I was asked to address this question not long ago: A large part of our business is in consumer packaged goods sold through mass-channel outlets such as Wal-Mart. We’d like some insights into how we can use analytics to help us understand the marketing-driven revenue on the retail end. Is there a way we can link POS revenue back to our digital marketing efforts?
Response: Expert Exchange with Greg Bonsib
THE BIG IDEAS
- Capitalize on in-store promotional events
- What drives digital sales likely drives retails sales too
- Hire a lead agency that is strong strategically and analytically
CAPITALIZE ON IN-STORE PROMOTIONAL EVENTS
Coordinate the digital marketing with in-store promotional events. Provide end caps or other kinds of displays with a certain product, which will have its unique SKU. You can use the SKU to isolate the point of sale and the sales for the product.
- You need to establish the base line for sales when there are no special promotions or marketing in the mix.
- Discount for sales lift due to approaching holidays, when sales would increase anyhow.
- You can assume that anything you see in sales above the base line is because of marketing.
WHAT DRIVES DIGITAL SALES LIKELY DRIVES RETAIL SALES TOO
You can use analytics on the online sales to help you understand which of your marketing tactics are working better than others. That is, which are driving sales at particular online retailers, such as walmart.com. Most likely, the tactics that work best for online sales will also work best for the retail outlets too.
- You can look at the halo effect that occurred with the rest of the product line that wasn’t being promoted. Did sales increase for the other products? The more halo effect, the better.
- Planograms are useful tools when you have a history of sales over many different sales channels for similar products. You can compare and contrast the sales at the different retailers. Planograms can help you analyze whether a promotional event in one sales channel increased sales in others, or whether an impact at one retailer echoes an impact at a competitive retailer.
- Use heat mapping to understand the impact of regionality and other variables.
HIRE A LEAD AGENCY THAT IS STRONG STRATEGICALLY AND ANALYTICALLY
Most big companies use many agencies, each with a specific focus, which means that you receive masses of data that is in different forms that is difficult to use.
- Use a lead agency into which every other agency feeds its tracking, analytics, and other data. Icreon Tech is highly recommended.
- This agency aggregates the data. It manages the data wrangling, normalization, and warehousing.
- As a central repository you can dictate how the data is organized. For example, we’ve created three buckets: commerce (revenue), behavior (what people do on the sites), and engagement (click-through rates, and so on).
How can you build on these ideas? Let me know!
Many manufacturers fear line reviews with big boxes like Home Depot and Lowe’s. They frequently see it as an event where they have more to lose than to gain.
My friend Mark Mitchell knows what they fear and has recommendations on how to approach the line review differently. He tells about his experiences in his blog and his book. Or click here to receive his monthly building materials sales and marketing newsletter.
If you’d like to learn more about successful big box line reviews. Read Mark’s original blog post here.
And it works. Here’s his follow up post A Line Review Success Story sharing the strategy and positive outcome of one of his clients.
What manufacturers fear going in to a line review
- Demands for even lower prices
- Fewer sku’s
- Having to fund promotional programs
- Worse placement
- A new competitor in the category
Most companies go into a line review with three simple goals
- Stay on shelf
- Defend their margin
- Grow their share of category sales
According to Mark Mitchell, here’s what you should do in a Home Depot or Lowe’s line review
- Grow a pair
- Think about the buyer and not just yourself
- Do your homework
- Paint them a picture
Don’t approach a line review as a chance to throw products at the buyer and see what sticks
I spoke to that point in my post 4 Essential Steps to Winning with Buyers in a Product Line Review.
You need to have a vision about how the big box will be more successful with you than without you. You need to bring that vision to life so the buyer can see it.
The goal is for the buyer to say, “That just makes sense.” Buyers are human beings and many times will make decisions based on their gut feeling. They will then use data to support their decision.
You want to show the buyer no one is more committed to their success than you as you continually bring them ideas to make them more successful.
The line review process is a validation step for the retailer
To be better prepared for a line review, check out my post Are You Ready For Your Product Line Review?
Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.
This checklist will help you think about possible barriers that you are facing with your brand, product or service. More importantly, it will get you to focus on how do you plan to overcome the profit inhibitors that are impacting your marketing programs?
Do They Apply?
Plans To Eliminate?
|1. Absence of customer oriented thinking|
|2. Inexact or inadequate marketing objectives|
|3. Internal communication failure|
|4. Inadequate distribution planning|
|5. Lack of innovation in product, packaging, etc.|
|6. Budget deficiencies in communications|
|7. Failure to dominate in communication media used|
|8. Misunderstanding customer motivation|
|9. Too generic marketing approach/messages|
|10. Inadequate understanding of market and customer opinion|
|11. Failure to “merchandise” or follow through|
|12. Over-promoting (dealing) or too much “price” concern|
|13. Information loss from management to point-of-sale|
|14. Giving promotion jobs it cannot do|
|15. Watered-down messages due to too much committee approval|
|16. Failure to build-in measuring systems for all plans and programs|
|17. Failure to define – and influence – the corporate image|
|18. Imbalance between communication activities|
|19. Copying competition in communication activities|
|20 Failure to build extra benefits of quality image of product and company or service|
|21. Failure to update marketing strategy/ organization|
|22. Working in silos|
|23. Inflexibility of policies|
|24. Inadequate knowledge of competition|
|25. Lack of or stagnant web and social media content|
|26. Failure to take advantage of “competitive edge”|
What Profit Inhibitors did we overlook that are barriers to your B2B marketing success?