Trade Marketing 2.0: From Sari-sari Store to Online Marketplaces

This is a follow-up article on our previous article “Why Aren’t FMCG Brands Getting the Sari-sari Store Effect from Digital Advertising”. These are insights that we picked up during the Facebook Mobile Moves Holidays event held recently in BGC.

There’s this theory that the reason why Filipino multinationals and major local companies haven’t been able to “crack” digital advertising is because they’re limiting it to just on the awareness side of the funnel and treating it like above-the-line advertising. The problem with this approach, as mentioned by Unilever PH Head of Media Dennis Perez, is that you restrict the interactive potential of digital (it’s not just one way) and you should be leveraging that digital is end-to-end across the entire sales funnel down to conversion. This leads me to the main topic of this article — the rise of Trade Marketing 2.0.

Online Marketplaces Are Here

Ideally you have your own online store to drive the traffic generated by your online ads. However if you don’t have one it shouldn’t be a showstopper for you to push your digital sales agenda. You can still sell online by signing-up with marketplaces like Lazada.

Here are the key benefits of having a Trade Marketing 2.0 strategy leveraging marketplaces:

  • They can take care of the payments processing beyond credit cards (they do debit, convenience store, and even cash on delivery).
  • They have massive organic traffic. This is like foot traffic for malls. There are hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who go to their site everyday. Those are ready and willing online shoppers.
  • You can work with them to get you featured and pushed on their various digital channels (social media, EDMs, SMS blasts, etc).

The only disadvantage with relying solely on marketplaces and not having your own e-commerce store is you’re spending your advertising budgets driving customers to a third-party platform (when you can be using it to build your own).

Regardless of that though, having a marketplace strategy or Trade Marketing 2.0 framework is critical for any business that’s serious in leveraging digital.

Trade Marketing Officer 2.0?

It’s all good on paper though but you also need the right team and resources to pull it off.

E-commerce is relatively new in the Philippines and your typical trade marketing manager wouldn’t know how to start and scale it quickly. If you want to scale digital operations fast, we recommend incubating it in a separate team and maybe after it reaches a certain level of maturity and profitability you can bring the operations to either sales, product, or marketing. You can read more about this method in this article we wrote: How to Disrupt Yourself, the No Nonsense and Practical Way.

See Also: Facebook Wants PH Businesses to Know These 3 Things About the Coming Holiday Season

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Carlo Ople

Author Carlo Ople

Founder and writer of Unlocked.ph and for full disclosure I'm also the Vice-President for Digital Marketing Strategy of PLDT/Smart, the largest telco in the Philippines. Prior to this I co-founded a digital advertising agency (DM9 Digit) which we sold to Dentsu, the largest single branded agency in the world. I also co-founded one of the biggest tech websites in the country, Unbox (unbox.ph). Views do not represent PLDT/Smart and are purely my own.

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