school way’ of trade promotional calendar creation process.
  • Mel talks about three things that make HIVERY Promote different from other solutions in the market: 1) dynamic price elasticity modeling or often called the “dynamic demand forecasting engine”, 2) prescriptive promotional calendar engine that optimises for custom KPIs, and 3) simple-to-use interface.
  • While mathematics is important to the business, Mel talks about how our ability to easily explain the results to stakeholders is equally critical. Often times people’s concern over AI is not its recommendations BUT the lack of ability to understand why such recommendations were made.
  • Finally, Mel kindly provides thoughtful career advice on how people can get into this fascinating and emerging area called “Revenue Management”; hint: background in say sales or finance are key pathways to getting into this field.

Learn more of about HIVERY Promote