Tips for Linking Retail Outlet Sales Back to Digital Marketing Efforts

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


  • 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


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.


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 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.


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!

Good Selling!



4 Secrets to Transforming Your Marketing Team into a Data-Driven Marketing Organization

The phrase “data driven” has become a major business buzzword with companies possessing a data-driven nature reporting significantly higher profits than ones that do not.

So data driven has become a rally cry. What’s most important isn’t the data alone; it’s what you do with the data.

You need to see the forest for the trees. Unfortunately, data makes it all too easy to focus on the leaves!

4 secrets to succeeding with data-driven marketing

Here are four secrets to transforming your marketing with data:

  1. Start small. Be focused on how you begin. Think crawl, walk, run. Keep the customer in the bulls-eye. Look first at an online ad campaign. Try a few different approaches. Have an objective against how you are measuring. Keep your budgets small. This is a process that takes time and few organizations have patience as a virtue.
  2. Test & learn. Be flexible and be ready to change based on what’s working and what isn’t. The goal here is to learn, make mistakes and try new avenues. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating new creative, adding or deleting key search terms or even targeting a new demographic.
  3. Build on success. As you discover approaches that work (are resonating with customers), begin the process of scaling up.
  4. Document your knowledge. Really you’re doing this along the way so you know what it is you are trying. And really you’re sharing your successes throughout the organization, gaining credibility and shifting resources toward “proven” marketing programs.

Data proves your marketing works to the CEO and CFO

At the end of the day, you want to be able to solve your customer’s problems. And that’s the real power of data-driven marketing: less gut instinct and more knowledge.

It is being able to gain resources for programs because you can demonstrate they have a return/quantifiable result.

The end result is more efficient, more effective and more customer focused marketing.

Maybe it should be called customer marketing instead of data-driven marketing because the customer is the real winner.

Good Selling!

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