Knowing if printed advertisements are correctly distributed is a major concern for retailers, considering the huge amounts spent every year. There are many control systems adapted to the context and to the specificity of each retailer, but they all have the same goal: to provide operational elements in order to improve the quality of distribution. Besides optimizing the investment dedicated to the making and distribution of printed advertisements, the main objective remains to increase the number of visits to shops and therefore increase sales revenue.
The on-the-spot control: a still valid historical solution
This control, created by CoSpirit more than 20 years ago, consists in checking immediately the quality of distribution by having investigators intervene directly on the spot. This method, which is very easy to set up, enables companies to not only identify distribution problems that lead to bad quality distribution, but also allow them to precisely determine how to correct and improve quality.
The on-the-spot control is carried out by visualizing mailboxes and questioning residents. In order to do so, it targets samples of representative areas of the shop’s distribution zone. As distribution quality is a local issue, the identification of problem areas makes it easier to select the best corrective actions.
It should be noted that immediately communicating problems to distributors helps them to correct flaws more easily, which in turn is clearly improving the efficiency and the quality of printed advertisements.
Quality diagnosis via telephone: targeting the on-the-spot controls for priority shops
Distribution quality is not only linked to the performance of the distributor’s warehouse but also to the work of the on-site distribution teams. This is why the quality of distribution very often appears to be different between shops of the same retailer. In order to supervise shops that have significant distribution problems a telephone survey can be carried out upstream of the on-the-spot-controls.
This method is particularly adapted to retailers that own a large number of shops and have to manage their budget concerning such controls. The method is simple: households living in the areas where the print advertisements are distributed are asked to answer some questions. In order to do so, this control method uses a prerecorded human voice that simply asks the residents if they have or haven’t received the advertisement by pressing a phone digit.
However, this kind of control needs to be conducted carefully: use of the telephone can be sometimes seen as “intrusive” and must therefore be used cautiously to avoid over-solicitation of households in one particular zone.
Web panels: the guarantee of continuous pressure on distribution quality.
Web panels are a control method that has become more important thanks to the spread of the internet and consists of regularly questioning a panel of web surfers on the delivery of printed advertisement. By questioning the panel about when they received advertisements it’s possible to check if their delivery coincided with the start date of commercial operations in a shop.
Generally panelists are recruited among the retailer’s clients, particularly those who hold a loyalty card, while others are recruited at the cash register or by using social networks. An incentive method, using loyalty points, vouchers or prizes can be organized to increase panelists’ loyalty.
The web panel system is more cost-effective if organised on site, particularly for regular controls. It allows long-term control of the quality of distribution.
To conclude, let’s remember that if these methods are different they all have the same objective: better quality distribution of printed advertisements for retailers to boost visits to their shops. And it works: all the experience in Europe prove it!