One Blog |July 5, 2016 | Marketing At-Retail
To Dominate With POS In Your Market, You Need OnTrak's Digital Tools
Millions of POS initiatives have been “tracked” (ordered, produced and placed) using OnTrak’s suite of POS Digital Toolsâ„¢ (e.g., SignTrak, PermaTrak, MenuTrak and SampleTrak) over the past 8 years.
Additionally, as of today, nearly 200,000 draught line cleanings have been scheduled, completed and reported on using LineTrak — in just over the past 4 months.
Every day both of these tracking numbers grow and draught line cleaning data alone increases at a pace of over 50,000 every month.
With these counts and growth statistics in mind, we have come to the conclusion that after 8 years of being in business, OnTrak has emerged as the leader in collecting, measuring and managing the critical data for point-of-sale marketing and draught line-cleaning — Data that is required by beverage alcohol distributors and their suppliers and partners to more effectively sell their products
At first glance, I must admit I paused to let the sheer magnitude of the above numbers above sink in. After all, when we started we had but one Kentucky AB distributor as our customer, and it was over a year later until we added our second distributor customer, Silver Eagle, in Houston.
But, in the last 8 years we have grown to over 100 distributor customers and have retained about 97% of them year after year.
Those Who Collect the Data Are Those Who Have the Answers
Clearly, tracking, measuring and managing POS marketing intelligence data is a highly valuable function for beer, wine and spirits distributors and their suppliers.
Two similar OnTrak products, SignTrak and MenuTrak have led the way in allowing our customers to efficiently order and produce custom POS signs and menus and get them to market ahead of the competition. As follow-on, they are able to determine the ROI of their POS campaigns, grow their market share, and increase sales.
For many distributors, having unprecedented access to POS and line-cleaning data has become an important core competency, and having POS and line cleaning Digital Toolsâ„¢ has become one of their industry’s “Best Practices.” Distributors tell us, too, that speeding marketing materials to the local trade increases the retail shopper’s awareness of their brands one to two days ahead of the competition. The value of this alone is often an increase in the distributor’s market share.
If the changes in the retail landscape and shopper’s buying habits weren’t challenging enough, distributors face an almost daily launch of new brands, products and “extensions” in the constantly reshaping beer, wine and spirits market. Distributors’ customers, the retail tier, want to know what is trending and what marketing initiatives are available to them to support their revenue and unit-sales goals. Additionally, suppliers increasingly want to know what the distributor is doing at-retail to support their brands and introduce new brands and new packages.
The Pressure is On
Distributors are getting squeezed from above and below; and, their best defense is accurate, timely and meaningful marketing and demand data. Often distributors stand to have the lion’s share of their POS marketing costs offset by suppliers if only the distributors can provide visual-verification of POS materials in their proper place, or drink menu proofs that can be filed along with their marketing co-op or allowance claims.
Of course the distributor wins, too, if draught line-share, menu dominance figures and first to market advantage data can be captured and easily reported. Naturally, the ability to create and execute custom surveys at on-premise accounts will provide distributors with actionable information, too.
A distributor’s sales force is their eyes and ears both on and off-premise. Reps that use digital methods for the ordering and placement of POS promotions provide the distributor with the ability to be more agile than their competitors. Reps who can order POS materials on smartphones, laptops and Apple or Android tablets gain virtually instantaneous ordering capabilities for permanent and temporary signs, displays and POS enhancers allowing production, placement and other merchandizing activities to get underway hours or even days ahead of the competition.
Keeping a Competitive Advantage
As you know, the first step toward gaining or keeping competitive advantage is being able to respond to the need for POS marketing initiatives while your sales reps and merchandizers are “in the aisle” — your sales team should be able to see the retail environment and place an order for marketing materials at the place and moment they recognize the need, not hours later once they have returned to the office.
Next, once the POS initiatives have been placed at the retail location, sales data should be made available to correlate with the POS data to determine trends — to determine what results were associated with the POS campaign. Adjustments — that is, responses to — POS initiatives are most effective when done through the lens of: Did this POS campaign increase sales or market share? Did we sell more draught beer when the lines are cleaned regularly?
With new beer, wine and spirits products being introduced by the thousands every year, it has become impossible — as a practical matter — to effectively and efficiently track, measure and manage your POS marketing campaigns without purpose-built POS and tap-line cleaning Tracking Tools; every new brand and product clamors for POS support; and, every clean draught line delivers better tasting beer or wine.
Here are Some Facts
An ever greater number of distributors remark that POS expenses, which have always been shrouded in a bit of mystery are all but completely out of control. This is largely due to the lack of distributor data pertaining to POS marketing. Indeed, POS campaigns during this time of relatively low diesel fuel costs have solidly become most beverage alcohol distributor’s number 2 expense behind payroll.
Keeping tabs on your POS expenses is, if nothing else, prudent.
Now is the time to consider adopting POS tracking and draught line cleaning Digital Tools to gain competitive advantage and provide you with a means of measuring and managing two key core competencies of today’s beverage alcohol distributor.
I urge you to schedule an on-line demonstration of our Digital Tools to help your Track, Measure and Manage you POS Marketing investment.