NEW YORK: The growth of ecommerce and an associated focus on the shopper across devices and channels means there is increasing demand to coalesce brand budgets with trade budgets, according to a new study.

For its Trade Marketing in Transition report, performance marketing business Criteo worked with researcher Kantar Millward Brown to survey 100 marketers with budgetary authority over trade spend in some way during the past ten years, half in the CPG sector, the rest divided between consumer electronics, apparel, toys, and health beauty.

It found that a "wish list" for trade spending included simpler methods to measure effectiveness, cited by 58% of respondents, and a holistic view of the shopper (56%).

Perhaps less expected was the desire among just over half (53%) to see a closer connection of trade and brand budgets – a combination that typically includes retail display allowances for product positioning, temporary price reductions, end caps, and shopper marketing.

"Trade marketing is undergoing a profound shift," noted Jonathan Opdyke, President, Brand Solutions, Criteo.

"Retail marketers need solutions that allow for real-time measurement of ROI and an end to the debate between offline vs. online, in favor of an omnichannel approach," he added.

This appeared especially evident in the CPG and grocery sectors, according to Adrian McCallum, Senior Director, Kantar Millward Brown, who reported "a clear indication from marketers that the time is right for brand and trade marketing to align".

This move, along with the integration of digital technology, he said, "helps connect marketing efforts more closely to the sale and creates greater shopping efficiencies".

Marketers also highlighted particular areas of friction that beset trade marketing when set alongside e-commerce, including Amazon setting prices (29%) and conflicts between brand and retail sites (28%).

Over the next five years, both on stand-alone ecommerce and retail sites, paid search was considered an area with the greatest expected increase in effectiveness (62%).

Print-related tactics were expected to have the greatest decrease in effectiveness (52%).

Data sourced from Criteo; additional content by WARC staff