The end of one campaign heralds the start of the next. By bearing this in mind, retailers can perfect their events and minimise their outlay. Consistent and comprehensive evaluation of past activities is key to this. Only then can everyone involved recognise and understand the levers at their disposal for improving the next event.
During evaluation, at the latest, retailers reap the benefits when they have defined clear and measurable goals, ideally using the SMART principle: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-related. Figures are the basis for a target/actual comparison of the outcome. Were the sale numbers for the promoted item lower or higher than expected? How high was the desired increase in sales for the promoted product group compared with the previous month and year? A manager could certainly use this method to evaluate an event by themselves. But that would be a very one-sided observation. After all, everyone involved will have a different view of what worked and did not work for an activity. These are valuable aspects which accelerate the learning process when brought together.
A feedback round consists of very simple questions. What would the team want to do differently or the same in the future? The goals originally set are the focus of this.
Evaluation is a team activity. It works best when everyone feels free to air their criticism or ask difficult questions, regardless of their position. Employees only give honest and full feedback in an open learning culture. There can be many points of failure: factual and technical errors, planning mistakes, unclear responsibilities, communication deficits or a lack of team spirit or motivation. But the goal of fault analysis is to come to a shared view of a previous campaign. It is not about what went wrong. But when everyone agrees on what could be done better, then everyone can work together towards future success. A review is also a good time to give praise, if this has not already been done. The people involved thus signal that they appreciate the effort put in by the others. This creates an atmosphere of trust and a positive working environment.
It is not enough to simply discuss how an event went. The knowledge gained and lessons learned must also be backed up, documented and made accessible for the future. This includes positive and negative experiences, functional findings and assessments and suggestions for how processes could be improved. Activity analyses summarise the lessons learned and are therefore an excellent basis for (further) development of point-of-sale activities. The point-of-sale campaign is only completed once the evaluation is done. And then it’s on to the next activity: obviously, armed with the knowledge of how the previous events went.
Anyone can learn by themselves. You just need to keep your eyes open and observe critically. But we learn even more when we request feedback from others.
The event is finished when the evaluation is done. And the next point of sale campaign starts with reviewing the last event evaluations.