07th Jun, 2021
Marcom, , Designation
- Enterprises are realizing trade marketing’s strategic importance
- However, new-world trade marketing is no longer simple and straightforward, and it needs strategic thinking
- Enterprises should carefully evaluate their trade marketing service provider to select the right partner
In the last part of the series, we touched upon the basics of trade marketing, dispelling the common confusions and understanding the core concepts – why it needs to be focus area for companies now and what purpose does it serve for sales, marketing and higher management individually. In this part, we’ll cover the overall process which goes into gear when you sign up with a trade marketing partner and how can you identify the right partner for your specific needs.
However, why do you need to know the background process when a partner is already managing your trade marketing?
The answer is quite simple. While your solution provider will be managing the entire workflow, it is always beneficial to be aware of the nitty-gritties since it will strengthen your understanding of not just the process but tentative challenges and work-arounds as well. Also, it will equip you to course-correct in case if the partner is not aligning with the specific needs of your business.
Appended is a nutshell view of the overall operation capturing the parties involved at each stage and the precise action points which define those stages.
Equipped with the knowledge of the overall process, let’s take a step further and understand the non-negotiables as well as the ‘beyond-regular’ features which you must see when zeroing down on a trade marketing solution.
Basic features which your selected solution must provide as few essential value-for-money provisions:
- Marketing Activity Calendar & Target Planner
- Omni-Channel B2B Activity Management
- Geo-Fencing Enabled Activity & Deviation Tracker
- Info Broadcast and Interactive Collaboration Platform
- Issue Management Platform
- Smart User Management Interface
- Reporting & Dashboard Interface
- Business Analytics and Business Intelligence Plug-ins
- 3rd Party Data Mapping and Integration Platform
- Offline app availability
Now with these non-negotiable features, you can check out the trade marketing offering for these value add-ons as well, since these are the ones which will place you apart from the other market players:
End-to-end integrated solution
How much so ever promising it may seem, it is beneficial to stay away from silo-approach solutions and instead go for cohesive solutions which provides you marketing process automation while driving KPIs through on-ground execution framework.
It is always beneficial to have a ready reckoner for all the marketing content for anytime on-demand access, be it collaterals or videos etc.
Business insights, analytics & inferences
While analytics may have become a term often misused in advertising but always look for solutions which not just promises the leverage of advanced analytics but also commits intelligent insights and inferences instead of leaving that job on you after giving you complex reports.
Honing Your Trade Marketing Dream
Getting your hands on the perfect trade marketing solution is a dream for all OEMs and today, it is not even a tough one to achieve as well, if some essentials are kept in mind while researching for the right partner.
The foremost thing is to ensure that you don’t fall into the trap of legacy solutions which come with a flashy bit of technology which too, just covers a few aspects of the solution and leaves the rest. For example, a process automation solution which doesn’t provide real-time interactive data dashboards or a solution which caters to all your needs but doesn’t hold any expertise in whitespace tapping, thus, limiting your potential outreach.
An ideal solution is an end-to-end process automation tool which helps you in planning your trade marketing activities, executing them on-ground, managing the field performance and tracking it real-time. Thus, allowing you to have access to each and every move, including the ground-level activity analysis. Ultimately, stakeholders across levels have the requisite visibility around sales performance, funds’ leverage, market coverage and brand advocacy of channel ecosystem.
Getting the Right Partner
Now that you know what all it takes to have that successful trade marketing strategy in place, you’re ready to do an optimal market search and get your hands on the perfect sales enablement partner or service provider who can usher you into this journey of perfecting trade marketing.
The right partner will help you with the market research, shopper behaviour analysis, recommendation of product/ service/ offers’ improvisation if any, branding & creation of product value proposition and eventually, the end-to-end execution. Hence, the toil to not settle with the second-best is always worth it when it comes to investing into a trade marketing solution.
Therefore, look for a partner who suffices these 4 E’s:
Enquire: Understands your requirements – Complete ecosystem and gap analysis
Enrich: Architects the solutions in line with the unique requirements instead of forcing a readymade solution
Engage: Drives planning and adoption in the entire ecosystem instead of taking a silo approach
Execute: Executes, monitors and leverages advanced analytics for complete assessment and course correction, if any required.
Equipped with all the foundational knowledge, you’re now ready to take the plunge in the market – the right application of this comprehensive knowledge and ultimately, an expert partner will uplift your brand to heights you aim for.
Want to go further? In the 3rd part of the Trade Marketing series we talk about the tools and the steps which can help you create a winning trade market strategy and also share the benefits of having a proper trade marketing strategy in place.