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Posted by Brett Romero - 28 August, 2019

How To Build A Powerful Marketing Plan for Wholesale Distribution

Marketing for wholesale is no easy feat. You have to think about attracting both trade customers--such as retailers and distributors--as well as end customers with both your product and your marketing. Additionally, many wholesalers are now considering B2C business models as an option thanks to the rise of easily accessible digital marketplaces. That’s why the two most important components of a strong wholesale marketing plan are getting to know your audience and then marketing directly to them. Keep reading for six key ways to build a powerful wholesale marketing plan. 

Key Tactics to Creating a Powerful Wholesale Marketing Strategy

Get To Know Your Audience

While this may apply more to wholesalers that want to market directly to their end customers, it's an important step for all looking to bolster their wholesale marketing strategy. Either way, it's difficult for wholesalers to know their audiences, since they typically rely on trade customers to sell products.

The more you know about your audience and their needs, the better products you can create. Additionally, you can pitch your product more effectively to trade customers if you can show that you understand who they are targeting as well. Whether you want to market to retailers, distributors, or your end customer, the first step to crafting an effective wholesale marketing strategy is getting to know your audience.

How to learn more about your current audience and potential audience: 

  1. Work with your retailers and distributors to discover what your current audience is composed of. Look first at the overall number and composition of individuals that are touched by your trade customers based on their audience databases, then compare that to the individual sales you make through each of these distributors and retailers. 
  2. If you're looking to branch out into marketing to your end customers, you'll want to know what your potential audience looks like. Start with market research, which you can use the above information to conduct, and then look at your typical customer demographics, including age and industry, and extend that to the larger population. 
  3. At this point, you're ready to develop more in-depth personas that explore the intentions and needs of your audience. Conduct customer surveys and do research into online spaces, such as forums or blogs, that are frequented by people matching your audience demographics.

Get Your Feet Wet With Direct-To-End-Customer Marketing Through B2C or eCommerce

Thanks to digital marketing, anyone can sell directly to their customers--no matter where they are located. This offers a wealth of opportunity for wholesalers that once relied on retailers to create and sustain their own audiences. Of course, this does pose a risk; branching out on your own may threaten your relationship with your trade customers. 

If you're willing to take this risk or choose not to prioritize these relationships, then invest as much as you want in your B2C efforts. If you'd like to maintain these relationships, though, it's still possible while getting involved in direct selling and marketing. For example, you can sell your products directly to customers under a different name, or you can offer the products at an equal or higher price than your retailer, so as to not undercut them.  

How to get your wholesale company started successfully in B2C marketing:

  1. Start out by building a digital presence on easy-to-use digital marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay. Competition is high on these sites, but you won't have to worry about building an audience. Take advantage of Amazon ads to make sure you're showing up to interested individuals.
  2. Once you've built up an independent audience, you can start marketing to them directly. The best way to do this? Create an email list that you can deliver consistent, helpful content to. This is yet another point where knowing your audience is essential.  
  3. Personalize your content--and your deals--to each customer. Thanks to marketing automation tools, you can leverage the information you have about each customer, including their purchases and the content they're most engaged with, to drive more personalized communications that will drive engagement and revenue. 

Bringing It All Together

These two strategies--getting to know your audience and marketing directly to them--and each of their 3 respective steps will offer your wholesale brand a wealth of opportunities with both trade customers and end customers. The more brand awareness you build, and the more popular your product is, the more value your wholesale business will provide. This is the digital fuel you need to really get the results you’re after when you’re looking to push your wholesale business better through a powerful marketing plan. 

B2B eCommerce Marketing

Topics: B2B eCommerce, Wholesale, Sales & Marketing

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