POS Promotion Management: Top Challenges of Consumer Goods Companies
In a recent study conducted by IDC Manufacturing Insights, Consumer Goods companies, including beverage companies, confirm they are spending a significant amount of money on Point-of-Sale (POS) Promotions. The survey lists the Top 10 Challenges these companies are facing, the most significant being that POS promotion spending is their second largest expense after Cost of Goods Sold.
Results of the Study
Of the Top 10 POS Promotion Challenges of these Consumer Goods Companies, five of them are addressed with a POS Marketing Management System which is currently available in the market. The following chart specifically shows these five challenges and their ranking within the Top 10:
Beverage Alcohol Distributors
Like consumer goods companies, beverage companies, including alcohol beverage distributors are facing similar challenges. POS is typically their second largest expense item after payroll. In fact most report that POS costs are out of control.
Distributors don’t have the ability to easily determine the beverage sales that resulted from their POS marketing investments. They lack the automated tools to accurately track, measure and manage these POS investments vs. the sales results.
Bottom line they don’t have the data at their fingertips to make better business decisions about their POS investment.
Current Industry Thinking
If you believe the current industry thinking - that more than 70% of buying decisions are made by shoppers while they are in the store - you might be more willing to accept that tracking and measuring POS produces data that shows the actual performance of your POS marketing campaigns. Armed with this information, you would be able to determine which signs, menus and messages were most effective in converting shoppers into buyers.
Once you know the most effective POS types, their best placement and the most successful messages, you can begin to focus your marketing budget for the greatest impact.
Leveraging Point-of-Sale Marketing
A growing number of beverage wholesalers are turning to Point-of-Sale (POS) Marketing Management systems to help improve sales and business performance through the tracking, measurement and management of POS Marketing campaigns and materials including: custom and permanent signage, custom beverage menus and beverage samples.
Wholesalers as a group are spending more money than ever before on POS in an effort to “win the war” where the sales battles take place – at the point-of-sale or point-of-purchase. Many distributors are adopting these POS tracking systems in response to supplier’s accelerated efforts to source cash from wholesalers by further pushing POS marketing costs down to them.
Wholesalers are being held to a higher standard of proof-of-placement by their suppliers. So, in order to qualify for marketing bill-back recovery, the distributors must provide complete and accurate data to their suppliers. With complete POS life-cycle management, distributors now have all the data they need to receive the maximum, allowable bill-back recovery from their suppliers.
To learn more about OnTrak Software POS Marketing Management solutions and the way they address all these challenges please click this button:
POS Marketing Topic - Why Isn't There More Digital Signage? - A Commentary
Posted on Digital Signage Today Website - July 3, 2013
By Lyle Bunn - BUNN Co.
Yes, the dynamic signage sector continues on its high-growth trajectory, projects are advancing and quality suppliers are running off their feet ... but some initiatives have a long gestation period, some fail to grow as would best serve organizations, and some of them just sometimes hit "a wall."
Eight primary reasons appear to account for this:
1. Inadequate benefits:
Planning and analytics fail to demonstrate (or predict) the return on investment or return on objectives. Without a reason, projects cannot "earn" required budgeting — given that funding must typically be found and re-directed from other seemingly equally worthy initiatives.
2. Return on time:
Money is but one valued corporate resource. Too often the complexity of answering necessary questions, dealing with multiple suppliers and sorting out the most cost effective approach exceeds the time or capabilities available on the part of the end-user.
3. Other priorities (lower hung fruit):
Faster return on investment and time offered by other initiatives can be more attractive. The economies of scale of digital signage reduce per unit input costs, but capturing this value often requires the immediate term demonstration of value and a longer investment cycle.
4. Fear of content:
The costs and administration needed to "feed the monster," as it has been called, can be daunting. Technology suppliers and integrators, who are most often deeply involved in the front-end sales effort, curiously are reluctant to offer informed counsel on content. More informed and sophisticated suppliers (which also happen to be some of the most successful!), understand this content is a primary element of benefit, and so offer insights to enable the project to most benefit by not allowing the lack of content strategy to hinder project success and growth.
