Kantar changes the RGM roadmap with completion of StepUp acquisition

From MapQuest to Waze, the world has changed. AI and frequent real-time insights aim to change the RGM game for CPG brands.

Kantar and Silvertree Equity, the software and technology focused private equity firm, have finalised the previously announced acquisition of StepUp RGM. 

StepUp will merge with Kantar’s existing XTEL Trade Promotion offering, branding the new business Kantar XTEL and operating as an independent entity within the Kantar Group.

Cédric Guyot has been appointed CEO of the combined business and will lead the next phase of growth which aims to establish a leadership position in the FMCG Revenue Management Software Market space, a $2.6 billion market opportunity by 2025.

“RGM is not about doing a one time analysis on your promotions,” said StepUp RGM CEO, Piet Surmont. “It's steering on a continuous base, impact, efficiency, incrementality of expense you do in promotions, building capabilities of the teams of our clients. To get there, you need a lot of data and automation. 

“The market reality of existing solutions and data doesn't allow organisations today to go there. We have the technology and the combined expertise to allow them to do that much more frequently.

“Why is frequency important? Because the market context is changing every day from a promotional and pricing point of view. The end game is to be able to make much shorter business decisions than today. But the reality today is that [organisations] are patching solutions because there is no solution that allows them to do this in a frequent and accurate way.”

StepUp enables full RGM roadmap development and implementation for FMCG/CPG brands, from data sourcing and modelling to actionable insights and capability building.  

An actionable, real-time roadmap 

Cédric Guyot, CEO of Kantar XTEL said: “There is no consumer goods company today that doesn't have some form of technology to look at its spend.”  

“Over the last 10+ years there's been a new kind of discipline. Instead of just looking at trade investment in isolation, it has been shifting the angle. Consumer goods companies have realised that it makes a lot more sense to think of promotions in the context of price and assortment decisions.”

“StepUp has come from the CPG industry as practitioners and they've built a set of solutions that today provide a real time view rather than a one-off perspective on investment allocations throughout the year. So this is providing you with a much more actionable, real time roadmap for where and how to invest your pricing, your price money and your promotion money and eventually make arbitrage between those buckets.

“We see a tremendous opportunity to turn revenue growth management into a day to day activity, as opposed to once a year, twice a year, or even a couple of years for a smaller company.” 

Changing the roadmap: from Mapquest to Waze 

Guyot added: “The evolution of technology and the access of data in more real time really changes the way that you can use your roadmap. It’s like thinking about the transition from a Mapquest sort of world into a Google Maps and Waze. When you used to do Mapquest, you needed to go to your computer before you left, print out the outcome and you lived with it because this was the only option you had and you didn't have a cell phone at the time. 

“The situation today is that the data is available in real time. Artificial intelligence is able to actually go and do the analysis in a very complex, non-linear way that is far more effective than in the past, enabling you to actually go and make this happen more often.” 

The newly created business will be the most comprehensive end-to-end Revenue Management Software platform in the FMCG/CPG market, says Kantar, counting more than 100 tier 1 and tier 2 FMCG companies around the world as clients.

Nicholas Theuerkauf, Managing Partner of SilverTree Equity, added: “With AI-driven analytics across key commercial levers and a best-in-class Trade Promotion Management SaaS platform, this offering will allow Kantar XTEL to lead the market. The combined company is uniquely positioned as the only end-to-end Revenue Growth Management software platform able to drive significant value for its customers by improving trade spend ROI and operational efficiency.”