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01 Aug 2016
posted by: Amanda

Measure & Learn [RetailWorld article 5]

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Getting maximum ROI from shoppers
In the previous articles in this series we've gone through the process of defining the picture of success, how to start a shopper marketing project, understanding why current shopper execution is working and how to measure progress. In this fifth article we'll discuss Measure & Learn for shopper execution. Specifically:

⦁ Exploring why we tend not to stop & measure
⦁ What we should measure & learn
⦁ When we should measure & learn

Series Overview

Getting Maximum ROI from Shopper

I don’t know a single FMCG business in Australia today that isn’t under more pressure than ever before to reduce spend and yet is expected to achieve even more in terms of shopper & consumer execution.

This series of articles is designed to help you in this endeavour by showing you exactly how to get more ROI from your shopper team, insights & execution.

In this series of six articles I’ll cover:

  • Picture of success; what does successful shopper execution look like, who’s doing it well & why.
  • Step 1; getting started. Sometimes it can seem like everything needs doing at once. This article will help you prioritise the deliverables.
  • Step 2; understand why. Unless you know why your shopper execution is working well – or not - you won’t know how to increase your impact with shoppers. This article will help you get to the why factor without breaking the bank.
  • Step 3; proper planning. Prevents poor performance as has been drummed into us all. This article takes you through the 3 essential elements of any successful shopper execution plan.
  • Step 4; execute, measure & learn. You’re unlikely to get it right first time. Learn here how to measure the essentials and how to take it forward,
  • Step 5; start again. Going to the next level in your shopper execution & ROI. 

5.    Measure & Learn

In the previous articles in this series we've gone through the process of defining the picture of success, how to start a shopper marketing project, understanding why current shopper execution is working and how to measure progress. In this fifth article we'll discuss Measure & Learn for shopper execution. Specifically:

  • Exploring why we tend not to stop & measure
  • What we should measure & learn
  • When we should measure & learn

 

Why do we not stop to measure?

If you’ve been successful in following some of the steps we’ve covered in the previous articles you’ve made a significant investment already into your shopper marketing programme. You’ve…Understood your initial research….Defined your strategy based on your initial research…Engaged your stakeholders & sold your plan into the retailers and…Project planned to within an inch of your life…So why now – after all this hard work and effort - do we tend to hurry on to the next project rather than measure (and learn from) this one?

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Most people we talk to wouldn’t dream of missing a step such as ‘build POS display unit’ so why do we tell ourselves that is it relatively OK to miss the ‘measure & learn’ step? ‘Too busy’ is usually the answer given when this question is asked - which is undoubtedly true - but I have a hypothesis that this avoidance actually comes from our definition of what success looks like, i.e., are we defining success by the execution rather than the result?

Let me explain further. Building a POS display unit is a very real, concrete task that obviously needs to happen in order for (this) shopper marketing activation to succeed - what else is the product going to sit on right? Therefore in order for the project to be a ‘success’, POS display units need to be built in X number of stores. Done & ticked off the list!

The step of measure & learn however is somewhat less defined, it can be very subjective and scarily, could ultimately bring bad news to the business against a fairly serious investment. I certainly know which task I’d rather do! Measure & learn requires careful management, navigation & coordination of (often more senior) people and hence my hypothesis that we naturally gravitate towards the obvious practical tasks of building a POS display unit - critical for the project to succeed – and potentially omit the more tricky measure & learn step - critical for whether the project has been a success.

 

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By engaging key stakeholders upfront (see article 2 for more on this) and setting clear success goals with them at this stage should make the analysis & reporting a lot less tricky as well as limiting any post rational bias.

What we should measure & learn

I’ve seen projects that have had n=10s of measurements attached to them and projects that have had 2-3. The latter tend to be more successful as usually go hand in hand with greater focus and as such, my advice here would be to keep it simple. The ones that I’d recommend in priority order:

1.    Sales uplift - before & after

Tells you what the real world $$ impact is. Critical if you intend to get the retailer onside & listening to you again next time.

2.    Incrementality - Category / Segment / Brand

Tells you whether growth is true or artificial. Critical to your category strategy plan in order to hone the 4Ps list regarding ‘right promotions’.

3.    Conversion - before, during & after

Tells you how & why the growth has occurred. Critical to your P2P strategy plan in order to know how you are truly influencing shopper footfall in-store.

 

When we should measure & learn

Key events in the FMCG calendar common to all brands every year are:

  • Category review

 

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If it takes 2-3 people in the team 2-3 months to get a new planogram and range away, we should be measuring and learning to understand the ROI & shopper impact from such an investment.

 

  • In-store activations

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If we’re spending $$$ on the ‘back to school’ or ‘start of Summer’ promotion, we should be measuring and learning to understand the impact that these have in achieving the category growth goals we’ve set for ourselves.

 

  • Trials

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If we’ve spent 6+ months convincing the retailer to give a trial a go, we ought to be measuring & understanding the impact that this is having on shopper’s behavior every day.

By starting a commitment to measure and learn with big events such as these three, measure and learn will trickle down to become an overall way of working for the team and business and therefore ensuring that your shopper marketing activation gets stronger and stronger each time. And hopefully more budget too

 

Good luck.