The status quo hates project champions, and career considerations are always considered (at least privately) when end-user representatives engage in looking to digital signage to deliver enterprise or brand value. The best champions for digital signage like to be seen as innovators with business interest at heart, but not everyone is inclined to build awareness and popularity for a game-changing approach that shifts "business as usual" to higher value.
6. Expense surprises (content, deployment):
Caveat emptor is Latin for "Let the buyer beware," which has daunted some initiatives. The sin of omission by suppliers means that end-users do not get the full picture. When additional expenses become a surprise, with wariness or re-evaluation being required, the end-user can find it easy to shy away from the embarrassment of an inadequately planned and budgeted initiative.
7. Supplier silo-ing:
Integration is essential to successful digital signage since no supplier offers everything that is needed in order for the business value to be achieved. As information technology departments are increasingly leading, sourcing or directly involved in initiatives, they can bring such needed skills. Solution providers including AV/IT Integrators, "solution" providers and distributors can assist with this integration ... but it is an effort — and one that must be done well to alleviate the finger-pointing that so frustrates end-users. The answer to confusion is always "no," so minimizing the operating and supply silos of supliers closest to the end-user reduces project delays and failure to launch.
8. "Not yet-ness":
When the decision on the part of the end-user is to not proceed, it is usually a "not yet" decision, and almost always because of the above factors, typically in some combination.
When project do move forward (and hundreds if not thousands do every month), it is because the planning, including costs and payback, are well-defined. In such cases, the go-forward decision is compelling and easily made.
To read this article on the Digital Signage Today website, click this link:
About Lyle Bunn
Lyle Bunn is a highly regarded advisor and educator in North America's dynamic signage and enterprise media industry that has assisted hundreds of end-users and suppliers. He has published more than 250 articles, white papers and most recently "how to" guides for dynamic signage use in food services, education and health services. Others are in development. Contact him at Lyle@LyleBunn.com.
About OnTrak Software
OnTrak Software is a technology company that develops software solutions for the beverage industry. OnTrak’s products drive growth and value for beer, wine and spirits distributors and help them track, measure and manage their POS marketing and promotional materials, including custom and permanent point-of-sale signs, beverage samples, and custom beverage menus. More at: http://www.ontraksoftware.com
Anheuser-Busch / InBev Leverages More Effective In-Store Displays to Spur Sales of Beer
Posted on CGP Matters – In-Store Marketing – June 2013
(See Note below for full article)
By John Karolefski
To increase in-store sales of beer, Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) is relying on a category approach to display planning. The program is built on a framework of guidelines to engage shoppers more effectively.
Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), the market research company, is providing data support and consulting for the program that aims to position ABI as a valued partner for retailers interested in growing the beer category.
“It’s important to set up guidelines within organizations, but also with retailers, related to displays and execution,” said Daniel Grubbs, Principal – Consulting, IRI.
ABI’s approach to effective display execution was outlined in a recent presentation in Las Vegas at an annual conference hosted by IRI. The speakers were Grubbs and Justin Ramert, Category Management, Center of Excellence, Anheuser-Busch InBev, brewer of the iconic Budweiser and Bud Light brands of beer.
The executives said the overall beer category uses displays to drive 27% of sales. However, the category continues to underperform at 25% lift compared to adjacent and other highly merchandised categories.
To improve performance, the IRI/ABI program calls for delivering display guidelines internally to the sales team for their account plans and then externally to retailers as a part of Joint Business Planning to shape category strategy. Also, there is a focus on the details of when, where, what, and how to display.
The executives said this approach results in simplified internal planning, being seen as a value-added partner with retailers, and sales improvement of 5% in a category with 1% growth.
The objectives of the ABI display guidelines are to identify the core attributes that enhance display ROI performance, value and effectiveness for the category shoppers and retailers.
