For some strange reason we are fielding lots of inbound traffic from managers seeking a better model for baseline sales. This has been a persistent issue in the industry for at least 20 years, but only now are the calls coming…odd. For those of you not familiar with the concept for the CPG industry, a sales baseline is an estimate of sales in the absence of retailer price promotion. You can learn more about the concept in this sales baselines blog post and trade promotion optimization white paper.
Just know that without an accurate baseline, trade promotion optimization analysis will be inaccurate, and more importantly many of the decisions made from the analysis will be wrong. Some in the industry will say there are many ways to calculate a baseline (true), and given that, there is no way to tell which model or estimates are the best (false). There actually is a method for measuring which baseline estimates are the most accurate, and if you are interested in the technical details you can find them in this academic paper.