All You Need To Know About Trade Marketing

trade marketing

As businesses become more and more competitive, marketing has taken on a whole new level of importance. Among the many different types of marketing, trade marketing has emerged as one of the most effective strategies a company can use. But what is trade marketing? How does it differ from other forms of marketing? And most importantly, how can your business benefit from it?

What is trade marketing?

A close up of food

Trade Marketing or Retail Marketing is the process of engaging the retailer’s sales forces in order to influence sales and profit opportunities within their stores. The goal is not just increasing sales volume but is also about getting retailers to stock more products, provide shelf space for new or updated lines, highlight them more prominently, or simply get them on sale more often than before. This type of activity lies at the very heart of brand-building for many consumer product manufacturers and can create significant promotion windows if executed properly (Source: Linkedin). Most people think this tactic is only used by small businesses, but this is not the case at all. Big named companies are using this marketing method as well to increase their sales, generate more revenue, and most importantly gain customer loyalty with existing buyers.

The benefits of trade marketing


There are many benefits that come along with retail or trade marketing. One example would be gaining increased buying power from retailers since they have a strong influence on product selection, promotion, and placement in-store. This will allow businesses to forecast revenue growth with accuracy for future years because they will have an idea if the business will sell the same amount of products each year (Source: Linkedin). Other benefits may include obtaining better margins by working together with retailers rather than alone, increasing market share and brand awareness and it also has a direct effect on sales. When companies use the trade marketing tactic to distribute their product samples or coupons to retailers, they can see an increase in sales growth which greatly contributes to their overall revenue growth (Source: Linkedin).

How to get started with trade marketing

Now that we have learned what retail or trade marketing is and how it benefits business owners, let’s discuss some tips when starting out with this process. One tip would be to cultivate a relationship before attempting any type of communication with a retailer because this will give you a better chance for success when communicating your message about the products you sell. If you wait until something goes wrong then there is no telling if that retailer will listen at all depending on the situation. Another tip would be to keep reminding retailers about you and your company’s presence within the retail environment. This may seem like unnecessary work but it is necessary because they may forget who you are or what marketing tactic you use (Source: Linkedin). It has been shown that 79% of retailers see trade marketing as a key component for growth in consumer products, so there is no need to worry (Source: Linkedin).

Tips for successful trade marketing

There are certain things that must be done if companies want to have success when engaging with retailers through trade marketing. First, firms should establish their goal on whether they want increased sales volume, increased market share, or making sure product awareness remains high with retailers. Once the goal is established, companies should establish their target audience or retailers to communicate with since this will help make sure all communication reaches its target audience (Source: Linkedin). Another tip would be to do your homework on both your products and retailers before beginning any communication. There are many tools that can help you find who the best influencers are within a particular industry. Further, if it is possible then sending product samples or coupons are great starting points because they are easy for consumers to get excited about while providing retailers with products they can get behind because it entices them to push products more often than not (Source: Linkedin).

Sample of trade marketing case studies

Even though there are many company’s using trade marketing to boost their sales, there are still some who try to cut corners in order to save money. One example would be the Hershey Company where they began distributing product samples at various retailers but did not have any idea what this strategy would do to their bottom line. After doing research, it was estimated that this company spent $1 billion on free sample giveaways without finding out if it actually worked or not (Source: Forbes). Another company using trade marketing is PepsiCo which has over 2 million retail items which account for 1/3rd of its business revenue every year. The company also has over 10,000 employees working in-house when it comes to building relationships with retailers and distributors (Source: Forbes).


Trade Marketing is a process of marketing to businesses. Trade Marketing can be done through many different mediums such as print, email, and social media. This article has provided you with the knowledge that will help you effectively market your product or service to business owners in order for them to purchase from you.

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