The effect of bar code scanning technology on marketing, merchandising and research practices within the US packaged goods industry, and outlook and implications for the spread of this technology to the international market


The 1980's saw a fundamental change In the nature of syndicated marketplace Information in the US. A change which has had profound effects on marketing, merchandising and research practices. As the spread of this technology to other countries Is Inevltlble and In progress today In Europe, much can be learned from the US experience. Let's review what happened in the US. First, the fundamental nature of basic data changed. In a period of less than five years, electronic scanner data completely replaced the warehouse and audit-based Information that had been the Industry standard for decades. Scanner information brought weekly data, revealing cause/effect relationships that were completely obscured by monthly or bl-month data. The creation of new performance measures, such as those relating to promotion execution and performance, made a previously simple reporting task a complex and powerful analytical challenge, It was no longer sufficient to track the status of one's business, Tracking the response of sales to advertising, price and promotion became an ongoing part of any modem marketing or sales manager's job. New skills were required of the successful marketer, salesperson, and researcher. Some were able to adapt and thrive. Others were not.

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