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Measured vs Unmeasured Results from Retail Display

As a medium, Point-of-Purchase (POP) has long had a chip on its shoulder. Marketers, retailers and producers know that it moves product, but it’s never been considered a “measured medium” by the advertising community. As brands and retailers strive to connect with shoppers, in store remains a top performer – shoppers have missed in store shopping! In the first two quarters of 2021, in-store shopping jumped by 28.5%.

With the increase in shopper confidence, it’s no secret that brands and retailers seek a return on their advertising and promotion investments. To both our clients and us, the measure of any medium is the impact on sales, which can be achieved by using measured or unmeasured media.

While tracking measured media is more of a mainstay, it’s also important to understand the very real impact of unmeasured media tactics. Once you know how to measure display results, you can turn the resulting information into valuable data that can impact business decisions.


Most marketing managers today place significant focus on measured media when considering how to boost sales and improve brand recognition. Measured media, which includes all traditional advertising and placement outlets such as television and radio, is an excellent way to ensure that your brand gets in front of an audience.

Unmeasured media, rather, takes advantage of customers at the prime point along their purchase journey and can ultimately better sway a conversion. Tactics like product placement, in-store retail displays and promotions have the ability to grab consumer attention where it matters the most—directly at the point where they make a decision on which product will get their hard-earned dollars.

Ultimately, this unmeasured media (in this case, the results from your retail display) gets your name, message and product right where it needs to be—in front of the demographic who is most likely to buy. The effect on sales and brand recognition is virtually invaluable.


When examining the performance of measured media versus unmeasured media, the same three strategies must still apply.

  1. The ability to properly reach your target audience—with unmeasured media and retail display, this would mean making sure your product placement corresponds to the right aisle or section of the store, at the right height, etc.
  2. Having the proper geographic scope of placement—pool cleaning supplies won’t sell well in the Arctic no matter how excellent the custom display is.
  3. Correct messaging—does your packaging and display speak to mothers when really it should speak to teens?


Once you properly identify opportunities to implement unmeasured media tactics and the best strategies to maximize their potential, you then need to know how to measure retail display results so you can fine-tune your marketing approach.

The easiest and most effective way to determine the results from retail display is by use of exclusive in-store promotion.

  1. Attach a unique coupon code or deal to the SKUs available at one particular custom display in a retail store for immediate redemption at the register. This negates the step of consumers having to do anything following their purchase, which can impede tracking. Instead, the duty falls to the store with which you have a contract.
  2. Set a period of observation and tracking, perhaps 90 days from the date of custom display setup, to review the use of in-store promotions.
  3. To compare results from different retail displays, keep the promotion identical and alter the display as you wish for an additional matching timeframe. This creates mirror audiences to compare results at no additional cost to your business or organization.


How are your POP displays setting you apart? Let’s schedule a discovery call and talk through your needs for your next project.

*Originally posted February 2015 and updated June 2021 to reflect new data.*

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