One Blog |July 9, 2012 | POS Tracking Software

Turn Your Point of Sale Marketing Data into Dollars

Mark Fullerton

If you’re like most companies, you probably already have most or all of the data you need to grow your sales. Unfortunately what most companies don’t have is an understanding of how to turn their data into actionable information.

Point of Sale Marketing Works

When we work with prospective customers, we ask them questions about the impact of their point-of-sale (POS) marketing efforts. Typically their answers suggest that they believe POS, shopper marketing or trade promotion works. In other words, it influences shoppers’ behavior — both defensively and offensively. Most sales and marketing managers believe they must use POS marketing because their competition uses it (defensive). Others use POS because they want their product or brand to stand out, or believe that “price sells product and POS informs the shopper of the price” (offensive).

Although these perspectives are good to know and may cause some action, these beliefs are rarely based on any identifiable data points. In short, sales managers authorize or require POS expenditures based largely on guesswork or an unsubstantiated “rules of thumb”.

The Case for POS Analytics

Most sales and marketing managers probably know, by name, their top 5 customers.  They also typically know their top selling products and, in some cases, can even rank them. What they seem challenged to identify are such fundamental data points as sales by brand, product, customer, region or rep compared to the associated POS marketing. They often have a vague notion of the total amount spent on POS or shopper marketing — but other than expressing shock and awe at the sums spent on POS materials, little else is known.

Most managers have no idea how POS campaigns influenced sales; therefore, they have no idea how POS marketing can be fine-tuned to generate a sales lift or provide competitive advantage. What often happens regarding shopper marketing is little more than the manager’s “gut feel.” What is lacking, most managers agree, is how to get started with POS analytics — Or said another way, “How do we turn our POS data into dollars?”

Good News

There is some encouraging news that I can report. According to a recent study by Consumer Goods Technology (CGT), “Analytics is recognized as a critical capability by even the smallest of companies.” Also, according to CGT in their May, 2012 research article, Making an Impact with Analytics, “. . .analytics and insights. . .are having the biggest impact on sales; accordingly, more than one-third of those surveyed believe customer or retailer data will provide the biggest value within the next 24 months.”      

How to Get Started

One of the first and easiest steps you can take to get started with analytics is to correlate your POS spend for a defined period to customer and product demand during the same period. Next, POS campaigns can be tweaked and sales results measured for impact until trends are identified and results can be replicated.  If you are tracking your POS spending, by product and customer and correlating POS spend to sales by product and customer, you will be on your way to improving the effectiveness and impact of your POS. Your sales team will have the information and insight to identify trends and issues and begin to optimize your at-retail marketing programs.  

To get started with measured and managed POS, and gain a competitive advantage with POS analytics, please give us a call at 513-936-4037.

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