A Paradigm Shift in Marketing

Marketing has seen immense innovation throughout the world in the last decade, and Bangladesh is no exception. With the rapid increase in social media, smartphones, and internet connectivity, Digital Marketing has found great acclaim among the marketers to reach out to consumers. Such is the pace of innovation in marketing that creative agencies are now focusing on something new called “experiential marketing”. However alongside such innovations came a change in business focus of big brands.

Organizations with established brands have realized that their brand building campaigns are no longer needed in the context of Bangladesh. The fight between brands have now shifted from the minds of the consumers to the shelves of stores. Trade marketing has become a key issue for organizations whose brands are well known to the market. The change in focus responds to the aspect of how organizations have to be there, when the consumer wants the product.

Brand marketing is the building and establishing of a brand identity in the mind of the consumers. The strategy focuses on the idea that the positioning of the brand will pull customers and convert them into sales. Most organizations have been focusing greatly on this strategy to create an impact in the market. A good number of them have been successful in doing so, till now. Organizations relying on such a strategy have overlooked one important factor; competition.

According to a recent BCG report, 2 million Bangladeshis are joining the ranks of the middle class and affluent every year. Imagine the growth and value of such a booming market, where the purchasing power of consumers is increasing. Bangladeshi consumers have become a lucrative market for all consumer product manufacturers. The buying off of ACI Consumer Brands certain brands by SC Johnson indicates as to how organizations are gearing up to enter the market. With foreign competitors gearing up, local companies are mushrooming as well to take advantage of their home ground status. The increase in competition leads organizations who have only focused on branding vulnerable on their supply side.

Trade marketing entails increasing the demand at wholesaler, retailer, or distributor level rather than at the consumer level. This strategy banks on the concept that by increasing presence on the supply side or consumer buying points, it would push the products onto the consumers by limiting choices. While such practices are taken aggressively in industrial products marketing, trade marketing was not given much priority until recently.

An increased competitive market and decreased consumer attention span have both contributed to brand marketing becoming diluted. Established brands are now not only competing with other established and new brands but also other sources that are distracting consumers. According to research consumers now have limited attention span especially when it comes to advertising. Research by Microsoft Corp indicates that the average consumer now have an attention span of only 8 seconds. This creates a major obstacle in brand building campaigns.

The integration of brand and trade marketing has become crucial in the new market scenario. Both pull and push strategies are needed to be focused properly in order to protect market share. No longer can a brand depend upon its brand value to convert customers to sales. With the brand marketing pulling the customer towards the brand, trade marketing has to play its role of converting that customer. As the focus of marketing experiences a paradigm shift in business focus, it is time to see how organizations innovate in the realm of trade marketing.

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