Also, the executives said display shop-ability and merchandising communications are important in enhancing shopper engagement and purchase intent. “Displays are about imagery, setting a theme and providing a landscape in how the store is being presented, as well as generating excitement,” said Grubbs. “Displays drive consumer purchase. Fifty-three percent of shoppers say that display is the number one reason in the in-store marketplace why they chose a particular brand. Also, displays build awareness and consideration that ultimately grabs the undecided [shopper].”
He added that displays encourage impulse purchasing, particularly in categories that shoppers were thinking about making a purchase in one retail store or another. But the display needs to be presented in the right way; that is, not just from a pricing standpoint. All these factors come together to grow the category, according to Grubbs.
OnTrak has been providing tools to beer distributors to help them Track, Measure and Manage their Point-of-Sale (POS) signs and displays and link sales performance to display tactics in-store.
To learn more about how we accomplish this, please click the following button:
This is not the complete article. A full article can be read at:
The Power of the In-Store Experience
Posted on the Nielsen website in their Consumer category on July 17, 2013
When shopping for groceries, the overwhelming majority of consumers around the world plan their shopping trips by using a shopping list and comparing prices. Globally, 84 percent of respondents in a recent survey conducted by Nielsen said they use a shopping list on at least a few trips and 88 percent said they compare prices. Almost two-thirds (63%) of North Americans said they rely on a shopping list for most trips, exceeding the global average of 49 percent.
New findings from a Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Shopping Behavior, which included more than 29,000 on-line respondents in 58 countries, shine a light on how consumers around the world shop and what drives category purchasing intent.
When in store, consumers actively look for deals, as roughly three-quarters of respondents said they use a promotional leaflet/flyer (78%) or coupons (71%) and purchase from end-aisle displays (74%) on at least some shopping trips. North Americans were the most active and regular coupon users, with 88 percent of respondents using them on shopping trips.
For more information and a closer look at the survey results please click the following link:
About OnTrak Software
What better way for an in-store consumer to compare prices and get the best deal; or to find the promotion they are looking for on their flyers or coupons.
Well in our industry, that's called point-of-sale marketing or POS.
OnTrak Software provides business solutions that drive growth and improve the in-store experience for consumers. Our products help TRACK, MEASURE AND MANAGE all in-store marketing and promotional materials including: printed signs, permanent displays and product samples.
For more information about our products for the consumer goods industry, please click this button:
How Point-of-Sale (POS) Displays Can Improve Your Sales Results
Published at TurnOverCosts.com by their editor on June 19, 2013
Though to a large extent the focus on advertising has shifted in recent times from the physical to the digital with the widespread prevalence of the Internet, more traditional forms are still a highly effective way of promoting your business’s goods and services. As it happens, marketing merchandise in a bold and attractive fashion, such as via point-of-sale (POS) display units, can ultimately lead to higher sales and increased profits.
Stand Out from the Crowd
In these times of such economic uncertainty, advertising is a highly competitive game, and therefore it is essential that businesses are able to market their products and services in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible. Irrespective of the nature of your business, an eye catching point-of-sale display unit can prove considerably beneficial to your business. If you are planning to utilize point-of-sale displays, it is imperative to ensure that your displays are made from high-quality materials. Poorly manufactured displays will not send out a good message to prospective customers with regard to the quality of your own products and services. Accordingly, try using the high quality acrylic display stands from renowned companies. This will ensure that your point of sale display creates the right impression.
Display the Right Way
Display techniques on the whole are an important aspect of marketing. Therefore, the manner in which you arrange your point-of-sale display can in fact have a notable effect on how well your marketing is received. Naturally, the sales environment is a highly competitive arena, and marketing executives are constantly searching for the most effective and eye-catching methods of arranging point-of-sale displays and promotional materials. The general rule of thumb is to go on instinct. Anyone with an ounce of artistic sensibility should be able to recognize immediately whether a promotional display arrangement works or not. Try experimenting with different configurations to see which arrangement is the most appealing. It is a good idea to get the opinions of others as well, in order to get a sense of how most people will respond to various point-of-sale display formations.
