One Blog |January 14, 2013 | POS Tracking Software
POS Marketing and POP Marketing: A Necessary Evil or a Necessity?
OnTrak’s Historical Perspective
Our first customer started using our web-based software to track, measure and manage their point-of-sale or point-of-purchase (POS/POP) marketing promotions in late 2004. To bring our beverage alcohol distributor live on our premier point-of-sale marketing management application required input from our customer’s top management, their marketing and sales teams and the graphic designers and sign shop personnel.
That system, named SignTrak, was designed to order, track, measure and manage custom and temporary printed POS signs.
Our software designers and developers had to understand our customer’s requirements and translate their manual procedures into an automated and standardized system that would:
- Allow sales and merchandisers to quickly and accurately configure and order the POS/POP marketing materials required by retailers
- Organize the production workflow for the graphics and sign shop staff
- Inform marketing and sales teams that their POS/POP orders were ready to go, and
- Validate that the marketing materials were placed at-retail
By 2005, our first customers had fully implemented and we continued to work with them to modify the SignTrak system and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the total system. As we continue to listen to our customer requirements a second POS/POP marketing system was designed and developed. Called PermaTrak, it provides inventory control and asset management of our customer’s permanent POP signs and displays.
In 2006 we began to market both SignTrak and PermaTrak to the thousands of beverage distributors in the US who are responsible for the distribution of products as well as the creation and maintenance of their suppliers’ and retailers’ POS/POP marketing initiatives.
Here is what we learned:
- POS/POP marketing materials are a big business - Over $20 billion in the US alone
- POS/POP has over a 75 year history in beverage alcohol marketing and a similarly long history in the consumer goods industry
- But while it is big business and been around for a long time it was often referred to as a “necessary evil.” Primarily because it was not considered a competitive tool, but rather an afterthought.
My how things have changed!
While there may be some marketing and sales types who believe POS/POP marketing is a distraction, this belief, and other similarly dismissive opinions, is becoming an endangered species. In fact within the industry we serve, POS/POP give beverage companies a competitive advantage.
To paraphrase a long since passed marketing campaign, “POS/POP, you’ve come a long way . . . baby!”
The Three Realities of POS/POP Marketing
The following three realities mean POS/POP marketing (or whatever you call it) is now the most effective and efficient way to market consumer packaged goods:
In a 500 channel, billion web-site world, it is now improbable that any brand or product can effectively reach large segments of the population. While it might, by some stretch of the imagination, be technically possible to do so, it is most certainly unaffordable to even try.
Shoppers today make frequent trips to “the store” and these trips are typically very short trips to pick up only a few items. Most shoppers seek POS/POP materials to provide them with information to aid in making their buying decision.
The number of retail destinations from which a shopper can choose has grown exponentially, and retail stores come and go at sometimes dizzying speed. Likewise new brands, new products and new product categories continue to be introduced at breakneck speed. The explosion of choices has fostered a shopping behavior where developing customer loyalty is difficult if not impossible to cultivate.
What are the implications of these current realities? These realities mean that it is not enough to only have a traditional print and broadcast media footprint for your marketing campaigns – you must also have the ability execute your promotions at-retail.
Point of sale marketing must be or must become the foundation for all of your points of contact with your target buyer.
Should you want to learn more about the point-of-sale, point-of-purchase or at-retail marketing industry, the following organization can provide you with a ton of information:
- POPAI: www.popai.com
- Consumer Goods Technology: www.consumergoods.edgl.com
- Path to Purchase Institute: www.p2pi.org
But should you want to learn more about the tools that are available to track, measure and manage both the costs as well as the effectiveness of your POS/POP marketing investment, please click this button.