One Blog |July 3, 2013 | POS Tracking Software

POS Marketing Data – The Analytics Imperative

Mark Fullerton

Background

Our customers are primarily beverage alcohol distributors that generate and store large amounts of Point-of-Sale/Point-of-Purchase (POS/POP) data.

Over a long period of time, measured in decades, most of these distributors have followed a simple but often a manual POS marketing process: Ordering, producing and placing POS marketing materials.

But today, many of these same companies now use technology and software to dramatically automate and improve this process. In addition these tools collect data such as: POS costs, time to market, and supplier bill-back recovery. Armed with this information, companies have increased the effectiveness and improved the return on investment of their POS marketing programs.

Using PCs, iPads or smartphones allows companies to access value-added, web-based applications that permit sales reps to order marketing materials (paper signs, banners, permanent displays, menus, product samples, etc.) for their retail customers to promote the hundreds of thousands of beverage alcohol brands and products.

The POS Marketing Process

Here’s an overview of the POS Process as we see it:

  1. The orders for POS material are either requested by your customers, or offered by your sales team.
  2. The sales organization enters the POS orders and coordinates with a number of internal departments (i.e. graphics, print shop, warehouses, etc.). There may be some level of management approval required based on individual distributor guidelines – typically costs.
  3. Graphics gets involved when there is a need for new POS; the print shop for the production of custom printed materials from existing templates; and the warehouses, should displays or beverage samples need to be retrieved from inventory.
  4. Once the POS materials are produced or retrieved, they are delivered and installed at the retailer locations.
  5. All along this process, management wants to know, how much was spent, on what brands, for what customers, and by which reps? What was the impact on sales? And what was the ROI?
  6. After the fact, reporting needs to be done at least for the claiming of available and earned bill-backs from suppliers.

Imagine doing this all manually, which I’m sure many of you can. Don’t despair. There’s good news ahead.

In the above process, Steps 1, 2, 3 and 4 represent the Tracking phase of all our software products. Each step requires some input - Numerous data elements for the production of printed signs and menus, but also the characteristics of your permanent POS and sample inventories.

Step 5 represents the Measure phase of all our software products. The data elements and characteristic from the prior steps are collected, stored and used to answer the ad hoc questions which management is asking. All our products contain a series of light-weight business analysis tools to provide management with information they need to run the business.

Step 6 represents the Manage phase of all our software products. After the OnTrak system has been in use for at least a few months, a cache of data exists that can be used to generate reports that allow you, your customers and suppliers to gain insights into their at-retail marketing spending behavior and the associated sales results. These reporting tools also allow you to produce detail supplier bill-back reports at the click of a mouse.

Business Analytics – The Payback for Collecting POS Data

OnTrak’s POS tracking software can be used in conjunction with business intelligence tools from companies, like Dimensional Insight, and IBM. This capability allows companies to link sales and financial information with the operational performance of their at-retail marketing programs.

By utilizing business analytics, beverage companies can determine shopper behavior and use that information to predict the impact of their retail marketing campaigns in terms of increasing sales.

Studies from IBM, Gartner (Note 1), POPAI, The Path to Purchase Institute, Forrester, and others groups have confirmed that companies that use and apply analytical tools perform better than their peer group (Note 2).

Conclusion

In an era where there are more than 13,500 beers, tens of thousands of spirits and over 105,000 wines on the market, it is easy to see that we have reached the point where applying analytics has become an imperative for beverage alcohol companies.  Leveraging at-retail marketing data allows beverage companies to obtain and retain a competitive edge in their marketplace.

Using one or more of OnTrak’s applications allows the tracking, measurement and management of your point-of-sale marketing programs, and gives your company the ability to capture important marketing data, apply business analytic tools to the POS process, and make better business decisions with your POS marketing campaigns.

To learn more about OnTrak and our solutions, please click this button:

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Note 1: Gartner for Marketing Leaders service: www.gartner.com/technology/research/digital-marketing/data-driven-marketing-survey.jsp

Note 2: Outperforming in a data-rich, hyper-connected world,” IBM Center for Applied Insights study conducted in cooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit and the IBM Institute of Business Value. 2012.

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