Advancing Trade Marketing in the Digital World

Henry Eccles, Ankit Jain, Renita Bakshi / February 2017

With consumers increasingly using digital to research and buy products, trade marketing faces an opportunity to shift focus from in-store experiences to online, creating new possibilities for both brands and retailers.

Trade marketing as a ‘sub-industry’ of retail is estimated to be worth well in excess of half-trillion American dollars globally1. These budgets focus mainly on influencing the consumer offline in-store and through traditional media. Today’s consumer behaviour however has evolved significantly; digital touch points provide an ever increasing role in forming brand and product perceptions, preferences and purchases. Digitising trade marketing could create significant benefit for both brands and retailers.

"Retailers and manufacturers need to ensure that the digital customer journey is optimised and personalised, particularly at the lower end of the funnel. We are embracing this by programmatically buying retail banner display advertising tailored to our end user segments."

- Darren Needham-Walker, Marketing Director, HP Australia

Although retailers do offer digital merchandising to their manufacturing partners, these marketing opportunities are often indiscriminate on-site banners with limited accountability for either manufacturer or retailer. Digital could offer a lot more, from precise audience targeting to robust campaign measurement. It could help retailers create more relevant and personalised online experiences for users, which in turn drive brand preferences and incremental sales. Leveraging the power of both data and programmatic could deliver a positive step change in profitability for both retailers and manufacturers at the time when margins within the retail industry are tight.


We’re starting to see the green shoots of this trade marketing (r)evolution and are excited to share some recent highlights from the pioneers of the industry.

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