How does Trade Marketing Work?

If you’ve been following the blog for any length of time, you’re probably aware that marketing can be pretty complicated.

There’s the confusion between digital vs traditional marketing. For example—or the fact that we lump everything from PR to graphic design to data analysis under the umbrella of marketing! If you’re not sure how certain strategies fit into your goals, you can definitely be forgiven.

Today, though, we’re talking about one marketing strategy that’s been around for years: trade marketing. This form of marketing is great for any brand trying to get into online or brick-and-mortar stores. Let’s take a look at how trade marketing works, and the most effective strategies we use for it.

What Is Trade Marketing, and How Does It Work?

Trade marketing is a strategy designed to get a product or service onto retail store shelves and in front of consumers. 

In other words, this B2B strategy differs from traditional forms of marketing in that the goal isn’t to sell the product or service itself. Rather, it creates an opportunity to sell the product in the future. But while the final sale isn’t the objective here, modern trade marketing is a critical prerequisite to getting your goods sold. After all, consumers can’t buy what you offer if they never see it in the first place!

Good trade marketing requires you to showcase the value of what you’re offering. Specifically how it relates to and solves problems for the target audience of the retail store in question. 

If you’re just getting your start in trade marketing, it’s a good idea to jump into some of the more popular approaches to getting your products into the most relevant stores. Depending on your needs, you’ll likely invest your time into one or more of the tactics below.

  • Trade shows: Shows, exhibitions, and fairs can be a great way to secure marketing and networking opportunities. What’s more, they can also be helpful in furthering your brand awareness with key supply-chain partners.
  • Trade promotions: Promotions are always a solid tactic when it comes to setting yourself apart from the crowd. After all, everyone loves a good incentive, and that includes your potential business partners. From demonstrations to discounts to free samples, the right promotion can snare attention when you need it most.
  • Branding: One of the most essential tools in trade marketing, branding can help you establish yourself as a reputable and trusted resource for potential partners. 
  • Digital trade marketing: In today’s online world, customers often connect with specific brands or products before they venture into stores to buy them. This means that promoting yourself to customers can help strengthen their chances of winning partnerships with the stores who want to attract those customers.

Essentially, the best trade marketing tactics will call for digital marketing as an absolute minimum. If you’re trying to showcase the benefits of what your brand offers. Traditional marketing tactics like trade shows and promotions are helpful tools as well. But it’s hard to pull off long-term success with these alone.

Not sure where to start when it comes to trade marketing, or how to get your digital strategies off the ground? When it comes to driving success, one-on-one coaching can make all the difference. Reach out to book a free discovery call!


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