Connecting Brick and Mortar Sales to Online Campaigns Can Optimize Your Holiday Season

October 26, 2015 — by Meredith Williams

Creating digital campaigns that drive incremental sales is a high stakes game, especially during the holiday season given the sheer size and number of campaigns being run. Web-based retailers have the luxury of access to daily sales data to adjust campaigns in-flight to maximize returns. For CPG and retail brands that primarily generate their sales in brick and mortar grocery or mass merchandising stores however, once a campaign has been launched, there is nothing to do but wait. The intra-campaign performance is a black box. Weeks or months after the fact, shopper marketers and their agencies receive results – too late to do anything except use the lessons learned for the next seasonal push months down the road, when the environment may have shifted once again.

Until now. Innovative companies are emerging that are developing new and exciting ways to connect brick and mortar sales to digital campaigns. Analytic services such as ansa are revolutionizing the way shopper marketers plan, adjust and measure campaigns targeted at driving physical store sales.

ansa, which has access to historical sales data, as well as measures actual store lift every day, shares the following tips to help marketers make the most of this data:

  1.  Target shoppers around stores that deliver the most sales
    According to ansa, about 80% of sales typically come from the top 55-60% of stores. For some specific items, there is even more concentration, with 80% of a brand’s sales coming from just 40% of stores. With targeting reports and historical sales performance by retailer, store, and item, marketers can deliver impressions to the zip codes surrounding the stores that matter and avoid those with very low relative sales.
  2. Shift budget in-flight based on store performance
    Reporting on incremental sales is also provided during the campaign, for the items being featured and any associated items that might benefit from the campaign. These performance metrics can be at the store level, allowing you to see how the campaign is progressing, and to make changes to maximize returns down to zip codes around stores. For example, ansa analytics can help you decide to move budget from store trading areas that aren’t responding as well to store trading areas that are. ansa sees an average of 2.6-4.4% incremental sales lift in the featured items and 1.5-3% incremental sales lift in any associated items when analytics are used to improve targeting and to make adjustments in-flight to a campaign.
  3.  Embrace the “Learn Do Learn” loop
    Being predictive matters. Sure, optimizing an individual campaign is important, but the real win is to understand your marketing efforts across campaigns; both the home runs and the ones that struck out. With ansa, results are provided within a week of a campaign’s completion, allowing you to use the lessons learned right away, not months after the fact, to understand trends and insights based on targeting, creative or promotions. Also, based on ansa’s work with over 200 intelligent campaigns, it is clear that some consumers, geographies, offers and stores are more responsive than others. This learning helps to make more intelligent targeting recommendations by combining known store-level sales with predicted responsiveness. The best news is that every time you run another campaign these learnings can be applied and response can become stronger given the greater ability to predict and continuously improve performance based on the home run campaigns.

You will be able to breathe a little easier knowing you will be targeting shoppers around stores that truly drive sales and you will have access to real-time sales performance to optimize the campaigns in-flight. Moreover, results can be turned into insights for the next campaign within a week, not months. That makes for a sweet holiday indeed.