Mix it Up
Point-of-sale displays are by no means limited to just the simple, traditional acrylic display stand. While these undoubtedly have their place, it is worth considering other options from the myriad of display unit possibilities. Suspended displays as well as multi-purpose displays and dispensers all have their place alongside more traditional displays in the realm of conventional point-of-sale marketing. Try experimenting with a selection of various display formats, keeping in mind that the promotional materials themselves may also have some bearing on the way in which you structure your display formation.
To read the full article and other related posts, go to:
We hope that reference to this article is helpful to companies reassessing their point-of-sale marketing strategies. But the important things from OnTrak’s perspective are the answers to the following questions:
What was spent on these point-of-sale displays, and on what brands was it spent?
How much of a sales increase did I get from the POS investment?
And did I get a good return-on-investment (ROI) from my POS display investment?
OnTrak provides software tools to help distributors answer these questions and TRACK, MEASURE and MANAGE their POS marketing process for a wide variety of POS marketing and promotional materials and events, including: printed signs, permanent displays, beverage menus and product samples.
To learn more about OnTrak Software, click the following button:
RetailWire Business Tip: Effective Promotional POS – Case Study
Published by RetailWire.com under their 'Business Tip' section
Intuitively, we know that the right combination of image, design and messaging makes POS effective in driving sales. But without applying scientific discipline, it's, frankly, guesswork. See how one approach works in practice.
Applying scientific discipline to design is a challenge. The subjective nature of the creative process seems to naturally resist critical analysis and rule setting. And yet, when it comes to the art of retail — specifically point-of-sale (POS) promotion — there's too much at stake to just "go with your gut."
Tackling this challenge was the inspiration behind a service that applies objective evaluation to the art of in-store communication. Clients upload images of their designs — everything from end cap display art to shelf talkers — for analysis by a team of expert shopper marketers.
A marketing team at a global CPG brand needed to find a way to drive incremental sales and trial for one of their fabric care lines. Sweetening the consumer offer, however, was not an option; the price had to remain consistent.
The product was featured on end caps in a national retail chain but the only promotional vehicle the brand had to work with was the header card above each display.
Results: POS Design Optimization Yields 100 Percent Boost
Sales from displays featuring the revised header card increased 100 percent compared to stores which still featured the previous header card.
To read the full article and download other case studies go to:
While the technology to design, create and place impactful POS promotion materials increases every day the questions for the consumer goods companies, including beverage distributors, (the market we choose to serve), are always the same.
What did I spend on POS and on what brands did I spend it?
How much of a sales increase did I get from my POS investment?
Did I get a good return-on-investment (ROI) from my POS campaigns?
OnTrak provides software tools to help distributors answer these question and TRACK, MEASURE and MANAGE their POS marketing process for a wide variety of POS promotional materials and events, including: printed signs, permanent displays, beverage menus and product sampling.
Click the following button to learn more about OnTrak Software:
Cloud Computing: Debunking the Myths for POS Marketing Software
For the last few years, the IT world has seen the increasing popularity of Cloud Computing, easily becoming the most talked about business software solution.
The concept behind cloud computing is simple: It lets you run computer applications over the Internet, without having to buy, install or manage your own servers. You can run your company's IT operations with nothing more than a browser and an Internet connection.
The Myths of Cloud Computing – Industry Survey
More and more organizations have chosen to adopt the cloud to some extent. A Frost & Sullivan survey indicated that cloud computing has emerged as the #1 priority for a significant number of businesses.
Cloud solutions and services come in various forms and pricing models, which may have caused some IT professionals to be skeptical on how this new technology may affect their businesses. This has given rise to different myths and misconceptions about the realities of cloud computing, obscuring the many benefits it offers, such as improving business agility and reducing expenditures.
