There are companies that do not have their own place of direct sale to the public for their products. Currently, they can use Trade Marketing , a strategy with which a business can offer its products at different points of sale that act as authentic showcases for its brand.
The fact of giving a product greater visibility, to reach more potential customers and thus increase their demand, can be very complicated if our distributors do not have a Marketing plan to help them. But don’t worry, there is a solution in this case.
And that solution is to use Trade Marketing. For this reason, today I want to talk to you about its meaning, what its objectives are and I will show how you can implement this strategy step by step in your organization. Go for it!
What is Trade Marketing?
Trade Marketing (or Marketing in distribution channels) is a technique based on optimizing the strategic exposure of products at the point of sale, with the aim of increasing demand by improving the shopping experience.
These strategies and actions have a necessarily dual approach, since we must include both distributors (B2B) and retailers (B2C) in them, because both are an essential part of our sales channel in their context and are responsible for direct contact between the product and the consumer.
The placement of products in strategic places aims to generate an impact on consumer perception, increasing their visibility and sales. In this way, customers can see them in an attractive way that invites them, in some way, to buy them.
But, the true main objective of Trade Marketing should be to improve the customer’s shopping experience, to promote and encourage the consumption of products throughout the distribution and sales chain .
This is done through different actions and marketing strategies that make the point of sale more attractive.
What are the objectives of a Trade Marketing strategy?
As I have told you before, the main objective of Trade Marketing is to increase consumer demand. In order to achieve it, there are several key points that must be covered thanks to this technique.
1. Strengthen the brand
When you have control of the impact that your product has on the customer who discovers it, it is easy for you to improve their perception of your brand . The right image in the eyes of the client makes you connect with him , and this strengthens the relationship.
Therefore, when you present your product in a striking and innovative way, you create a memory in the customer’s mind that positions you in their preferences, above the competition. You have to be in the right place and formats, especially if you share the same space with your competitors in the sales channel.
2. Choose the right channel
Choose well where your products will be. Choosing the right channel to sell them is part of the Trade Marketing strategy . Study carefully what type of channel your potential customers prefer, since it does not matter how visible you are at a point of sale if it is not the right channel.
Sometimes, it will even be necessary to train the staff at the point of sale with information, technical characteristics and advantages of your product, so that the customer chooses you in their purchase decision.
3. Gain visibility and exposure
You can do this through the use of merchandising , or additional branding material. Samples also work very well. The point is to make a difference with respect to your competitors at the point of sale.
Within that space that you share with your competition, the exact place where your products are also influences the purchase choice of consumers; so, try to take care of all the details so that the client gets a good impression of your brand .
This is achieved by negotiating the location with the point of sale, obtaining second locations and ensuring the presence of your brand on the shelf.
4. Plan promotions and offers
Along with good visibility material, promotions are good examples of Trade Marketing because they increase the customer’s interest in the product and contribute to its rotation.
Designing these offers in detail, and ensuring that they are carried out at the point of sale, is another of the objectives of this strategy.
5. Improve product turnover
The consequence of achieving the three previous objectives is to improve the rotation of the product in the sales channels. If this happens, it increases the demand from the retailer, who wants more of your brand because it is successful with customers at the point of sale.
Distributors receive more orders and, consequently, they order more products from you, making all the actors in the chain win.
6. Insure the shares negotiated in the sales channel
As in many other disciplines, consistency is the key to success, and when a company does not have its own distribution channel, it is quite difficult to control that the actions you have negotiated are carried out as you have planned.
For this reason, another of the objectives of the Trade is to ensure that all those creative marketing actions that you have prepared for the sales channel are carried out just as you have designed . Making the point of sale understand that the rotation of your product is a benefit for both parties, helps everything go according to plan.
How is a Trade Marketing strategy applied?
When implementing a Trade strategy, you must bear in mind that the main objective is to increase product demand at all stages of the distribution chain; so you must take great care of the final consumer, who is responsible for the increase in demand from intermediaries.
I recommend you follow the following steps when you are going to apply this strategy:
1. Research the competition
If you are new to Trade Marketing, it will be useful to do some preliminary research to know what the competition is doing, and if their strategies have an impact on consumer demand.
Knowing the strategies of your competitors will give you ideas to be successful at the moment you decide to implement your strategy, and will help you anticipate possible problems that may arise later.
2. Prepare the infrastructure
You may need a tool to collect data from different points of sale and keep track of all of them, although you can also do it manually.
The tool you choose will facilitate communication with the rest of the team , it will help you obtain reports, as well as monitor the status of the product at the points of sale.
Once you already have a Trade Marketing technology, you implement it in your company giving access to employees. You must register the members of your team, the different points of sale, both offline and online, and your product portfolio.
3. Design a Trade Marketing action plan
When you have entered all the data in the tool, you have to define what information your work team is going to collect . This is done through survey forms, in which the field team collects information on the price of the product, its status, its visibility, the competition, etc.
This phase is key to success in Trade Marketing, since all the information collected will be used to determine the actions, promotions or merchandising that you will apply at the point of sale and that will help you increase consumer demand.
You can also divide the team based on the different types of products you have, the geographical areas or the type of point of sale. This will help you analyze smaller segments and be able to jump into action more easily.
4. Materialize your action plan
Once you know what aspects of the point of sale you are going to study, you have to prepare your team. For that, you have to think of the best itineraries so that the team knows when, how and where to go.
You must also program the activities that must be carried out at the point of sale , setting the objectives to be achieved.
For example, imagine that you have a brand of energy drinks and you are defining the objectives of your team to improve the state of the product at a point of sale.
A good objective for a point of sale for the hotel industry, for example, may be to improve visibility by placing a display, or to ensure that the product is included in the menu.
5. Train your team
Having all the information in an app or tool can be a challenge for some members of your team if they do not know how to use it well. For this reason, it is convenient that you do one or several training sessions explaining how to use the tool and what objectives you intend to achieve with the strategy.
You will be able to show them examples of how the product should be at a point of sale to increase demand, and explain to them where their objectives come from. You can also form a back office team, who are in charge of processing the information that comes out of the team that is on the street.
6. Keep track of operations
You must be attentive to the development of the entire action plan , seeing which objectives take longer to meet and why, modifying the itineraries, if necessary, and even retraining your team.
It is important to be in constant communication with them, monitor stock breakage and propose alternatives for any unforeseen event that may arise.
7. Evaluate the strategy
As a last step, you should check the effectiveness of the strategy. Evaluating your Trade strategy involves seeing if the state of the product at the point of sale has affected the demand of the final consumer.
If you have executed the strategy properly, you will be able to see first-hand how it has helped you increase sales and improve your brand image.