If you’ve found this page we’ll assume you are already familiar with the concept of a Minimum Advertised Price, or MAP — a policy set by a manufacturer or brand to establish a price floor below which its resellers may not advertise its products. (What these resellers ultimately sell MAP-protected items for is another matter; a MAP policy simply forbids resellers from advertising a brand’s products below a specified price.)If you’d like a more thorough discussion of what a MAP policy is, click here.
HOW TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH YOUR MAP POLICY
Because a MAP policy does not constitute an agreement with the reseller — it is in fact a unilateral policy set by the brand — the responsibility falls to the brand to ensure compliance across its resale channel.
As a brand or manufacturer, you have a couple of options for enforcing compliance with your MAP policy.
First, you can develop and implement a MAP monitoring program yourself, which will involve regularly checking in on your resellers to ensure they are not advertising your products below the minimum prices allowed by your MAP policy.
Of course, this approach will be resource-intensive and require much more than regularly scanning the online presence (websites, promotional landing pages, web ads, etc.) of all partners across your resale channel. You will find that this step alone can be a significant time drain.
This do-it-yourself approach to MAP monitoring will also require you to create a full package of communications — including compliance letters, perhaps an escalating series of warnings for violators, etc. Moreover, it will then require you to execute this communication plan for each violation you encounter, document the date of contact and any action taken by the violating retailer, as well as grab screenshots of each actual MAP violation, to show the offending reseller and possibly to keep as proof if you choose to take legal action against a repeat offender.
The second approach to MAP monitoring is to engage a partner that specializes in Brand Monitoring and Price Enforcement to do the heavy lifting for you.
WHAT MAP MONITORING SOFTWARE IS — STANDALONE SOFTWARE VS. MAP PLATFORM AND PARTNERSHIP
There are many MAP monitoring applications available, and they run the gamut in quality and robustness — from simple tools that tell you product pricing on a marketplace, to software or services that send you Excel lists of violating merchants (and don’t do much else, requiring you to act on the information), to comprehensive MAP-enforcement platforms — indeed, true MAP enforcement partnerships — that automate the entire compliance process AND include strategic services to ensure that you're as effective as you can be.
If you select one of the more robust offerings, you will be giving your brand a much better chance of successful MAP enforcement and brand protection.
The MAP monitoring software packages available from the best providers offer a comprehensive MAP enforcement platform for your brand. These packages allow you to set up — and alter as frequently as you need — a customized monitoring and enforcement program for your MAP policy that automates much of the enforcement process. These platforms take action for you. They remove tasks from your plate, and allow you to focus on the highest value activities.
HOW THE TRACKSTREET MAP ENFORCEMENT PLATFORM AND PARTNERSHIP WORKS
With the TrackStreet MAP monitoring and enforcement software platform, for example, you will receive much more than a software tool to scan for MAP violators. When you begin working with TrackStreet, you will be activating a 24/7 MAP enforcement partner — always there to track your brands across the entire online channel, enforce your pricing, protect your brand and retailer relationships, and provide you the full benefit of our hard-won best practices for implementing and maintaining a successful MAP program. Here’s how the program works:
- TrackStreet will ask for you to upload your product list with relevant details.
- Then we immediately go to work for you. (Before we can implement a custom solution that’s right for your brand, we need to know what the MAP-violation problem is and how far-reaching.)
Our team of MAP experts researches your brand across the web to get an accurate picture of your resale channel — including what violations you are experiencing, by whom and how often.
- With these learnings, TrackStreet then builds you a comprehensive custom dashboard that shows you all of the locations where your products are being sold online, from major marketplaces like Amazon to individual websites.
- From here, you will be able to go into your dashboard anytime to set minimum advertised prices for each product, and then we will walk you through establishing the settings you want for your MAP enforcement.
These details that you can control will include the levels of enforcement escalation you want to create; the specifics for your violation notifications, such as how frequently you want notifications and warnings sent and who you’re sending enforcement letters to (on a merchant by merchant basis); as well as rules for the creation of a customizable and automatically sharable Do Not Sell list.
Your TrackStreet platform also includes a wealth of market information about your products, customers, merchants and competitors. You will have access to our robust and always-growing database of merchant identity information, for example, which will show you detailed information about the companies selling your products — making it easier than ever to contact violators and even to make proactive sales contacts to those retailers selling some of your products but not others.
TrackStreet’s MAP monitoring and enforcement software also includes standard MAP policy verbiage, which you can customize to create your own publishable MAP policy; a series of violation-notification message templates, which you can also use as-is or customize; and a host of other enforcement, monitoring and market-visibility options.
Most important, every client has a dedicated customer success manager, who is available to them by phone and email.
We work closely with our customers to ensure we are able to maximize your success every step of the way.
THE BENEFITS OF MAP MONITORING SOFTWARE
The best of these MAP monitoring platforms offer tremendous benefits to your brand. Here are a few of the primary ways that MAP monitoring software can improve your business.
- MAP monitoring software saves you time and money, while preventing lost retail accounts.
Developing and executing an effective ongoing MAP enforcement program can be a tedious and time-consuming initiative.
Making matters worse, because such a do-it-yourself internal process will be manual, even the most diligent manufacturer or brand will inevitably miss violations of its MAP policy — often many of them. Over time, this can both diminish the brand’s image and put at risk its relationships with the reputable resellers who are honoring its MAP policy — and being undersold by those who aren’t.
Deploying the right MAP monitoring software solves these problems, because that software will automate the entire process — crawling the web on a continuous basis, 24/7, catching and documenting virtually all MAP violations, and then automatically and immediately taking whatever enforcement actions you prescribe. This consistency is key for you and your retail partners.
- MAP monitoring software acts as a comprehensive e-tail-monitoring platform that gives you greater visibility into sales-discovery opportunities across your resale channel.
In addition to the MAP enforcement benefits to your business, the right MAP monitoring software can also provide many more benefits to your company — including deep visibility into your resale channel that can create opportunity for sales growth, market expansion, and strengthening reseller relationships.
Because the most robust of the MAP monitoring applications are constantly scouring the web to gather deep data on which businesses are selling your products, they can help you identify those resellers — non-MAP-violators, of course — who are selling some of your products but not others. This can create a powerful ongoing list of warm leads for your distribution efforts for your other products.
- The best MAP monitoring platforms provide you a true partnership to help you employ best practices in your MAP enforcement and brand protection.
Because TrackStreet is battle-tested in helping identify and correct countless MAP violations, we are establishing and successfully implementing the industry’s best-practices for protecting brands’ MAP pricing.
We have built our offering well beyond a simple software tool, and even beyond a larger integrated platform. Our offerings extend deeply into the internet sales channel: sales opportunity, review tracking, and more. We're a brand partner and brand expander.
TrackStreet is increasingly known for pioneering new approaches to MAP compliance and price tracking, setting new standards for best practices and continually building on our industry-leading body of knowledge — which our customers are able to turn into actionable intelligence, better brand-protection practices and a competitive advantage.
MAP MONITORING SOFTWARE: THE BEST WAY TO ENFORCE COMPLIANCE WITH YOUR MAP POLICY
The key to understanding MAP enforcement is that, when done properly, a company should leverage a comprehensive MAP Enforcement platform that delivers automated, around-the-clock MAP enforcement agents — protecting your products’ resale pricing, your relationships with all resellers, and your brand’s image so that you can focus on building relationships and growing your business.
To learn about the what makes comprehensive MAP Monitoring and Enforcement from TrackStreet the Gold-Standard of the industry, and to receive a free demo of the product, contact us now.