One Blog |December 7, 2012 | POS Tracking Software

POS Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing — Our Thoughts

Mark Fullerton

Does your company use point-of-sale (POS) marketing materials or campaigns to promote your beverage brands in a retail setting? If so I hope the following information starts you and your company on an interesting journey.

Whether you call it POS, point-of-purchase (POP) or Shopper Marketing, you should become very familiar with the following organizations and their websites: 

Beverage Companies and POS Marketing

Based on our research, we’re concerned that many beverage companies, especially beverage alcohol distributors and suppliers, are not familiar with these organizations. The truth is that as a software company we spend entirely too much time educating the beverage market about the importance of point-of-sale marketing management, and creating demand for our products; and not enough time fulfilling the demand of companies that ‘get’ the importance of tracking, measuring and managing their point-of-sale marketing campaigns.

We have been in business for over five years, since 2007, and have yet to see evidence that our customers or prospects study the magazines or websites these organizations produce and update on a regular basis. Nor are they intimately familiar with the content of these organization’s publications, whitepapers, blogs, commentary or articles.  We are very familiar with their research and market data and often include such thought leadership, trends and best practices in our presentations demonstrations and blogs. This information is often viewed as very useful and meaningful to those who hear the ‘news’.

The Benefits of Shopper Marketing (aka POS/POP Marketing) 

The above referenced organizations, if they do nothing else, use their websites and publications to present and discuss the benefits of Shopper Marketing initiatives such as: 

  • Building brand identity and providing sales lift
  • Measuring the key performance indicators, including the return-on investment (ROI) of the marketing campaigns
  • Keeping the brand closely aligned with the consumer thereby increasing the chance for continuing and/or increasing sales lift

Tracking, Measuring and Managing POS/POP Marketing

It strikes us as ironic that when we open up a new issue of Shopper Marketing magazine, we regularly see articles — not ads, pertaining to the role of shopper marketing in promoting beverages at-retail. The real irony is that often the articles discuss how specific brands and products are marketed at-retail.

What is both confusing and frustrating is the minimal mention of the readily available tools that will help companies track, measure and manage POS/POP materials and campaigns to determine the most effective ways to connect with consumers and convert shoppers into buyers.

Recently there has been new research on POS/POP compliance. Studies point out that less than 50% of all POS/POP that is produced by manufacturers is actually placed correctly. So you would think that measuring ROI and compliance should be Job #1.

As Deming said, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

Consumer goods manufacturers rank POS/POP materials and campaigns as their #2 expense behind cost of goods sold. At such a level of expense, wouldn’t you think they would demand to know the effectiveness and compliance of their campaigns, and measure sales lift and ROI? Instead, current shopper marketing approaches seem to be evolving without tracking and measurement.

POS/POP Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

Today’s consumer marketing seems to emphasize social media and cross-promotional web-sites. While this approach may build or reinforce a brand’s image, it is nearly impossible to measure how much, if any, correlation there is between being “liked” on Facebook and sales lift. All we know is that social media’s impact is difficult to measure beyond the number of friends. Compared to Social Media, POS/POP marketing programs can produce measurable ROI and impact sales lift in a positive way.

If you’re activating social media as part of your overall marketing strategy, I am not suggesting you abandon this “complimentary” tactic. What I am suggesting is that you first or simultaneously consider determining the ROI of your POS/POP initiatives by tracking, measuring, managing and assuring compliance (placement at-retail) to achieve optimal impact.  Simply adding social media without knowing the impact of POS/POP programs may make you feel like you are keeping up, but you’re really only throwing something at the wall in hopes that it will stick.

To learn more about tools to track, measure and manage POS/POP Marketing campaigns, click this button:

Over 100 Beverage-Alcohol Distributors Trust OnTrak solutions.

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Wine & Spirits Wholesales of AmericaNational Beer Wholesalers Association Path to Purchase Institute

Hundreds of Beverage-Alcohol Wholesalers Use OnTrak

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