QBO for Mars


Important Confidential

This entire presentation is for internal use only, and should be protected as a confidential & proprietary resource.

  • Proprietary Intellectual Property
  • Substantial Nielsen Investment
  • Use Client-ready iShare Decks Only

Learning Objectives

This tutorial will provide you with the knowledge to identify and quantify the value of potential business opportunities.

After this tutorial you will be able to:

  • Identify and quantify Business Opportunities
  • Understand the process for capturing and communicating QBO
  • Present Quantified Business Opportunities to your client

Mars and Nielsen Global Partnership

Nielsen’s role in collaboration growth

Nielsen’s role is to be Mars global growth partner. The collaboration of growth agreement includes:

  • An open partnership, meaning an open door relationship
  • Clarity of the analytics and insights Nielsen is providing
  • 1:10 Goal means for every $1 Mars spends with Nielsen, Nielsen will demonstrate $10 worth of growth

Nielsen will identify 1% of growth for Mars globally every year with a potential of 10% growth. 

Why is this good for Nielsen? 

  • The collaboration of growth agreement provides advantages to Nielsen and Mars.
  • Nielsen will focus on outcomes
  • Open communication of business plans and strategy
  • Nielsen will be trusted advisors and solution focused (instead of product providers)
  • Long-term partnership

What is a "Business Opportunity?"

What is a QBO?

Click each icon to learn more about QBOs

Why are QBO's important?

For Nielsen

Quantifying an opportunity allows Nielsen to determine our client's ROI.

For example, if a client spends $1,000,000 on RMS service and we identify $10,000,000 worth of opportunities, we can share the value they are getting from Nielsen's service.

For Mars

Quantifying opportunities can:

  • Identify potential areas of growth
  • Identify & size possible concerns
  • Understand if a planned strategy is efficient from a cost perspective. Is the amount the client intends to spend on the initiative worth the potential sales?

For the Brand

Closing an opportunity gap can help:

  • Achieve fair share of the market
  • Grow business
  • Satisfy consumer demand/need
  • Achieve volume targets
  • Defend against competitor activity

And for you individually! The chance to be rewarded and recognized with Mars and through Nielsen's Simply Excellent award program.

Identifying QBO's

In a consulting relationship our goal is to get to the Potential Position.

Note: This list is by no means exhaustive!

Current Position Potential Position
Measure with RMS/CPS Measure logical, reasonable and practical target
We do this every day, in analysis, reports and client information gathering This is the key to QBO work and delivering the Value Proposition: what is the “Potential”?

What can we measure?

  1. Distribution
  2. Share
  3. Penetration
  4. Price
  5. Promotion Effectiveness

What’s our potential?

  1. Match a competitor
  2. Fair share in a partition
  3. Capture X% of non-buyers
  4. Price rise opportunity
  5. Focus on more effective promotions

Quantifying Business Opportunities

QBO Calculations

This section provides examples with recommendations on ways to calculate opportunities. There are many different ways; therefore the examples should be considered as one option of many available.

Opportunities should be SMART. 

Commonly identified opportunities include:

Distribution Gaps, Cannibalization, Fair Share Gaps, Penetration Gaps, Ineffective Promotions and Loyalty

Distribution Gap Opportunities

What is it?

A Distribution Gap Opportunity is the chance to increase physical availability to gain additional sales.

How is it calculated?

Distribution gap opportunity = 

Sales Per Point of Distribution (SPPD) x Distribution Gap 

(SPPD = Sales / Distribution Points; Sales can be value, volume or units)

Alternative Measures: Rate of Sale or Velocity can also be used to calculate Distribution opportunities


Tasty Candy Bar brand has an objective to increase distribution from 80% to 90% in Convenience stores. Tasty Candy Bar's SPPD is $1,253 in Convenience stores.

If distribution increases 10 points (from 80% to 90%) the distribution gap opportunity is: 
$1,253 X 10 = $12,530 gained

Distribution Gap Exercise

  • $10,500
  • $52,500
  • $525,000
Snickers has 50% distribution in gas stations, with a SPPD of $10,500. The chocolate bar leader has 55% distribution. What is the QBO if Snickers could increase gas station distribution to the same level as the chocolate bar leader?


