Case Study: PunchTab

Marketing Leadership Jumpstarts Sales, Builds Runway for Growth

Business Background


Every year, billions of marketing dollars are spent by consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to promote their brands across various channels and acquire new consumers. The questions that CPG marketers have been asking and answering for years have continued to evolve: 

  • How well does advertising work?
  • Where and how should I spend my marketing dollars?
  • How do I better understand the needs of my consumers?

The digital shifts from traditional broadcast, print, and coupons to an omni-channel environment with consumer-driven broadcast (via Netflix, Apple TV etc.), social media, and ecommerce (e.g. amazon) have introduced even more challenges for today’s marketer looking to break through the noise.

Today’s consumer audiences are fragmented and marketers are left trying to find the magic bullet to match the reach they once experienced. The digital world provides a unique opportunity to provide insights for new products and services:

  • How do I understand the changing needs of my consumers so my products evolve to meet their needs?
  • On which channels are consumers most likely to engage with my brand?
  • Which types of content resonate best with each consumer segment?

A Digital Solution

PunchTab, headquartered in Silicon Valley, is focused on connecting CPG companies with their consumers by providing behavioral and purchase insights that have historically been retained at the retailer level (e.g. mass market supermarket, pharmacy, etc.).

PunchTab is the first consumer management platform (CMP) for consumer brands, allowing CPG marketers to take this information to the next level so they can act on the data-driven insights using predictive analytics to drive revenue, customer engagement, and lifetime customer value.

“We built a platform that incents consumer opt-in allowing us to track and understand consumer behavior and activity at the individual level, across all channels, including purchase data from receipt scanning,” stated Mike Mansbach, CEO PunchTab. “It is critical that brands connect and engage with consumers in the right ways, on the right channels, at the right time.”

Additional Expertise Needed

Mansbach had a great team of people working hard, but wasn’t sure they were all working as smart as possible due to the lack of a cohesive marketing strategy and organizational framework to both establish and achieve objectives. 

Seeking outside expertise, a key requirement was finding a like-minded person who was both ‘objectives and outcome-driven’ since the entire PunchTab organization is extremely interdependent. Once Mansbach met Chief Outsiders CMO, Karen Hayward, he knew that he found the right solution.

“Karen had the right combination of being a functional leader, along with great leadership skills to motivate and inspire the organization – she also spoke with an outcome-driven mindset that was very important to me,” related Mansbach.


Internal and External Research 

Mansbach signed Hayward for a limited engagement to lead PunchTab’s marketing team. Working closely with leadership, she began by conducting the following research activities:

  • Customers – Surveyed existing customers and visited clients. Recruited a client advisory board for additional input. Participated in Brand Innovators events to gain insights from the big retailers in attendance.

“We were talking to the customer advisory board and scouring the market. We also tapped Forrester and other market data sources for insight,” explained Hayward.

  • Company – Interviewed company officers and managers.
  • Competitors – CPG companies historically relied on retailers and distributors for customer data. Being first in the category, PunchTab had no significant competition.

Insights Gained

The research revealed a number of insights about the CPG industry that PunchTab could use to tailor its innovative platform to the segment.


  • Brands were feeling disconnected from consumers, and the advent of Amazon was squeezing the traditional brick and mortar retailer. 
  • As consumers accessed more channels, brands were pulled further away from insight at a consumer level.
  • After the start of the recession, consumers became less loyal to big brands.
  • 90% of consumers were substituting private-label, or store brands for the national brand they’ve regularly bought in the past.
  • Brand loyalty as a determining factor in making a buying decision dropped to just 25% in the US


  • PunchTab’s unfocused marketing efforts lacked organization and process, and had no formalized hand-off to sales. “They were marketing to everyone, spraying the world with the message,” stated Hayward.
  • Leadership saw big brands as a potential market segment and a huge opportunity.

Growth Strategy

The insights gained from research confirmed leadership’s inclination to pursue big brand CPG companies. PunchTab’s strategy and marketing plan applied the proven principles of focus and positioning.

  • Narrow PunchTab’s focus to the CPG brand segment. Excluding other segments would allow them to better understand and address the segment’s problems.
  • Position PunchTab as a platform to connect big brands with consumers. The consumer-facing solution would allow them to deepen their relationships and maximize purchase size and frequency.

“Karen helped us develop both a cohesive marketing strategy and organizational design that will support our vision and future growth,” stated Mansbach.


Hayward then worked with leadership and the marketing team to develop and implement a strategic, integrated go-to-market plan, aligning resources, tactics and metrics with the growth strategy to drive qualified leads to the sales team.


  • Aligned sales and marketing resources around specific initiatives, campaigns, programs and metrics.
  • Re-architected the ParDot marketing automation and Salesforce CRM systems to create an end-to-end solution eliminating existing functional silos.
  • Hayward met with each of her direct reports to focus on their careers, making sure that they had the right developmental opportunities in place.

“If you treat people like you are going to be there forever they jump on board. Because I was investing in the people we became a productive team very quickly,” explained Hayward.


  • New Messaging

Developed the Consumer Goods Squeeze story by analyzing the big brands that were affected the most and feeling disconnected from customers based on the statistics and insights gathered.


Built positioning around understanding and engaging the consumer and taking action to drive results based on those insights.

“PunchTab is an integrated, consumer-driven, SaaS platform to help brands connect with and understand consumers and take action based on those data-driven insights. The PunchTab platform’s ability to track and aggregate individual consumer information and behaviors enables consumer brands to improve their customer experience.”

  • Developed a new tagline: “Connecting Consumers & Brands for Life”
  • Generated new content across all platforms. Created presentations, collateral and website content to tell the squeeze and brand stories as part of a cohesive strategy. Leveraged content through social media.
  • Planned and executed on-going demand generation programs that included email marketing, content marketing, social advertising, online lead generation, and lead nurturing, in-line with sales and product initiatives.
  • Increased social media presence with LinkedIn and Facebook campaigns, leveraged with Twitter, to generate awareness.
  • Targeted campaigns to the CPG brand segment by job title, including Brand Manager and VP of Brand.


PunchTab’s results-oriented approach dictated metrics to report on the effectiveness and efficiency of the strategy and tactics employed by the marketing team.

  • Hayward worked closely with the sales team to establish marketing qualified lead (MQL) definitions on several dimensions, including job title, size, industry and action taken on the website.
  • Developed dashboards to track and report performance data to marketing and the vice president of sales.
  • Employed an objective, outcome-driven approach to the re-design of organizational marketing and CRM systems.

“Everyone in the organization is now aligned on what it takes to drive growth for PunchTab in an objective, outcome-driven perspective,” stated Mansbach.



Contact Managing Partner and CMO Karen Hayward