Who doesn’t love a sale? Manufacturers love them because they move more of their specific product, retailers love them because they drive increased traffic and spend, and consumers love them because they save money. Sounds like a win, win … win, right?! It could be, but only if everyone is making effective use of their trade investment in specific categories. Especially because trade dollars and flyer space are limited. How do you know what to base that analysis on? The standard scan and loyalty card data can only go so far…

CPG companies make significant investment into scan, panel and loyalty card data every year. Those investments typically yield really great reports on “what” your customers are buying and in what quantities etc, but what those numbers can’t tell you is “why”.

Let’s talk about why. It’s a question you should be asking as often as your neighbor’s three year-old, because in order to make the most effective use of your trade investments, you need to know.

There are effective and ineffective ways to execute trade investment in every one of the 130+ CPG categories covered in North America. Do you think that blowing your annual trade spend budget on the most elaborate and beautiful end-cap display the world has ever seen is the answer? It might be, or it might be the equivalent of opening a briefcase of money during a tornado. Take Boba Fett over here to the left: Just because your customer bought more of product X on a promotion in the aisle, does NOT mean they will spend even more when there is a display on an end cap. Plus who would want to disturb such a beautiful pice of Star Wars art?

There are things to consider within your category that can help clear the fog around making expensive decisions like these. One is whether your category is considered a grab and go or a browse category. Are customers coming into the store knowing already that they want your product or are they making that decision after a thorough perusing of the available options? Do your customers depend on a promotion to drive them towards your product? Or are they so brand loyal that they will pay more as long as it’s available? Finally, do your promotions encourage shoppers to purchase more of your product or are they buying the same amount regardless? Answers to questions like these are of paramount importance when you are establishing the “why behind the what” of your product or category.

So before you go and build a giant set of uprights out of chips, or slap a BOGO sticker on the shelf just underneath your product this weekend, make sure you know the answers to the questions presented here, along with many others that help define the “why”. You can find out more, including how you can leverage Shopper Intelligence for your category with regard to trade spend by filling in the form below.


by Tyler Erickson

Digital Marketing Manager, Shopper Intelligence North America