One Blog |January 18, 2011 | POS Tracking Software

Measuring and Managing Point-of-Sale Marketing - Why Bother?

Mark Fullerton

Recently, another top-25 alcohol beverage distributor became an OnTrak customer.

We’ve been working with this company since 2007, trying unsuccessfully, until now, to get them to adopt OnTrak applications to help them manage, control and measure their Marketing at-Retail campaigns and initiatives.

I cannot actually recall a prospective OnTrak customer uttering the words, “why bother” when speaking about managing and measuring the activities and expenses associated with their at-retail marketing efforts. In fact, beverage distributors seem quite proud of their in-house graphics production people – even if they seldom associate their capabilities with a core business (sales) support function. It often appears that beverage distribution executives think of their graphics departments and print shops much as they think about the weather – “Everyone talks about it, but,” and you know the rest – sort of an implied “why bother.”

So what changed with our new customer? Why, after resisting our advances for over three years, are more beverage distributors having an apparent change of heart? Maybe it’s because some have 'seen the light' (the OnTrak light). But there are still those who seem to think Marketing at-Retail is like death and taxes: Inevitable, and there’s only so much that can be done to avoid them, respectively.

In a recent meeting with the CEO of this distributorship, he made a comment about the tens of thousands of dollars he was spending on point-of-sale signage annually with a sports bar chain. At first his remarks suggested to us that the amount of spending was excessive, and that he wanted a 'system' to help him reduce his sign expenses at this account. But, we misunderstood.  What he said was that although he thought the amount of money seemed like too much; what he really meant was that he had no idea if the amount he was spending was appropriate. Initially he thought he might be able get away with spending less, but he also recognized that it was entirely possible he wasn’t spending enough.

The fact was he just didn’t have the information to make the best decision. Not being able to measure or manage what he was getting in return for his 'investment' was the issue that finally pushed him 'over the edge' to move forward and adopt the OnTrak business tools. He shared that he wanted to know not only where and how much he was spending, but also what he was getting for his money. In other words, his at-retail marketing initiatives were too important to his distribution business to not know, or not bother.

We’ve finally learned that beverage distributors – who, after all, spend their time and treasure supporting their customers’ sales efforts with POS materials, menus and samples – want to be able to measure and control their costs and predict the likely outcomes of their point of sale promotional efforts. What our beverage distributor wanted to be able to say was:

"We spent $30,000 on banners at that restaurant chain, and we can show that it created $500,000 in additional revenue."

Are you able to say that? Do you have the systems and information available to you that allows you to make a similar statement?

If not, then perhaps its time to join the beverage distribution industry professionals who are rapidly realizing that at-retail marketing is a powerful tool for their business – not only an important offensive sales tool, but perhaps the best defense against losing to their competition.

Let us know what you think?

Mark Fullerton

Brewing Data For Over 100 Clients.

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