Trade marketing

The core of the supply chain. 


Marketing is not always about attracting the attention of customers, it’s also about gaining the confidence of strategic partners like retailers. If you want shoppers to put your products in their carts, you have to make sure that your products are available in-store and that they are as visible as possible. 

In this guide, we are going to focus on trade marketing, one of the most important types of marketing used by brands to promote their products. However, this time, we are not focusing on the customer, but on business partners. 

Table of contents

  1. What is trade marketing?

  2. Why is trade marketing important?

  3. Trade marketing Sales fundamentals

  4. Trade marketing channels and solutions

What is trade marketing?

Most of the time, trade marketing is a misunderstood concept. That’s why we are going to kickstart this guide by defining trade marketing. 

Trade marketing can be considered the core of the supply chain. Without it, your products won’t reach the shelves of the biggest retailers and ultimately, they won’t be purchased by customers. 

While shopper marketing or in-store marketing are B2C, trade marketing is a B2B form of marketing. The ultimate goal is to make your products known and to have them on the shelves in retail stores. 

When it comes to eCommerce, it’s easier to make sure that your products are visible. After all, there is no actual shelf to put them on, right? However, most customers still shop in brick-and-mortar shops, especially when it comes to groceries. 

They might do their research online (80% of them), but grocery shopping is mostly done in physical stores. 

Actually, 92% of consumers choose brick and mortar shops when it comes to buying groceries.

This is why it is important to make sure that your consumer goods products are being distributed and sold in different types of stores. From small shops to the biggest retail chains. 

Now, enter Trade Marketing! 

Unlike in-store marketing, trade marketing helps manufacturers and brands make sure that their products reach customers. The only way to do so is through distributors, wholesalers, and retailers. 

While for smaller stores it might be easier to purchase products directly from brands, big retailers work with different distributors and wholesalers to receive products. 

Why is trade marketing important?

Trade marketing is extremely important. With a great trade marketing strategy, brands can increase awareness, gain market share and grow the category. Building strong relationships with retailers can help brands better promote their products and increase sales. 

Trade marketing plays an important role in the sustainable development of a brand. Without a trade marketing strategy in place, brands have no chance of getting noticed on the market. 

Also, trade marketing comes with many benefits including:

  • Creating a strong relationship between the brand and retailers
  • Brands gain a stronger voice and presence inside the stores
  • Reinforces the brand’s message
  • Increases visibility of the brand on the most important channel (in-store)
  • Helps increase the demand for the product 

Trade marketing Sales fundamentals

As you probably know, the retailers have the power in this supply chain. They can select the consumer goods companies, FMCG brands, and types of products they want. However, when you combine trade marketing and brand marketing, you will manage to increase brand awareness which eventually will lead to more retailers purchasing your products. 

Because, essentially, retailers want to sell more products to increase revenue. If your products are well-known and appreciated, more customers will purchase them. It’s a simple demand and supply kind of issue: 

More people requesting your products = more retailers (or distributors or wholesalers) purchasing your brand’s products. 

Did you know that 90% of trade promotions fail when it comes to return on investment? 

The main problem with trade marketing is the lack of innovative solutions that could help you promote your products effectively. 

Distribution, Display, Promotion, and Price 

For your trade marketing strategy to succeed, you will need to focus on the 4 sales fundamentals: Distribution, Display, Promotion, and Price. Understanding the market, the demand, and the power of the supply chain offers you insights into how your distribution, display, promotion, and price should look like. 


Distributing your FMCG products in stores is the most important step towards increasing revenue. If your products are not in stores, how would customers be able to purchase them?


The way your products look and how they are placed on the shelf are essential things to take into consideration. The most insignificant element could be the one that attracts attention. Old school trade marketing POP displays won’t meet the expectations of customers which, of course, will lead to retailers promoting a different brand instead of yours. 

Want to avoid that from happening? You will need a better, innovative, engaging solution - Tokinomo.