What is it?

Cannibalization refers to a new product's volume that is a result of shifted sales from other products from the same brand or manufacturer.



Laws of Growth indicate:

  • Sales shift broadly in line with market share
  • When you grow smaller brands, you will shift more sales from larger brands; therefore these provide less of an overall opportunity

Based on laws of growth you need to consider:

  • Cannibalization occurs in line with a Manufacturers’ share of the remainder of the category excluding the focus product
  • Consider the segment the focus product is in. i.e.Total Chocolate, Bars, Non-Chocolate

Fair Share Gap Opportunities

What is it?

An opportunity to increase a product's sales, expenditure or volume share.

Fair share gap can compare shares:

  • Between Brands
  • Between Channels/Retailers
  • Share of Shelf/Sector
  • Between different types of Shares

How is it calculated?

Fair share gap opportunity = Value of one share point * Number of opportunity share points

(Value of one share point = Value Sales / Share)


Bones & Crunch Dog Food has a 10% share in Retailer A, which is worth $100 (one share point is worth $10). We identified an opportunity to grow to 15% (5 share point increase). Therefore the opportunity is an additional $50 (10 per point x 5 share points).

Fair share gap opportunity = $100 / 10% x 5% opportunity = $50

Note: Always remember some growth will come from cannibalization you may or may not be able to measure.

Fair Share Gap Exercise

Nielsen has identified an opportunity for Crave Cat Treats in Total Pet Food Stores.  If the value sales per share in Total Pet Food Stores is $150,000, use the chart below to match the goals to the sales opportunity.


Match the goal with the Quantified Opportunity by clicking the Goal and dragging to the correct Opportunity.

  • Goal: Increase Total Pet Food Value Share to match Total Coverage
  • Goal: Increase Total Pet Food Value Share to match Grocery Multiples

Penetration Opportunities

What is it?

Penetration is an opportunity to increase the number of households buying.


How is it calculated?

Penetration opportunity = X% Penetration increase x # of households in market x Buying rate (awop: Average Weight of Purchase) for (new) buyers


Luxury Dark Chocolate Bar wants to increase penetration from 10% to 12% by year end with new buying rate/awop of $3 per household. There are 1M households in the market.

Penetration opportunity = +2% Penetration x 1M households x $3 = $60,000 increase.

Penetration Opportunity Exercise

Mars identified an opportunity to increase penetration of a Mars brand in Candy Shops. There are 2 million Households shopping in Candy shops.  

Product Penetration (% of HHs buying) Buying Rate/AWOP (eq./buyer)
Snickers Bar 22.2 3.2
Mars Bar 18.3 2.9
Milky Way Bar 12.8 2.6
Twix Bar 15.6 3.1

Calculate the opportunity if Mars is able to increase half of the penetration gap to the next largest brand. Assume new buyers would buy at a consistent rate of current buyers 
Before you present/send opportunities to clients, ensure you take into account 
Cannibalization - some volume will be lost from existing brand sales
Decreased Buying Rate for New Buyers - since some new buyers will be one time purchasers, typically they will have a lower buying rate than existing brand buyer.

The opportunity for Mars Bar will thus be  

Promotion Opportunities

What is it?

What is an ineffective promotion? 
There are many ways to measure ineffective promotions, including comparing PEI. If PEI is less than a “benchmark” then the promotion would be considered ineffective. The benchmark could be defined in a number of ways:

  • Brand average
  • Category or segment average (although this can be misleading for brands as Private Label always pulls the average down)
  • Competitor average
  • Average for past item promotions

How is it calculated?

PEI = Promo Sales / Promo Base Sales x 100

(Promo Base Sales: Expected promoted sales. These could also be referred to as Reward Volume or Subsidized Base Sales. Promo Base Sales can only be accessed via ScanTrack databases).


