One Blog |April 22, 2014 | POS Tracking Software

You Deserve More From Your Point-of-Sale Marketing Investment

Mark Fullerton

POS — Competitive Advantage or “Black Hole" of Expense

When we ask beverage alcohol distributors for an opinion regarding their at-retail or point-of-sale (POS) marketing activities in the context of their overall business operations, it is not uncommon for us to hear that POS marketing is considered necessary, yet the processes of ordering and producing it are widely disliked.

OnTrak customers and prospects alike have told us they consider POS marketing to be a competitive tool or weapon; and, that it is vital in the battle of getting their products noticed in an over-crowded retail space.  However, these same companies will often tell us that they believe their POS marketing spending is out-of-control and that they really have no way to know what really happens as a result of placing signs and other marketing collateral in the retail environment. 

Beyond a somewhat vague notion that POS materials are not optional, beverage distributors, often simply create and place their POS in the marketplace and hope for the best. Often these companies adopt an OnTrak product, SignTrak, for example, and only use it to track POS orders and production therefore limiting the benefits to reducing re-works and speeding time to market.

Elimination of Errors Is Not Enough

Rework reduction alone often pays for the subscription to an OnTrak product — and that is, of course, a good thing. But, wouldn’t it be beneficial if you could not only keep track of the POS you have placed, and also measure its effectiveness and then use this information when placing POS materials in the future? 

Think of it this way, when placing a bet at the roulette table, wouldn’t it be great if you knew, in advance, what the winning color and winning number would be? You’d be able to place a winning bet every time.

Unlike traditional marketing (broadcast and print), which is typically measured by estimating the audience numbers, POS marketing can actually create a measurable sales increase. Once you begin measuring or correlating POS placement to sales, you’ll be somewhat in the position of the gambler above who knows the winning number and color at the roulette table. 

POS Costs vs. Sales Impact

Correlating POS marketing to a sales outcome is comparatively easy to measure and report on, whereas a TV ad for a particular product does not typically have a measurable relationship pertaining to a sales outcome. We know how many households may have seen a particular TV ad last Tuesday night, for example; what we don’t know is if this TV ad influenced or is in some way correlated to a sales outcome on Wednesday.

Increasing the Odds of Success with OnTrak

OnTrak’s products increase the odds of sales success in the process of POS marketing by measuring the effectiveness of your at-retail promotions. Of course there is some work that has to be done to be able to correlate a particular POS initiative with sales.

It is worth the effort, however. Studies have shown that companies who monitor POS spending by customer account can increase their market share simply by either increasing the frequency of at-retail marketing events or by increasing the size of the message. One large OnTrak customer says that by using SignTrak’s reporting capabilities, they have learned that when it comes to at-retail signage, “bigger is better and less is more.” No longer do their marketing initiatives focus on “wallpapering” the retailer rather, they now concentrate strategically placing one or two larger signs with a branding and/or pricing message.

Once adopted, the above approach requires your at-retail representatives and merchandizers to utilize analytics to help them with more effective POS marketing decision making which in turn will help drive sales growth. The good news — especially if you’re an OnTrak customer — is the data needed to drive your analyses are captured by our products. The Detail Report Writers found in each of our products automates much of the process of analyzing what POS is most effective by customer, brand and product.

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