Trade marketing is all about creating demand for specific products before they reach the consumers. But in a rapidly shifting market, where new technologies and trends bring volatility to always-new heights, what are the best strategies trade marketers can adopt to stay on top of their game, and how can data help with that?
Trade marketing strategies badly need data
One thing is certain, 2020 will continue this years’ trend of data-led decisions.
In our previous blog posts, we talked about relevant trends and product launches in the F&B market for 2019, and that’s something to start with.
Consumer preferences and product demand are what shape the market. The way products are marketed, not only on the internet, have an impact on what items and trends become popularised. It is important that the retailer can track this movement and also identify gaps within their specific market.
Data can provide information into which specific area is best to focus on and also areas that are less populated, so a niche in the market can be established.
Identify your competitors. In 2020, brand and trend analytics could be the key to success and competitors’ analysis will be conducted more comprehensively. This will bring power to companies and allow them to define their position and craft a more articulated strategy to sell their products to distributors.
Customer experience is king for trade marketers
The future of trade marketing is paved with data for experience personalization.
The more data is collected from users, through delivery apps and feedback services, the more retailers will tend to try and optimize their sales giving their customers just what they want.
This attitude could pose a problem to producers. Brands will lose selling points if they don’t differentiate their offer and tailor it to their different audiences.
Some companies already understood it – Coca Cola, for example – but this will become a habit in the years to come. Brands will be using big data to segment the audience and develop different products for different tastes.
Things could be planned this way: 1. the producer collects or acquires data from users and from selling points 2. insights are extracted from such data 3. the offer to retailers is built around these insights, and this will allow the producer to optimize time and efforts.
Embrace content marketing and inbound marketing
The reality is, some of the execution strategies that have been working so far, might actually become outdated in the next few years.
Back in the day, cold calling was one of the most recognized outbound marketing techniques. Now that strategies and technology have evolved, sales and marketing departments work hand in hand to attract retailers, wholesalers, and distributors with online and offline content that sponsor their products. Digital trade marketing is on the rise.
Running a nicely-crafted inbound campaign, offering information about your products and experimenting with different geographies might be the key to winning new points of sales and consolidating a company’s portfolio of outlets.
Naturally, big data can help in this case too. Via location intelligence analytics, producers can provide prospects with a clear understanding of what they’re buying in and why they should make space on their shelves for this or that product or brand.
In 2019, retail e-commerce sales worldwide passed $ 3.5 trillion. And the estimate for 2022 is a sweeping $ 6.5 trillion!
On top of that, a Nielsen study from 2015 – Antediluvian era, in “digital years” – already showed that 60% of brick-and-mortar shop promotions lose money. Instead, digital promotions offer a clearer ROI and a higher degree of tracking.
Producers – whether they are big brands or small firms, and within any markets – need to be ready. 2020 will witness an increase in the delocalized wholesalers, that don’t have a physical store and rely, instead, on home deliveries. Being in such distributors’ portfolio will make the difference.
But are trade marketers realizing this? Apparently, not yet. According to Zakie Beg, Google Strategic Partner Lead, “65 percent of organizations continue to use the mass market as their focus. So the small shift in trade marketing budgets to online doesn’t reflect the change in consumer behaviour yet, and it’s a real opportunity that retailers are missing out on.”
Differentiate your portfolio offering
Because the consumer’s segmentation is more and more marked, a brand’s portfolio will have to have a rightful degree of variety and differentiation.
Brand owners already tend to use more famous brands to support smaller ones, when trying to pitch their products to retailers. This is something that’s always been done, alright, but recent trends like plastic-free products, clean-label and healthy drinks are forcing companies to be more creative about their offerings.
This paradigm shift will become more and more evident in the years to come, as customers’ tastes rapidly shift and the number of product launches increases.
Be fast and flexible
One last thing to take into consideration, something mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, is the volatility of the market.
Trade marketing will have to be adaptive and trade marketers will have to be ready to identify and embrace new technologies and trends much faster than they were doing before. And the only good strategy for that is always being ready to switch strategy.