Numbers you should remember (and tout) if you are chasing retail business

March 1, 2010 by Dave Haynes

Lionel Tepper, who runs Digital Signage Universe, carved out the time to sit through some of the sessions at last week’s Digital Signage Expo. He always does a particularly thorough job, and he has quite a long, very useful section up about the Walmart Smart Network and the quality of its measurement.

There is now lots of good stuff in the marketplace about sales lift, more than enough to make the case this stuff works. But not a lot of it that I have seen includes details on the methodology, and with the scope of what Walmart is doing with the help of DS-IQ.

From Digital Signage Universe …

Looking at sales lift, DS IQ was able to pinpoint certain aspects of Wal-Mart’s Smart Network based on stimulus and response. On the front end, the technology provided a rigorous test and control protocol for every campaign that runs on the network. Content on the network is scheduled for all of the stores in a way that yields a highly intentional and structured form. On the back end, the system is tied directly into Wal-Mart’s point-of-sale database. Wal-Mart knows exactly which content played on specific screens, in specific stores, and at specific times, and simultaneously can see which items were sold at specific times.

“When you run a campaign on the Smart Network, it runs in all of the stores for most of the time, but distributed throughout that campaign are brief control periods where the media is withheld. These control periods serve to establish what would have happened anyway, absent the Smart Network campaign. By comparing purchase rates in the presence of the media versus when it’s not playing systematically across all the stores in the network, by time of day, by day of week, we are able to isolate what the incremental value was, if any, of advertising on the Smart Network,” says David DeBrusk, VP, Client Results for DS-IQ.

The system helps the marketers at Wal-Mart filter out other factors such as seasonality and other marketing events. What it returns is accurate and reliable feedback on how a campaign is performing and helps brands to better plan how their advertising can perform.

The results offer some impressive numbers when examined by category. The sales lift takes into account the composite impact of the “triple play” package.

Sales lift at the point-of-purchase showed that the electronics department had an average lift of 7%, the over-the-counter category had an average lift of 23%, the household chemicals and paper category had an average lift of 49%, the food category had an average lift of 13%, and the health and beauty category saw a sales lift that tracked as high as 28%.

“If you look at mature-item boosts, we can see a really measurable impact of the network in re-energizing a brand, generating 7% lift. With new product introductions we have seen as much as a 19% lift,” said Mr. DeBrusk.

If you can sit with retailers and counter any push-back on the value of a network with these hard kinds of measured results, you are going to at least start winning them over. And these are results based on a screen location and presentation formula many industry people think is somewhat less than optimal. End-caps, great. Stuff from ceiling, not so.

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