Every single business out there knows the importance of marketing to its customers. That’s only logical; if people aren’t aware of the existence of your product, you won’t find that the demand for it is high. And consequently, you won’t be selling a lot. But that’s not the only important type of marketing there is. Apart from customer marketing, you also need to make sure that your distributors, wholesalers, and retailers know about the product or service as well. After all, these middlemen will be crucial when it comes to delivering your product to the consumers. Which is why trade marketing is an exceptionally important tool. 


Trade Marketing 101

Unfortunately, the field of trade marketing is surrounded by quite a lot of misunderstandings, especially regarding its proper execution.

It’s no wonder, really, seeing as although trade and traditional customer marketing look similar, they are actually vastly different skills with completely different end goals.

At the end of the day, traditional marketing wants to reach out to the consumer, while trade marketing is there to target the retailer. Don’t worry, though – we’ll lay out the basics of trade marketing in this article right now.

We’ll give you all the basics you need to execute a trade marketing strategy with efficiency and success. 


What is trade marketing? 

First and foremost, in order to do something successfully, you need to understand it completely. To put it simply, this practice is a marketing strategy based on a simple goal – getting your product into as many store shelves as humanly possible. But how do you achieve this?

Mainly, by helping other related retail businesses realize the value of what you’re offering, be it a product or service, while convincing them that selling your product will also provide financial gains to them as well. 

That’s where you see how trade marketing differs from the traditional kind. It’s not at all focused on the customer buying the product, otherwise known as the ‘final sale’.

Instead, its primary goal is to get the retailers to recognize what your brand can bring them in terms of sales.

So, although it’s not really the final sale, it’s an important prerequisite. In order for any customer to actually buy your product, they need to see it in stores in the first place. 


Who does it mean?

So, who should actually dabble in trade marketing? For whom is it a good thing? Mainly, the primary manufacturers of products. They will direct their marketing efforts towards other partner companies, which are a part of the supply chain for any product.

That means retailers, wholesalers and distributors. And while it is a crucial tool for a variety of different industries, it’s more important for some than for others.

Primarily, it’s crucial for the consumer packaged goods sector – CPG. That’s a place where competition is pretty heavy, and the struggle for attaining shelf space is everlasting. In that market, standing out with a product is a much harder task. 

Apart from that, we could provide you with a more general divide. In essence, trade marketing is also a practice that’s largely more crucial for products with a majority of sales in the brick-and-mortar space.

Obviously, the companies which focus more heavily on e-commerce don’t really have to do that much trade marketing. They’ve got no shelf space to do battle for with other products; they can reach out to customers directly online.

the companies which focus more heavily on e-commerce don’t really have to do that much trade marketing

Still, even companies focused on e-commerce somewhat dabble in trade marketing. At the end of the day, even those have to work with some partners in the supply chain. 

Obviously, not all businesses have a dedicated trade marketing team. Some simply lump in traditional marketing and trade marketing, having one team handle both. Depending on the size and scope of the marketing efforts of a company, this may work.

However, it’s always better to have a separate team handling this field of marketing. Such a dedicated effort will simply lead to better results all around. 


Members of the team

Naturally, when you’re putting together a trade marketing team, there are a couple of different positions you should keep in mind. For one, you need to consider having a good trade marketing manager. This is basically the person who will be the pinnacle of your trade marketing team.

Their job is to look at the big picture and develop an overarching, long-term marketing strategy. Which is especially important when it comes to trade marketing, as it means looking at the long-term relations with the rest of the supply chain.

People in this position will need to be skilled at analyzing market data and marketing trends. Plus, they must be prepared for fully realizing their marketing vision. If you want to successfully roll out a campaign that targets retailers and wholesalers, it’s absolutely crucial to have the right kind of focus. 


Trade Marketing Analyst

Apart from the manager, you’ll probably need an analyst. This is a person who will be tasked with overseeing all the statistical data that’s related to your branch.

Also, they will need to have the ability to analyze the data and reaching conclusions. A manager can’t really do good work if they haven’t got the right information from the analysts, which makes their job crucial for the success of any campaign. 



As you can see, this type of marketing is a branch that’s entirely separate from traditional marketing. Realizing its intricacies is absolutely necessary for the right marketing of products to retail stores.