One Blog |August 2, 2018 | POS Analytics

You May Not Know It Yet But Very Soon You Will Need POS Marketing Analytics

Mark Fullerton

In our July 10th, 2018 blog, (The Future of POS Marketing for Beverage Alcohol Distributors) we said:

"POS analytics and automated tools . . . help you and your sales and marketing teams track, measure, and manage all your POS initiatives to determine the ROI of your POS management tools and the ROI of your various POS campaigns."

In this current blog, we’re going to elaborate on the value and competitive advantage POS Marketing analytics — and data visualization or dashboards — can bring to your beverage-alcohol distribution business.

Long Live Spreadsheets?

It's been about four decades since the invention in 1978 of spreadsheets like “Visicalc” for the Apple II.

Yet many beverage-alcohol distributors still use spreadsheets almost exclusively to keep track of their marketing and sales promotions.

With point-of-sale (POS) Marketing, a common process is to send out emails with attachments to the “the sales teams”. The sales reps and managers are provided with a lot of rows and columns telling them what happened — last month, last quarter or last trimester.

OnTrak’s products do support this report-card via spreadsheet approach, so we’re not suggesting that spreadsheets shouldn’t be used.

Not yet anyway.

Rather we’re suggesting that you consider adopting a more visual approach to quickly give you and your teams a graphical representation of what’s going on in the business. Then when circumstances require, drilling down into the data that makes up the dashboard view.

Focus on the Future, Not the Past

You see, distributors with their eye on the future shouldn’t just look at the past.

Spreadsheets and other text and numbers-based reporting tools are fine, especially when you want to find out specific details about what happened last month. But without some ability to visualize your data it’s difficult, virtually impossible, for you to have an idea of what likely will happen, rather than what just happened.

All the Data You Need

Spreadsheets, which comprise most of management reporting, can’t or don’t show you the correlation between your POS marketing and merchandising efforts and actual sales results.

It's difficult, if not impossible, to get all of the data you need in one place to do the correlation and then visually present it — Especially data that comes from different systems. In addition to not having all of the needed data together at the same time is the lack of tools to easily create the analyses most distributors tell us they need.

Well, such software tools have been available for a number of years, but often the cost of this software has been prohibitive and the skill-set to use the software was frequently unavailable and expensive also.

Data Visualization — New OnTrak Capability

OnTrak Software - Visualize Your POS Marketing DataIn the last few years, software to help visualize data has substantially decreased in price and the skillsets necessary to get the most out of such software have likewise been reduced by more intuitive and powerful user interfaces.

With this in mind, we started this year down the path to modernize our software and add data visualization (dashboards) to allow our customers — beverage-alcohol distributors — to truly analyze the costs and impact of their POS.

This new approach allows distributor to better predict the impact of their POS promotions based on historical data stored in their OnTrak applications.

Our goal, later this year, is to enable our customers to go far beyond producing a spreadsheet merely recapping “what has happened”.

We will now offer our customers the tools to determine what will likely happen in the future based on their placement of POS materials.

Unlocking the Power of POS Marketing Analysis

Analysis of the impact of Point-of-Sale promotions (the correlation between POS expense and sales) enables wholesale distributors to better analyze the relationship between POS initiatives and what is actually being sold.

Examples of POS initiatives for beverage distributors would include such things as custom, temporary signs, permanent displays, beverage samples and menus, and other promotional materials — placed where shoppers become buyers.

Having access to this kind of information not only helps distributors track and manage the performance of their POS but can also help distributors as they project the impact of upcoming POS promotions.

Here’s an example:

If you, as a distributor, knew the likely impact of signage promotion (i.e., a price reduction or other incentive) before the POS was placed, you’d be better equipped to tell your customers that the POS you’re planning to place in their stores is likely to be associated with a 9% increase in sales.

Being able to do this might create an opportunity to increase your customer’s order size for the upcoming period. Wouldn’t that be nice.

This may sound “too good to be true,” but with a little help from analytics, data visualization, or dashboards, you really can support this and other kinds of analysis based on your POS data.

When You’re Ready to Start “Crossing the Chasm”

It really does bear repeating:

“While you may not know it yet, very soon you will need such a POS management tool in order to keep up with your competition that does.”

Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place and time to find out more about both the present and future of tracking POS Marketing.

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For more information on how OnTrak’s POS Tracking Software helps distributors track, measure and manage their POS Marketing campaigns click on either of the following two links for find out what we know about:

Beer Distributors

Wine & Spirits Distributors

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To request a live, 30-minute demonstration of our POS Tracking Software, please call our product experts on 513-936-4041, or click the button and select the one or more products from the following list:

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SignTrak - Custom Printed Signs

MenuTrak - Custom Beverage Menus

PermaTrak - Permanent Signs and Displays

SampleTrak - Beverage Samples and Tastings

*Integrated reporting and analysis tools are included in each of our POS Marketing software solutions

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