Below are some of the most common myths that Frost & Sullivan dispelled in its white paper to give a reality check on cloud computing:
Myth #1: Cloud computing is less secure than on-premise alternatives
Perhaps the most common hesitation in moving to the cloud lies in the issues of security and privacy. Due to the cloud system’s deployment of important business data to the internet, IT professionals see on-premise systems as being less prone to security breaches and risks.
In fact, cloud computing is more secure than on-premise systems in many ways, one of which due to its centralized nature. This gives it fewer points of vulnerability as compared to a more distributed on-premise solution.
Myth #2: Cloud computing is only suitable for consumers and smaller businesses
Unlike small companies, which have lesser systems that need to be migrated to the cloud, large businesses usually have more requirements and legacy systems that slow cloud adoption. Such complexity may have caused the notion that the cloud is not suitable for large organizations, when in fact it leads to the development of cloud solutions that are more comprehensive and meet stricter regulations. Integrating cloud computing with current on-premise systems in a two-tier model has also been proven useful in running multiple locations, especially on a national basis.
Myth #3: Cloud computing is not suitable for mission-critical activities
More and more companies with mission-critical activities run entirely in the cloud—Netflix, Groupon, Google and Amazon to name a few. Across the world, mission-critical applications continue to move into the public cloud, such as ERP, CRM and human resource management. This offers greater business agility compared to private clouds or traditional delivery models.
OnTrak and Cloud Computing
When OnTrak Software began developing its Point-of-Sale (POS) Marketing Management solutions over 6 years ago, we were on the leading edge of a technology called Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) - Which said another way means we run all our applications in ‘The Cloud’.
We host all our applications at Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions, a world class provider of comprehensive management for storage, servers, security, communications equipment, network, and IT infrastructure - So all of your business applications and information are secure and safe.
To learn more about cloud computing, click this link: Cloud Computing
To download a copy of the Frost & Sullivan survey, click this link: Frost & Sullivan Survey
To learn more about OnTrak’s cloud computing-based solutions, click this button:
OnTrak Software Blog Named One of the Top 10 POS Blogs
The recognition was published in a December 20, 2012 article at Point of Sale News.
For the second year in a row, OnTrak's company blog has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Point-of-Sale (POS) Blogs in an article in The Point of Sales News, an online magazine for the POS industry.
The OnTrak blog, available at www.ontraksoftware.com/blog, was labeled as a helpful resource that assists readers in saving money with their POS systems.
The blog offers valuable insight on topics such as:
Managing the entire POS marketing process - order, production and placement
Tracking POS costs and supplier bill-back recovery
POS measurement vs. sales performance - Business intelligence and reporting tools
Print shop outsourcing - Pros and Cons
OnTrak invites everyone to join the discussion and address the ongoing challenge of measuring the impact and profitability of POS marketing initiatives that cost the beverage industry billions of dollars each year.
To see some of OnTrak's recent blog discussions click these links:
We appreciate your feedback so please let us know what you think by adding your comments to any of our blog entries.
OnTrak's mission is to provide superior business solutions that drive growth and value for beverage distributors.
Our software products help beer, wine and spirits distributors TRACK, MEASURE and MANAGE their POS and marketing communications materials including custom signs, permanent displays, beverage menus and beverage samples.
For more information about OnTrak Software please click:
A Game Plan for Point-of-Purchase Excellence – Path to Purchase Institute
Strategies for cutting waste and improving execution in company-wide Point-of-Purchase (POP) efforts
This Path To Purchase Institute white paper underwritten by RockTenn in collaboration with A.T. Kearney examines strategies for cutting waste and improving execution in company-wide P-O-P efforts.
Please read the following executive summary and see why OnTrak Software is so excited about this research. One of our customers, a very large beverage distributor, is specifically mentioned on Page 11 of the whitepaper. The article mentions how they use SignTrak to streamline POP ordering and track sales information to increase profitability and capture market share.
Most CPG companies allow multiple internal groups with differing priorities to plan, develop and execute P-O-P, making the entire system difficult to manage and almost impossible to measure.
