If you are a manufacturing company especially in the fast-moving consumable goods (FMCG) industry, a strong distribution network is needed which includes a strong retailing relationship and network-building tactics.
However, having a strong distribution network is only one part of the advantage that companies especially FMCG can leverage.
They can also leverage data that can be obtained from the network to develop customer retention strategies, new product development and improve on their current product offerings.
These three important data are activity, observation, and sales data. Each type of data is important in the kind of role they play. Smart marketers use the three Data to get a clearer picture of what actions need to be taken, how their products are sold and displayed in certain places.
Three Data Every Company With Big Distribution Network Should Find Vital
For the activities data you want to measure the following: visit frequency, total territory, coverage, time in-store. The purpose of activity data is to have knowledge about the number of activities going on across the lines of brand promotion, merchandising shelf activities, total in-store footprint, chain penetration, and number of in-store sampling events. All these are needed to have a record of the ongoing initiatives and how effective they are, it also needs to compare the activities of the brand against their major competitors and alternative products.
Observation Data: This deals with the in-store presence and the observation of how the products are positioned, promoted, and packaged. Therefore, analyzing the in-store presence includes what are the stock levels, number of facings, active promotions currently going on, etc. All these are important and comparing them with competitors gives a better picture of what actions to take.
The combination of photos, structured data, and notes from brand representatives allows to paint a better picture of what’s happening in each store so that they can learn from it and improve.
Sales Data: These is considered as the most important thereby allowing brand managers at times to neglect the other two, negligence has its own price which includes the lack of 360-degree vision into a brand problem or marketing challenge.
Do sales data involve the number of each SKU (stock keeping unit) sold within a given period? Brands want to know how their products fare at the point of sales, as these allows them to think about the directions to take next, whether it is brand activities, deepening penetration or rewarding buyers, and so on.
The sales data while probably being the most vital should be combined with observation and activity data to get a clear picture on what the next action plan would be in regards to the current context, the distributors and the competition. As we know the game of strong distribution involves knowing and choosing the breadth and depth your distribution channels should carry.