A Photo Really is Worth a Gigabyte of Data
A photo can replace a handful of questions in a store audit, provide supportive material for a field sales manager, or even be used in daily reports for the C-Suite. If photos are not part of your field sales strategy in 2018 that must change in 2019, the value lost is too significant and you’re missing an entire piece of the retail execution puzzle… Accurate Casual Data!
What is Casual Data
Causal data is descriptive data collected at the shelf level by your field team that explains the why and provides valuable insights that third-party data is lacking such as share of shelf, competitors marketing, store conditions, and many other data points.
The Problem With Subjective Questions
The biggest issue with casual data is the field reps interpretation of the questions/responses. Think about all the adjectives in the English language and how people can interpret them. Disorderly, messy and cluttered could be used to describe the exact same shelf or could be used to describe completely different shelves based on the field reps interpretation of each. A field reps bias can quickly skew data making it useless. And unfortunately, training does not solve this issue as field reps just have too much to do to focus on these minute details.
How Photos Solve Your Subjective Problem
The simplest way to eliminate bias data is through a photo. A photo of the shelf or of a display captures exactly what is going on at that given time in the category, store, or account. It can be used as a reference point between sales and marketing, shared between organizations or in collaboration with retail grocers. If there is a question at hand the picture quickly allows for an answer. It can also be helpful for reps to review store conditions from the last store call, as a comparison. Having photos on record allows organizations the ability to keep track and monitor what their displays and promotions look like over an extended period of time and compare store promotion participation on the same brands/SKUs quarter to quarter or year to year. Collecting item level questions is important too, but to have photos to revert back to for analysis and planning is advantageous and a must in 2019.
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