4 Ways to Optimize Local-Area Sales and Marketing Efforts to Increase ROI


Many product manufacturers don't adequately leverage POS data made available to them by their big-box retail channel partners. If that describes your business, there is an easy way to turn that retail POS data into insights that can drive action and sales.

Anthem Marketing Solutions has been working with product manufacturers to leverage retail POS data - as simple as date, store number, and units sold by SKU - and drive short-term sales impact. By combining retail data with online search trends and sales data, historical weather stats, and other internal client data sources, we've been able to make a real difference. Following are 4 ideas showing how you can use data to shift strategy at a local level to drive sales.

Maximize Seasonal Sell-Thru

When you understand the seasonal sales curve of your product, you’re more prepared to make real-time adjustments in individual markets, all the way down to single stores, based on whether or not performance is meeting expectations.

Seasonal curves can vary by market depending on local climate. Identify the seasonal start and end dates of the sales cycle for you product, know the peak time period. Track the curve against year to date progress. Review deeper at market level and better plan media buys and co-op allocations based on seasonal curves.

In the above example, on a national basis the product is performing well, close to forecast. When you dive deeper, however, you notice Chicago is exceeding the sales forecast while St. Louis is starting to taper and could possibly end up with inventory overage. This insight can activate a strategic review, allowing the marketing and sales teams to take action to ensure both markets can meet plan. In this case the St. Louis Regional Sales director may want to increase co-op spending, or dive deeper into individual store performance, and consider remedial action at those stores most responsible for the looming shortfall.

Support Local Media Planning

Staying with the same scenario shown above, there may be a multitude of reasons why one market is performing better than another. Adding additional data elements such as competitive changes (did new competition recently come into the market/did distribution points increase), weather (has it been unseasonably warm or cold), etc. may shed some light on casuality. This extra layer of data can aid the manufacturer in deciding to re-allocate media spending across markets, in the example above, from Chicago to St. Louis. We've seen this work to great effect with our clients.

Allocate Field Sales Teams

Analysis of retail POS data also allows you, with near real-time ability, to identify stores in your region that are trending up or down. This is especially helpful for sales teams in prioritizing visits in markets where there are a large number of stores or a large area to cover. Visiting the stores that are over-performing and discovering what they are doing right that might be able to be replicated can inform planning for visits to stores that are behind in sales to ensure merchandising is happening the way it should. In the below example, looking at the Midwest market and focusing on where we know competition is crowded, we can identify the Chicago market as having a large number of stores that are under-performing. Drilling in to focus only on Chicago provides us with a more focused list of stores that are over-performing and can serve as a source for best practices, and a list of those that require remedial action, including increased attention from field sales teams.

Market to Target Customers

Another less obvious use of retail POS data is to support direct marketing to targeted customer lists. In the example below, we've used a selection tool to isolate households around certain underperforming stores that share characteristics of "best" customers. The manufacturer can plan and execute a direct marketing campaign, utilizing mail, email, social media, mobile, and other channels to reach these customers with a targeted message intended to drive immediate action. This can serve as an efficient way to target the market to drive sales in under-performing areas.

Posted by Melissa Amedeo on 01/12