Optimizing Programmatic To Real-Time Sales Data Can Improve ROAS, Especially In A Crisis

While programmatic campaigns for ecommerce clients can optimize to sales in real time, CPG clients get the short end of the stick.

When sales surge and change unpredictably – such as during the coronavirus pandemic – it severely reduces marketing agility.

To weather these changes, Goodway Group gained access to a CPG client’s critical real-time, store-by-store sales data through a partnership with Retail Solutions, which helps clients maintain and optimize inventory.

“Supply [chain data] is really valuable, because it’s a good indication of how the brand is faring, especially in retail locations,” said Amanda Martin, VP of enterprise partnerships at Goodway Group. “COVID-19 only increases that need to ensure you’re marketing the right message to the right audience depending on how inventory has been impacted.”

During the initial test, performance spiked. Return on ad spend skyrocketed 233% to $21 when inventory was optimized in real time based on product sales. Product sales rose 7%, generating $1.1 million in incremental sales.

To use this sales data, Goodway Group traders set up geotargeted campaigns to reach target customers in the vicinity of each store.

Then Ansa, an analytics platform from Retail Solutions, suggests markets Goodway Group can use as control and exposed groups. The platform will suggest two similarly sized markets where it can measure statistically significant differences.

As the campaign progresses, traders do a pulse check in Ansa to see the impact of the media on client KPIs. Depending on the results, they can shift budgets to another store or change campaign messaging. Ansa doesn’t integrate into the client’s DSP, instead becoming another platform for traders to check.

Post-campaign, traders use the Ansa tool to give the client a full analysis that includes units sold and incremental sales. The use of control and exposed groups allows them to calculate the return on ad spend and lift.

The extra data not only made the CPG client’s store-level campaigns more effective, they also made it easier to understand the value of regional marketing budgets, which can be complex to track.

“Tying marketing dollars to supply can justify why I am spending here vs. there,” Martin said.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Goodway Group is also using this data to understand the “attitude/impact on the consumers market by market,” Martin said.

After this initial success, other Goodway Group clients that use Ansa are experimenting with also bringing in their own individual store sales data.

Martin likes the Ansa data because its data spans multiple retailers, while much retail data is locked in retailer-controlled walled gardens. Ansa also uses point-of-sale data, not loyalty card data, which makes it more complete, she added.

Looking ahead to a world without third-party cookies, store-level attribution is strategically valuable because it doesn’t require user-level purchase data and ad exposure data. Traders simply measure the success of a geotargeted campaign based on sales in that same region, avoiding one-to-one attribution.

Goodway Group uses this data for attribution on cookieless audio and CTV campaigns. And in the future, cookieless attribution data will be that much more valuable as third-party cookies move toward obsolescence.


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