Analysis & Forecasting Examples
Identifying and quantifying the key drivers of sales at a pack, brand, sector or market level helps to focus future strategy and improves forecasting. It also enables clients to understand where sales trends (at a market, sector or brand level) have arisen from, and to apportion the changes amongst different drivers.
At a market or sector level, this modelling allows clients to place their brands’ performance in context and better plan for likely future conditions.
At a brand/pack level, the results allow us to identify the key competition - and what threats it poses - and where opportunities exist. The analysis allows you to answer questions like ‘if we could grow distribution to this level in this outlet type, what would volume sales increase to?’, or ‘what sales and share loss could we expect if we increased our prices but competition held theirs?’
Whether you are interested in measuring the effectiveness of advertising, consumer promotions or store-level initiatives, we can help you to quantify the Return on Investment of your different marketing initiatives. We have successfully assessed the return on internet, TV, press, radio, cinema & poster campaigns, the increase in sales from value or consumer promotions and the return on Point of Purchase initiatives such as merchandising, display, in-store activity, shelf-talkers, floor posters, etc.
Key to a brand’s successful growth is an understanding of how changes in its (relative) Value for Money offering are reflected in changes in sales. Being able to accurately forecast the likely impact of alternative price changes allows you to reduce risk, meet the likely changes in demand and increase profits. We have built forecasting tools, tailored to specific brands and markets, which allow us to assist clients in undertaking a comprehensive risk assessment of alternative pricing scenarios.
Where external factors such as weather are identified drivers of sales (e.g. drinks, confectionery), it is critical for effective supply chain management purposes that production and distribution are responsive to changes in consumer demand. Knowing which weather variables have driven consumer off-take ensures supply can respond to changes in demand driven by weather. In many cases, simple averages are often not the optimal meteorological measures and more complex measures have been shown to improve forecasting significantly.
Segmenting customers according to key attributes (e.g. demographics, lifestyle and attitudes), which define discrete behaviour patterns within each subgroup, creates new insights and potentially a richer and more useful way of viewing consumer groups. This has been used to help focus marketing activity for existing or new products & services, improve media targeting, enhance recruitment of focus groups etc.
Small scale trials of marketing and sales initiatives help to focus on those options which are likely to give the greatest returns. I am happy to work with clients to help them to design and monitor store tests and to analyse resulting sales (and other) data to assess the profitability and feasibility of point of purchase initiatives such as merchandising activity, fixture layout, shelf edging, floor posters, in-store reels, aisle end displays, window displays etc.
I have critically appraised third party research, raising important concerns over the methodology, questionnaire design and interpretation of results underpinning the far-reaching recommendations. In one particular example, a defence document centred on our analysis was integral to an industry response and helped to stave off changes in legislation. Clients have also used my skills to re-examine data as an expert witness, and to inform their strategy in criminal trials.
I have assisted clients, including research agencies, to generate richer insights from survey information – either by helping to design surveys or by analysing and reporting the findings from research more effectively. I have reviewed and extended the work of agencies to perform more advanced analysis and recommend improvements. For example, Key Driver Analysis and Gap Analysis have been undertaken to enhance research findings and provide additional insight into areas such as how to improve customer or employee satisfaction, key attributes impacting on product (or service) acceptability etc.