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Demystifying Trade Marketing

Marketing & Advertising

Trade marketing is a larger B2B marketing function whose goal is to increase demand with supply chain partners such as wholesalers, retailers, or distributors, rather than just at the customer level.

The strategy of Trade Marketing is to provide a shopper-led approach to supply channel partners (wholesale, retail and distributors) which creates large shifts in the brands performance by creating competitive advantage with shoppers and retailers.

Trade Marketing: Strategies, Impact, and Roles

  • Shopper-Centric Strategy: Trade marketing focuses on creating demand by aligning supply chain partners (wholesalers, retailers, distributors) with shopper needs.
  • Role of Trade Marketing Managers: These managers drive local brand development and product availability through partnerships with distributors, wholesalers, and retailers.
  • Trade Marketing Benefits: Trade marketing boosts supply chain purchases, enhances product longevity, empowers market leadership, enables upselling, and supports product testing.
  • Strategies and Key Roles: Trade marketing employs strategies like branding, research, and digital marketing, involving roles like sales directors, category managers, key account managers, and more in FMCG trade marketing.

What is the role of a Trade Marketing Manager/ Specialist?

Trade marketing managers are responsible for a variety of marketing functions. These functions range from local brand development and selling to companies that can then distribute to their customers. They focus on distributors, wholesalers and retailers who can get the product in front of consumers.

What benefits does Trade Marketing provide?

Generating more purchases at the supply chain level (wholesale, retail and distribution) means products will be available at the store level and not run out.

Establishing and Maintaining relationships gives longevity to your product.

If you can create a great marketing plan you can leapfrog competitors.

Trade marketing allows you chances to upsell to your target consumer.

Trade marketing allows you to test your product and remove the guesswork.

How to help your Trade Marketing Team be more Strategic

Take a long term view i.e. longer than a year.

The strategy must create substantial change. Don’t just do what you did the year before.

Have a competitive edge or advantage.

Decide on what you are going to focus on and de-prioritise the rest.

Question all your ideas to see if they meet your goals.

Clarify what you are willing to do, and what you aren’t.

Focus (Targeting And Segmentation). Your product isn’t for everyone.

Have a clear understanding of your ROI to drive profitability.

Always think about the Shopper.

Always think about the Retailer.

Last but not least, get instore and start thinking!

Main Trade Marketing Strategies

Trade Magazines and Websites: This builds trust for the brand and gets exposure.

Branding: Building the story of the brand allows for long term brand loyalty.

Strategic Partnerships: With a goal of creating a win-win environment for retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers.

Marketing Research (ongoing): Understanding the consumer is critical in creating a win-win environment. Getting a deeper understanding is critical to success.

Digital: Marketing Social, Email, Partnership Channels are critical to sales.

Trade Shows

Who is involved in FMCG Trade Marketing and what are their duties?

Sales Planning, Channel and Trade Category Managers: Strategic Internal Interface between Sales and Marketing

Key Account Managers: Strategic External Interface to Retail Trade with Account Focus

Regional Sales Managers: Sales Implementation by Channel with Regional Focus

Area Sales Managers: Sales Implementation by Key Account with Area Focus

Sales Executives & Merchandisers: Sales Implementation by Territory with Retail Store Focus

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