One Blog |January 24, 2013 | POS Tracking Software

Three Steps to Improve Point-of-Purchase (POP) Performance

Mark Fullerton

According to countless articles, at-retail and shopper marketing organizations, and numerous consultants and textbooks, there is no better place to market your brands and products than at the point-of-purchase (POP).

POP materials are placed in the retail store where you have an opportunity to advertise your product, and where your target customer has an opportunity to buy.

While the preceding may seem like a blinding glimpse of the obvious, it bears repeating that POP advertising is a unique form of advertising.


Unlike other advertising — TV, print and even most Internet ads — POP advertising is the only form of marketing that promotes brands and products at the time and place when they can actually be purchased. In other words, POP allows the impulse to “buy now” to be satisfied. No other form of advertising can make this claim.

POP Definition

Let me make the definition of POP as clear and uncomplicated as possible:

If you can buy the product at the time (and place) the promotional material is displayed, that promotional material is considered POP advertising. This of course now includes advertising that “pops up” (no pun intended) while you are on-line looking at a specific web-page and are given the opportunity to “buy now” by clicking on a button or link.

OK, that’s our definition of Point-of-Purchase Marketing.

What do we need to do to maximize the impact (the results) of our POP programs?

Simply put, the three steps needed to improve POP performance are to: track, measure and manage POP campaigns to make sure your in-store marketing execution is effective — both in costs and marketing impact.

We also need to make absolutely certain that every opportunity to provide actionable data pertaining to POP programs to retailers, wholesalers, suppliers and manufacturers is not overlooked. This is especially important when there are marketing charge-back dollars, that are available to you.

Track, Measure and Manage Explained

1. Track

Tracking deals with the process of ordering POP, regardless of who orders these materials. Some companies delegate POP materials ordering to sales representatives, while other companies assign POP ordering to sales administrative assistants and placement to merchandizing personnel. When we speak of tracking, we include configuring, producing and placing of POP materials in the retailer’s aisle. Tracking, therefore, is associated with customer relationships, the creative process for custom (printed) POP and inventory and asset management for permanent POP displays and materials and samples.

2. Measure

Measuring is where analysis comes into play. You may have heard that you can’t manage what you don’t measure. With respect to retail marketing, it is important to measure where, when and the amount of POP material that is placed. Likewise POP costs as percentage of sales is measured and calculated allowing the determination of optimal spend by brand, product or retailer.

3. Manage

Managing is accomplished via report generation that details and accounts for supplier marketing co-op allowance recovery and POP return-on-investment determination. Supplier policies, procedures and rules are recorded and applied during the production of reports thus assuring supplier relationships are managed according to master agreements.


In-store POP signs and displays have quickly grown in importance, keeping in lock-step with shoppers as they accelerate and shift their buying decisions to the point-of-purchase. Indeed, it is not an overstatement to believe in-store marketing execution is the critical, make-or-break factor during the introduction of new brands and products. But it is also very important for established brands in order to prevent market-share erosion.

If you incorporate these three steps to your POP marketing initiatives — track, measure and manage — you will gain (and retain) an advantage over your competition.

To learn more about how OnTrak Software products help you to track, measure and manage your point-of-purchase marketing campaigns and materials, please click this button.

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