One Blog |July 22, 2013 | POS Tracking Software

At-Retail Marketing - An Unstoppable Force

Mark Fullerton

Unless you’re an immovable object, get out of the way

Sometimes I get the feeling I’m in a secret club.

I research trends, read numerous shopper marketing case-studies and white papers, and work to stay current with the technologies relating to at-retail / point-of-sale (POS) marketing.

I meet with our customers – beverage alcohol distribution companies – who are rapidly expanding into a wider variety of beverages and other consumer goods products. I’m trying to learn what results they are achieving with their shopper marketing, point-of-sale and trade promotion initiatives.

Also, during product demonstrations with prospective customers, I hear them explain why gaining or retaining control of their at-retail promotional initiatives has never been as important as it is at this very moment.

What makes me wonder if I’m in a secret club is my perception that there has been a virtual explosion of companies – supplier, distributors and retailers – who have apparently only recently discovered the benefits of marketing at-retail, advertising and promotion. Yet for years we have analyzed numerous shopper marketing studies which have been telling us about the merits of marketing at-retail. The most significant being:

  • If your goal is to increase sales at retail, then point-of-sale marketing is the best way to turn a shopper into a buyer.

For those of us, like OnTrak, who spend most of our time focused on delivering value to POS marketing initiatives, the data supporting the measurable benefits of shopper marketing are practically as old as the concept of retailing itself.

Mass Media Marketing

Yet marketers still put most of their resources and money on whatever passes for ‘mass media’ of the day. Apparently it is assumed that mass media represented the least expensive way to reach the masses. But mass media is measured by the cost per ‘views’ or ‘clicks’, not by its impact on sales results. Historically, mass media marketing would, at best, measure audience size – with the thought being that it was almost impossible to measure the direct impact of countless millions of dollars of print and broadcast advertising.

Another perspective is that marketing is merely advertising created for the broadest market and, as such should be considered as nothing more than ‘sales support’. As noted in earlier blogs, marketing – done right – should actually render sales superfluous. (Note 1) We don't believe this to be true.

At-Retail Marketing

The truth of the matter is that marketing, most especially marketing at-retail, is best suited to measure customers’ buying behaviors, and thereby increase sales.

Something recently – perhaps the Great Recession – has jolted the marketing departments of consumer goods companies into making dramatic changes in their approaches to customers and their presentation of brands and products. Today, these companies’ top executives are questioning why traditional marketing hasn't been able to demonstrate its contribution to the corporation’s financial performance, while POS marketing does.

Make no mistake, at-retail or shopper marketing is gaining momentum. The one overarching reason for the surge is that these initiatives are so vital to a company's revenue growth and financial success. No topic is of higher importance today than measuring the impact of POP/POS marketing on revenue.

Today, at the core of marketing thought is the notion that marketing is about selling more and creating and growing brands. At-retail marketing is uniquely positioned to effectively and efficiently achieve these ends.

OnTrak’s Approach

Until recently, tracking, managing and measuring the costs and impact of your at-retail, shopper marketing initiatives, was a manual, time-consuming and expensive proposition. Now, with tools from OnTrak, this is no longer the case.

OnTrak provides a set of standardized business systems to track and manage the POP/POS (at-retail) marketing process, as well as a set of analysis and reporting tools to help you measure the effectiveness and ROI of your POP/POS marketing.

To learn more about OnTrak products, please click this button:

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Note 1: Peter Drucker, “The Essential Peter Drucker (Part 1): “…the aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

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