One Blog |March 6, 2013 | POS Tracking Software

The Importance of Point-of-Sale Marketing Measurement

Mark Fullerton


According to the Path to Purchase Institute (, “traditional media” (TV, print, etc.) will see a budget decrease of 37% in 2013; meanwhile, at-retail or shopper marketing is poised to increase over 47%”.

Digging a bit deeper into the statistics, we find that over 58% of packaged food, beverages, candy, beer, wine and liquor products are forecasted to enjoy shopper marketing budget increases of between .1% to over 10% during 2013.  In fact, it bears noting that for 2013 the food and beverage category forecasts the largest overall shopper marketing budget increase of all of CPG product categories.


As I examined these 2013 trends, I wondered exactly what these statistics meant, beyond the obvious. Here are some of my conclusions:

To begin with, it is clear that marketing at-retail spending continues to grow apparently at the expense of traditional media spending. Why? 

The most logical reason for this one form of promotion beginning to show signs that it will dominate other forms is that marketing at the “point-of-shopping/point-of-sale” (POS) is actually fulfilling its promise — Increased sales. According to organizations like P2PI and the Point of Purchase Association International (, the results are in, and POS works.

Yet there are some disturbing inconsistencies that are revealed when the “growth in POS spend” statistics are examined more closely.

The most glaring inconsistency is that the majority of companies who report their intent to shift more of their marketing dollars to POS aren’t even measuring POS results. For example: Very few are correlating POS promotional initiatives to sales during the time period the POS is deployed. How do they know their POS is working?

The majority of evidence from POS organizations, like P2PI and POPAI, is that at-retail marketing promotion works, is cost-effective and measurable. Yet survey after survey — some from these same organizations — suggest that relatively few companies actually track, measure and verify POS placement.  It seems to me that POS is possibly more a matter of faith than a matter of certainty.

The Importance of Measurement

Our view is that the most important piece required to improve your POS marketing practices and results is measurement. Of nearly equal importance is the ability to track the orders, costs and ratios of POS to retail spending.

In other words, it is important to know when an order for POS was placed, for which customer and by what sales rep or merchandiser. It is important to know how much the POS cost to create, and if it was actually placed at the retail location during the period of the promotion (verification/compliance).

How do you get there? (if you are among the majority of companies who aren’t there yet)

Although we certainly hope you will consider our suite of software applications designed to Track, Measure and Manage industrial strength POS campaigns, what is definitely required is for you to set a course for your promotions that includes adopting the tools that will enable the planning, execution and measurement of your POS initiatives.

Without this approach, your POS spend may continue to increase in 2013, 2014 and beyond, and you won’t have a clue how to get the most out of the dollars you put into it.

For more information about OnTrak and its POS measurement tools, please click this button.

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