Our in-store marketing solution combines sound, light, and motion technology to catch the attention of shoppers and engage them. Offering an experience to your customers will help retailers understand why your brand is the right one for their store! 


Just like in-store marketing promotions, trade promotions are the best way to grab the attention of retailers. After all, even B2B marketing works with discounts and promotions, right? 


The pricing of your products is essential because it speaks a lot about your audience. When you choose the price of a product you need to take a lot of things into consideration. Apart from covering all of the costs, the price puts your product into a category: low-cost (economy), average (medium), and premium (high-quality).

Trade marketing channels and solutions

If you want to let retailers know that your brand is perfect for their grocery store, you will need to select the best trade marketing tools and solutions. 

There are a few tactics that will help you promote your products and reach more and more stores. 

Let’s take a look at different ways in which you can promote your products so that the best distributors love and sell your consumer goods. 

1. Trade promotions

Sometimes even retailers need a bit of an incentive to see the true potential of your products. This is why you need trade promotions! A better deal, a smaller price, or a bulk package discount are some of the best ways in which you can convince wholesalers or retailers to acquire your products.  

2. Trade events

As we’ve mentioned before, in order for people to know about you and care about your brand you will need to combine trade marketing with brand marketing. Trade events are a great opportunity for you to showcase your products and show what your mission is all about. 

3. Branding

Another important thing you need to keep in mind is that branding is essential for trade marketing. It’s easier to sell your products if you have an established brand and a great brand image. The way customers perceive your brand has a massive impact on sales. Since retailers want to increase revenue, they won’t promote products from brands that have a poor image on the market. You will get a less accessible spot on the shelf and won’t benefit from great exposure, which will lead to fewer sales. 

By investing in brand marketing, you will be able to make your products top of mind and customers will be more likely to choose your products over the ones of your competitors. 

4. Strategic partnerships

You should aim to collaborate with every partner on the supply chain and try to build and develop strategic partnerships. Maybe you can swipe market research to have a better understanding of the customer’s needs or partner with a more established brand to attract some of their loyal customers. 

5. Digital marketing

Trade marketing needs to keep up with the latest trends. Most of your customers are online, even if we are talking about B2B marketing. Keeping up with prospects via social media is a common approach. Also, by creating targeted ads, you have a better chance at a retailer promoting your products on their shelves. 

6. In-store advertising 

Once you reach the shelves of the retailers, you can’t stop there. As you know, the number of FMCG brands is increasing and the market is getting more competitive as we speak. 

In-store advertising is an amazing way to show the retailer that you can about the final customer - the shopper. But how can you showcase your products in a more innovative way, considering the fact that most in-store marketing solutions are dull? 

With Tokinomo!

Let your products tell their story and offer an amazing experience to shoppers! 

Take your products to the next level

Promote your products with the right solutions to attract the attention of both retailers and customers. 

After discovering that traditional in-store marketing solutions no longer fulfilled the needs of the customers, we developed Tokinomo, an innovative in-store marketing solution. 

  • Communicate with shoppers right at the point of sale

Yes, it is important to promote your brand online, in ads, on your website, but it’s mandatory to promote them directly in the store. With the help of Tokinomo, you can communicate directly with shoppers in the store. 

  • Let your products become your biggest promoters

With Tokinomo your products will start to talk. Yes, actually talk and tell whatever you want them to tell. This is why Tokinomo is the best customer engagement solution. 

  • See in real-time the performance of your campaigns

It’s important to know how your campaign is performing at all times. With our cloud-based platform, you can see how many people walked by your product and how many times Tokinomo was activated. 

If you are an FMCG brand always looking for better ways to promote its products and offer amazing experiences in-store, Tokinomo is the right solution for you!

Forget about lowering prices to convince shoppers and choose Tokinomo, our in-store marketing robot to help you increase sales by 200%! 

Read the article about trade market challenges and how to tackle them:


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