Talk Trade Marketing To Me

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If you didn’t come to the food and beverage industry from a business and marketing background, terms like trade marketing might make your head spin as you venture into food and beverage entrepreneurship. At Good to Grow, our job is to break it down for you.

Let’s Talk Trade Marketing

In the simplest terms, trade marketing is all of the marketing a business does with the market channel buyer (i.e. “the trade”) to increase market demand. It applies to: wholesale, retail, and distribution. Food and beverage brands are expected to participate in trade marketing, which means they need a specific budget for trade marketing that is separate from consumer marketing activities. 

A solid trade marketing budget should be broken down into four major buckets: promotions, ads (with the retailer), demos, trade shows.

Why trade marketing?

  • Builds brand recognition
    Trade marketing uses the tactics of promotion, visibility, ads, and preferred merchandise space to increase consumer recognition of your brand.
  • Drives sales
    Trade marketing helps a product and brand get noticed, increasing sales.
  • Increases understanding of target audience
    Trade marketing offers valuable feedback through ground-level retailer assessment, sales reports, in-store demos, and trade shows.
  • Strengthens buyer relationships
    When a business includes a budget to engage in store-level activities, such as promotions, demos, and ads, it increases brand visibility and touch points with the buyer. In turn, strengthening the relationship with the buyer so that you and your brand become top of mind for them and your consumer.
  • Raises competitive edge
    The brand that utilizes trade marketing tactics like promotion is the brand that stands out. There can be two very similar products, but the one with trade marketing behind it will be the product that makes the sales.

Trade marketing sets you up for success, and a budget for trade marketing is crucial to your business. Your trade marketing budget is everything you spend with the trade (i.e. the buyer) to help drive your product sales.

“When a food and beverage business doesn’t have a trade marketing budget, this is where we can see them get into trouble. For example, they want to say yes to all of the demos asked of them, but the costs can get away from them if they haven’t budgeted.

If a brand has a budget, expectations are clear for both themselves and the buyer they are building a relationship with–then they can focus on working towards sales goals!” – Meghan Carter, Operations and Marketing Director, Good to Grow.


We’ve covered who, what, why, and now you’re probably saying, “but tell me how!” Check back on the blog in June for a follow-up post on how to build a trade marketing budget. 

Can’t wait and need to know trade marketing budget details now? Connect with us for one-on-one business consultation and coaching, and stay tuned for upcoming business workshops.

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