The Problem: How to know if and when retail displays actually make it in-store
CPG brands that have a retail footprint of any sort typically develop in-store displays to put their products up, front, and center as part of the consumer shopping experience. Not only do these displays help boost awareness around a brand and its products, but more importantly they are proven drivers of in-store revenue growth. The only problem is that, up until recently, there was no easy or efficient way to track a retail display’s journey from the point of production to its installation in-store. Oftentimes, these displays would get “lost” (and rarely ever found) somewhere in between, leading to both production waste and missed revenue opportunities.
The Problem-Solver: Footmarks
Footmarks is on a mission to improve in-store display execution rates across the retail landscape. Using its patented SmartTracking asset tracking technology and SmartConnect® cloud-based beacon management platform, the company is able to provide unprecedented visibility and measurability into a CPG brand’s retail execution and compliance rates. In short, the company provides industry-leading digital intelligence for physical displays.
The Challenge: Tracking retail displays with precision, from production to installation
When Footmarks was first founded in 2013, its core focus was on managing hundreds of thousands of Bluetooth-enabled sensors to help retailers, stadiums, and other physical venues deploy more sophisticated location-based marketing efforts. Applying the same sensor-based approach to tracking physical retail displays quickly became a logical extension of this work.
The company’s CPG customers made their initial pain point abundantly clear: How do you know if a physical display made it from a production facility to a distributor’s warehouse?
And although knowing that was a major leap in the right direction for CPG brands, they wanted more line of sight into the full display management supply chain. Why? Because it wasn’t uncommon for displays to make it to a distributor’s warehouse and then sit around collecting dust, either in the warehouse or on a truck, only to never be delivered to the intended final destination. In some very extreme cases, it was found that only seven percent of a display shipment actually made it to a retailer for installation. What a huge waste!
Simply knowing whether a shipment of displays made it to a distributor in the first place was just one piece of the puzzle. And if you could measure a display’s journey up to that point, why couldn’t you follow it along the rest of the way? That’s exactly what Footmarks’ CPG customers wanted to know. They were interested in tracking 1) how many displays eventually got delivered to retail stores as well as 2) how many actually got set-up upon arrival. This was essentially an opportunity to create newfound transparency in this historically “black hole” process.
So, to help its CPG customers answer all of these questions (and more), Footmarks added Bluetooth-enabled sensors, each with its own unique and trackable identifier, directly to the physical displays during the manufacturing process. These sensors could also be enriched with relevant metadata—like brand, display type, or specific campaign—to identify the ins and outs of each and every display in granular detail, beyond their location alone.
Then, when coupled with Footmarks’ vast network of getaways and other devices, it became possible to know, with greater precision, the real-time “status” of every single display unit.
Footmarks can now provide proof around the retail display execution rate with incredible precision—in ways that couldn’t have ever been done before.
The Solution: SafeGraph Core POI Data
Being able to do this accurately and at scale requires having access to the right data. So Footmarks began evaluating a variety of data sources to figure out which could help them both fill in the gaps of a retailer’s existing site data—like the lack of centroids—and create a standardized “authority” for going about this work uniformly across all of their CPG customers.
After a thorough vetting process, Footmarks decided to lean into SafeGraph’s Core POI dataset, as it proved to be the most capable of joining to both sensor and first-party retail site data with ease. And then to take that one step further, Footmarks took advantage of SafeGraph’s matching service to ensure uniformity of the data across the board.
“We consider SafeGraph data the ‘source of truth’ for all Footmarks’ core retail site operations,” explained Reed. “If non-client data sources don’t match to SafeGraph data, we consider it bad information. That’s just how much we trust and rely on SafeGraph to help us address our customers’ biggest pain points.”
The Result: An effective way to avoid the “black hole” of retail display tracking
Footmarks has been able to create transparency in a process that typically left all players—including CPG brands and retailers—completely in the dark. Combining the company’s advanced sensors, proprietary sensor management and tracking platform, SafeGraph data, and likely many more innovations behind the scenes, Footmarks has helped CPG brands maximize in-store revenue like never before. As a matter of fact, one of their large CPG customers was able to drive $30M in savings over the course of a year just by having a more accurate and measurable way to ensure that their displays got set-up in-store, as planned.