Talking Trade: Opinions and Predictions for a Transitioning Industry

Updated on May 21, 2018

A recent report by research firm Kantar/Millward Brown revealed many opinions on the state of trade marketing and one consistent theme: the need for a personalized shopping experience that views the consumer holistically. Responses varied, however, on how this omnichannel imperative can be accomplished. This survey of 100 marketing executives — many in companies with revenues exceeding $500MM and up — revealed some surprising views on the state of trade marketing. Among them:

Trade and brand marketing will soon combine.

Because budgets are blending (and the walls are tumbling down).Marketers predict an increased need to focus on shopper marketing rather than zeroing in on a channel. As they take a personal, holistic view of their consumers, they will also be blurring the lines between trade and brand marketing.

Paid search and digital display advertising will see the biggest increase in effectiveness.

Because the landscape of local media is changing (and brands better keep up). As print declines, digital rises — especially on retail sites. Paid search on retail sites is particularly exciting and surprisingly underused.

The biggest challenges are attribution and trackability.

Because it’s important to know when a campaign is working (and when it’s not). While many challenges of trade marketing were mentioned, the biggest perceived problem was difficulty measuring and tracking a campaign’s efficacy — challenges made significantly easier in the digital marketing world.

Most anticipate working more with voice activated devices and assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Echo, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Home.

Because sometimes you just need someone to talk to (who takes your orders without complaint). Most marketers are certain they’ll be working with this technology in the near future, particularly for product search.

The greatest wish is for easier ways to reach consumers across devices and platforms.

Because consumers are more than their laptops (or even their phones and tablets). If marketers could be granted one magical digital wish, it would be easier, simpler ways to see an individual consumer as one person, both online and off.

What else do marketers think is in store for the state of trade marketing? Click here for the full report (because more knowledge is always a good thing).

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