17 January 2018

Mercieca’s MD, Rod Taylor, caught up with our new Media Consultant, Mike Baillie, to pose a few questions about the current trade media landscape and how brands can get the most from it.

How has the trade media landscape changed in the past 15 years?

The purpose of trade media in the convenience, wholesale, foodservice and out of home markets has actually remained pretty constant. But the landscape has become increasingly competitive, so media owners have become progressively innovative in the way they engage their target audiences and unlock value for advertisers.

Many media owners are growing their digital audiences and continuing to invest so that they can provide suppliers with new and exciting ways to talk to forward-thinking business people.

What's more, by building networks of key influencers and decision makers, they have created numerous opportunities for their customers to meet face to face, whether that be in-store, in-depot or at large scale annual events.

86% of retailers state that trade media is still their most important source of information.

Does it work?

Most certainly. There is clear evidence that investing in the trade media works, with 86% of retailers stating that trade media is still their most important source of information and the place that they turn to for advice on which products to stock.

What questions should be asked when developing a trade media strategy?

Of all the routes to market, which are the ones that are best suited to you and your business? Who are the real innovators in the market, introducing initiatives that are truly designed to help you? How do you research the media so that you feel confident that you are investing with the right people?

Who, within the trade media, are able to help you maximise the ROI from your trade media investment? How can you build meaningful, collaborative relationships with them?

How do you negotiate the best outcomes for you and your business, not just on price but in terms of value delivered? How do you know what additional value to extract and how to ask for it? How do you use your media buying clout to leverage better PR opportunities that benefit you and add value for the media owner? How much time and resource can you dedicate to buying trade media more effectively? And, of course, who are ther best poeple to help you.

What does 2018 look like?

There is no doubt that digital communications will continue to grow in importance as more and more business people in the retail, wholesale, on-trade and out-of-home communities look online for business advice. We’re already seeing a growing number of retailers active on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp which provides brand and media owners with the opportunity to build relationships in those spaces and to steer retailers to their own online properties.

Events that deliver real business benefits will continue to flourish, because business people need that quality face to face time to share insight and to build collaborative business partnerships that grow sales and profits. And there is absolutely no sign that press is dying. Many people in these sectors still love to receive their weekly, fortnightly or monthly fix of printed content, in part because it defines who they are.

To discuss how Mercieca can help you evolve your trade communication strategy contact Mike Baillie.

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