  1. Compare PEI of focus & comparison products ( at SKU level for max. accuracy)
  2. High PEI = More effective Promotions
  3. One  way of calculating a QBO is to determine what additional promo sales would need to be sold to improve the PEI of the focus product (by adding incremental sales)
Example: Objective: Increase PEI of Product A to match Product B
  Product A Product B
PEI 200 300
Promoted Value 1,000 1,200
Promoted Base 500 400

= (Promoted Base * (PEI/100))- Promoted Value
= (500 * (300/100)) - 1,000
= 500 QBO

Promotion Opportunity Exercise

Twix Minis 375g has a PEI higher than other Mars brands. What is the opportunity to increase PEI of M&M Chocolate, Mini Mix and M&M’s Peanut to the level of Twix? 

Hint: PEI = Promo Sales / Promo Base Sales x 100

Brand Promoted Base Volume Promoted Volume PEI PEI Opportunity
Twix Minis 375g 311 1,291 415 0
M&M's Choco 260g 671 2,031 304 x
Mini Mix 535g 267 871 326 x
M&M's Peanut 400g 492 596 112 x

The PEI opportunity for M&M's Choco 260g is  

The PEI opportunity for Mini Mix 535g is  

The PEI opportunity for M&M's Peanut 400g is  

Loyalty Opportunities

Reminder: Loyalty considers only current brand buyers. Therefore it will not add across all brands in a category, since each brand has a different subset of buyers.

What is it?

Increasing Loyalty is a goal when it's important to attract buyers to purchase the same brand when they return to a category.

How is it calculated?

Loyalty opportunity = Loyalty Change x Category Value Sales amongst Brand buyers



The Canned Cat Food leader would like to increase loyalty from 30% to 40% in Pet Stores, promoting larger multi-pack cans. Category sales for their brand's buyers are €1M .

Loyalty opportunity = 10% (Loyalty Change) x €1M (Category Sales for Brand Buyers) = €10,000 increase.

QBO Considerations

When calculating opportunities and before sharing them with your Client, you always should:

  • Consider the impact of cannibalization prior to sending an opportunity to clients. This would include channel switching and brand switching with the Manufacturer's products.
  • Consider if we will expect new buyers to purchase the same amount as existing buyers. Typically the newer buyers will be lighter buyers, since they generally are not loyal to the product.

Capturing and Rewarding QBOs

Capture Mars QBO

Your QBOs should be reported in the Collaboration Platform .  For each analysis or service event delivered (presentation, workshop, etc) a minimum of 1 QBO valued in dollars must be captured in the Platform.

Click each icon for considerations when capturing QBO's

Collaboration Platform form

Key sections of the Form are:

Situation Analysis

  • Situation
  • Complication/Question
  • Solution/Answer
  • Recommendation


  • Quantified Business Opportunity
  • Shared with/by
  • Flywheel driver
  • Barriers/Nature
  • Computation of Opportunity
  • Key Insights
  • Key Benefits

Impact rewarded

QBOs captured are evaluated and rewarded. Every quarter there are 4 winners.

Every quarter:

  • Top 5 QBOs/Best Insights by segment will be selected by Nielsen Global Insight Lead and shared with Mars Global CMI Lead
  • Mars Global CMI Lead will select 1 QBO/Best Insight per segment/quarter
  • The winning entry will be featured in an i2i (insights to impacts) format & the owner be rewarded a Simply Excellent Award

16 prizes are awarded per year. One can be yours!

i2i Example

Case Study

Mars Opportunity in Action Case Study

The best way to understand QBOs is to practice.

Click on the link to review the Mars Case Study. It is your job to review the data and generate SMART QBO's. Upon completing this activity, schedule time with your manager to present them your findings.

Mars QBO Case Study-Learner Guide

its an XY link


QBO Summary

When creating Quantified Business Opportunities it is vital to remember, they should always be SMART. You should consider if the opportunity is realistic or feasible to achieve, if it can be achieved in a reasonable time frame and how significant is the risk of cannibalization. During this course you learned:

  • What is a QBO
  • The importance of QBO's
  • How to calculate a QBO
  • How to capture QBO's