One Blog |May 28, 2013 | POS Tracking Software

Point-of-Sale Marketing Impact - What Are You Measuring?

Mark Fullerton

As point-of-sale (POS) marketing continues to claim more of the total marketing budget for consumer goods companies, perhaps it is time to ask an obvious question:

What objectives are you hoping to achieve with your deployment of POS promotional materials?

POS Objectives

I suppose the answer depends on who is answering the question.

  • Managers charged with bringing a new product to market may use POS to help drive awareness of the new item.
  • Managers responsible for established brands and products may be more interested in retaining or growing brand loyalty.
  • Marketers employed by retailers, on the other hand, may understandably be more interested in using POS to benefit the retailer’s goals – e.g., aisles that are of uniform appearance, unadorned by product promotions that will differentiate products.

Of course POS marketing’s dominant or overall objective is often simply: “To Increase Sales!”

Based on our experience in the beverage industry (the single largest category of consumer goods), increasing sales is usually the primary objective associated with POS marketing – especially for sales executives and their field sales teams.

POS Marketing Budgets

If you accept that today – for most brands and products – there is but one budget line item for marketing, it should be clear that traditional marketing and POS marketing can be at odds with each other for their respective piece of the pie.

At the beginning of each budgeting cycle there will be those (Brand Manager types) who lobby for the traditional mass media spending, and those (Sales Manager types) who argue in favor of increasing POS marketing initiatives. This contention for budget share gives rise to the question:

“How do I defend shifting money from the traditional marketing approach to POS marketing?”

The justification for spending more on at-retail marketing initiatives – thereby reducing the spending for traditional marketing – should be relatively easy since POS marketing is typically correlated with increased sales. But for reasons that aren’t altogether clear – to me, at least – POS marketers are all-too-often on the defensive when it comes to making the case for increasing the budget for marketing at-retail campaigns.

Perhaps it is a case of POS marketers lacking readily available tools to measure (or prove) the basic correlation between POS initiatives and sales lift. Or that measuring this one aspect of POS marketing is not yet a routine matter. Or when lobbying for budget increases, they tout the improved credibility of the at-retail approach, but try to do too much at once.

Listening To Our Customers

Listening to our customers vs. reading case studies, white papers and other learned works from organizations like POPAI and The Path to Purchase Institute is a study of sharp contrast.

On one hand both sides agree that it is important to measure the impact of POS marketing. On the other hand our customers tell us that it is imperative to first get the basics right and repeatable. The point-of-sale specialists tell us we must do more than measure and correlate POS marketing spend to sales lift.

As a practical matter our customers tell us that what they need to improve their POS marketing initiatives is to know the basics:

  • How much money is being spent on POS initiatives?
  • Where is the money being spent and on what types of POS?

Also our customers say they need tools that:

  • Track their retail marketing materials speed to market.
  • Collect the data that will allow them to determine the ROI of their POS marketing by correlating POS spending to sales by product, brand, sales territory and budget.

The OnTrak Solution

Simply put, valuable POS marketing management tools should allow suppliers and distributors alike to gain operational efficiency by:

  • Identifying and bringing POS marketing costs under control
  • Getting POS materials in front of shoppers before the competition
  • Collecting data that will identify the POS campaigns that yield the most significant sales lift and deliver the highest ROI.

To learn more about OnTrak’s Marketing Management solutions, please click this button:

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