Trade marketing is an often overlooked part of the business process. Trade marketing is that form of promotion and advertising that is aimed solely at distributors and others within an industry who sell to consumers. It involves that part of the business process that takes place before the consumer comes into the picture. In order for a brand to reach consumers, it must first be placed within consumer's reach through being sold in stores.
One important idea in trade marketing is the creation of an effective sales force. Some of the most successful brands and companies have created teams of salespeople who maintain personal relationships with the merchants who sell their products. A store owner will be more likely to sell and attempt to push a product to her customers if she feels that she has a personal relationship with the product herself. Much of trade marketing involves trust.
A very large part of much trade marketing strategy involves effectively displaying your product at trade shows. Many merchants and other distributors decide what products they will carry based directly on what they see and are able to sample at trade shows. Effectively selling your product at a trade show involves different strategies than those involved in other promotion. Participants at a trade show must be able to experience your product in a visceral way.
Paradoxically, the success of much trade marketing will depend on how well you are able to sell your product to consumers. A store will only carry a product to the extent that it believes it can sell it to customers. The more successful an advertising campaign is that aims itself at consumers, the more likely will it be that a company's trade marketing will be successful. Trade marketing and consumer marketing complement each other.
Many companies and well-known brands have taken to providing incentives to merchants and others in order to get them to carry their product. Some brands have even taken to paying certain merchants to carry their product simply so that it would remain in the public eye. Others offer steep discounts in order to get their new products on the shelf. Often these sorts of strategies involve taking on debt before a profit is made.
- "USA Today"; Strategies: Sales or Marketing? You Need Both; Rhonda Abrams; July 2007
- "USA Today" Launches Trade and Consumer Advertising Campaign: September 2007
- "The New York Times"; Publishers Try to Sell Words With Moving Pictures; Claudia H. Deutsch; August 2006
- "Guardian"; Let There Be Light -- Efficiently; Richard Gibson; March 2006
- Fast-Moving Consumer Goods; Trade Marketing 201:. A Retail View; P. J. Bierman