Senior management would save money by forming an in-house committee to plan and oversee P-O-P company-wide
Metrics are just as important to P-O-P programs as they are to the core business. Creating a feedback loop of program results will enhance ROI in future efforts.
Establishing deeper, long-term relationships with key suppliers can lead to P-O-P programs that are more cost-efficient, innovative and successful in building business.
Field sales must be held accountable for display execution through evaluation metrics, budget responsibility and incentive programs.
Marketers who've already implemented these recommendations report sales lifts of up to 12%, unit cost reductions as high as 45% and speed-to-market increases of up to 50%.
Those savings could be redeployed to better-conceived in-store efforts that are targeted more effectively
There are three reasons beverage distributors choose OnTrak Software.
A single point-of-control for Print Shop Management including the ordering, production and placement of signs and menus, and Inventory Control and Asset Management of permanent signs and product samples
Lower ordering and production expense for POP signs and displays, and tracking and management of both the cost of POP materials and the recovery of supplier marketing co-op dollars
Measurement of the marketing effectiveness of POP marketing campaigns with OnTrak's Integrated Analysis and Reporting Tools
Click on the following link to download the full report: A Game Plan for P-O-P Excellence
To learn more about OnTrak Products click this button:
America’s Beer Distributors Generate 130,000 Direct Jobs, $54 Billion in U.S. Economic Benefits
New Study Measures Jobs, Economic Impact and Community Service
Posted January 17, 2013 at NBWA - News - Press Release Features
ALEXANDRIA, VA – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) today released a new economic impact report – America’s Beer Distributors: Fueling Jobs, Generating Economic Growth & Delivering Value to Local Communities – that provides the first-ever comprehensive report on beer distribution companies’ total impact on national and state economies.
The report, produced by Dr. Bill Latham and Dr. Ken Lewis of the Center for Applied Business & Economic Research at the University of Delaware, provides an in-depth view of beer distributors’ economic contributions by taking into account how beer distributor activities are intertwined with many parts of the economy, especially the personal services sector. The report also accounts for the amount of resources contributed by beer distributors in supporting community events and local economic development, contributing to charitable causes and promoting responsible alcohol use and adds the impacts of these activities to the usual impacts of distributor operations.
“The beer distribution sector is a hidden gem that has been tremendously undervalued in previous economic reports,” said Dr. Latham. “Fueling more than 345,000 direct and indirect jobs, beer distributors add $54 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product and offer far reaching benefits to brewers, retailers, consumers and government agencies at all levels.”
Key findings of the new economic impact study include:
- The beer distribution industry directly employs more than 130,000 people in the United States.
- When the impacts of distributor capital investment and community involvement are considered, the total number of impact jobs exceeds 345,000.
- Beer distributors add $54 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product.
- Beer distributor activities contribute nearly $10.3 billion to the federal, state and local tax bases. This does not include the nearly $11 billion in federal, state and local alcohol excise and consumption taxes.
- The beer distribution industry contributes more than $22 billion in transportation efficiencies for the beer industry each year.
- Beer distributor contributions to local community activities generate $175 million in impacts annually.
“With more than 3,300 independent beer distribution companies directly employing more than 130,000 hardworking men and women in communities across the country, America’s beer distribution industry provides significant economic value,” said NBWA President & CEO Craig Purser.
“Distributors deliver economic benefits in their communities through local business-to-business commerce, investments in local infrastructure and capital assets and tax revenue. They provide services that improve efficiency for trading partners, especially small brewers and retailers, and they ensure fair prices and a broad selection of products for consumers to enjoy. This new economic impact report offers a thorough look at many of these previously unreported economic benefits.”
To view the Full Report, including state by state data, please visit www.nbwa.org.
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About OnTrak Software
OnTrak Software provides point-of-sale / point-of-purchase (POS/POP) marketing management software to beer distributors, helping them track their POS/POP costs and effectiveness of their marketing investment.
To learn more about OnTrak, click this button: