Marketing Strategy





Your Experience
Your Solution

How to get the most bang for a buck? Where should I advertise? What shall I write?

Selling to a retail chain often means you have to advertise in their catalogues, newspaper ads, etc. You can present your product in one of three ways, Sale, New or Brand Name. This alone does not create a brand; you must also supplement the retail advertising with your own advertising campaigns and/or through reviews in magazines.


Where to advertise

If you want to describe your product in-depth, eventually positioning it at the high-end, you have to advertise away from retail catalogues. Find out which magazines your prime target customers read and advertise there. All magazines have statistics of the different target groups. Moreover, this is usually free. Advertising agencies can also deliver this information, for a fee.

It is very difficult to get a positive sales effect from advertising on TV and radios when dealing with consumer electronics and high tech products. The consumers cannot comprehend the technical information in 30 seconds. You must instead focus more on the design/brand than the features.

Whether you advertise in the different medias or not, you should always create press releases for new and unique products. You should boldly use the same magazines as your customers read. Create a database with the names of contact people at those magazines and develop a ‘relationship’. When sending an e-mail with press releases, do not send as an attached word document, keep the mail short and precise. Eventually use your own website as a link for a complete technical description. Send the press releases to the retailers too.

Finally, you should send your product for tests and reviews at the most accredited magazines as often as possible. Occasionally newspapers do these reviews. Always be sure to send optimized products, and then later you can refer to the awards you receive.

Retail catalogues

The difference between the “On-line” stores (Etail) and the “Off-line” stores (Retail), is that you can quite easily pay into an On-line store with advertising and they’ll have plenty of room for you on their shelf; Whereas the “Off-line” stores have a limited shelf space and if you get in, they might throw someone else out. For that reason, the following will focus on the Off-line stores.

To make retail interesting for consumers, my experience has been that catalogues should be made of 3 ingredients:

  • Brand products
  • New products
  • Products on sale; big savings
Now there is actually a fourth ingredient that counts for catalogues. That is, products that retail know will not sell but contribute to the cost of the actual catalogue. This is where some retailers fail, having too many of these kind of products will cause them to loose consumers interest. It is a balance of budget.


Each of the following areas requires retails serious attention. To have a better focus you need to find out which category your product belongs in. Additionally, you present retail with a better joint venture.

1. Brand products

If this is the only place you advertise, it will be difficult for customers to position the product, and you cannot be in the brand product category. In my mind, brands are not brands until customers have that assumption. Consumers tend to focus less on the price for brand products.

2. New products

If your product is new, it has a chance to be in the catalogue for solely that reason. However, “new” means unique USP, in comparison to competitors. If your product is in the high tech field, you have the chance to show new USP every 4-6 weeks. Either the price has dropped or the things are faster and/or “bigger”. Software games are old after 6 months, sometimes sooner.

If you minimize the time span from development/production to introduction, you might get a few days where your product is obsolete. THAT IS where the most profit is for you and the selected retail chain(s). The difference in being first and second is enormous.

3. Products on sale

This is the easy one. Cut the price in half and you are in business with retail. Beware when you do this; it is almost impossible to get the price back up to a profitable level. Consumers have a remarkable memory when prices go up. Your other sales channels will let you know of the customer’s disappointments (price, guaranty, etc.), unless they get same price. Unfortunately, once every retailer advertises the new price, consumers just expect this to be the new price level and they are not in a hurry to buy.  
Most vendors use outdated products for huge discounts, other vendors use specific products for specific channels so consumers cannot compare completely. Mail-in rebates are a calculated way to give a discount. By giving a discount by mail-in, you will not have to pay the full discount since only a percentage of the customers actually use the mail-in rebate. However, this method can also have less power because of the hassle the customers have to do.

Have a Retail strategy

Finally, some vendors do not care at all. However, this should not be a long-term strategy because retail wants you to have control. Furthermore, if you cannot provide that control, others can.

Jens Welling


The author of this article Jens Welling has worked with retail purchase, retail sales and retail marketing over the last 15+ years. Jens Welling has written a number of articles as a good source for any new and established company who want success with retail sales. Below are short descriptions and links to other articles.

Why You Have To Do Your Homework
Selling through retail is one of the toughest sales channels there is. Reactions come instantly. There is no mercy for mistakes in retail sales. One word covers what you need: Preparation. ...Read more

Choosing Sales And Distribution Channels
Make the right choices from the very beginning. Group the sales channels and start with the companies that fit your size and that do not compete head-on with each other. Use the distribution channels actively to get contacts inside the sales channels....Read more

Category Management
Learn to understand and use Category Management to your advantage and earn money....Read more

Unique Selling Points (USP)
Take the time to find out exactly WHOM your consumers are. You need to find your Unique Selling Points (USP). Once you get to know them, you'll know what to say to them!...Read more

Price Strategy
Right from the beginning, you have to be aware that On-line stores will “dump” your prices if you are not in control. Base your price strategy on your long-term goals: Where you want to sell the most products....Read more

What The Buyer Wants To Know
The buyer does NOT want a lot of information. He/she is living in a very high-paced environment and only wants your information in brief bullet points. Follow some simple rules and you will give the buyer what he needs....Read more

Exit Strategy
You must prepare your business for the anticipation risk of large quantities of products to be returned. You need an exit strategy. The returned products can be used to create new sales channels and partnerships, turning this somewhat hopeless situation into a profitable one....Read more

Price Setting
Consumers have psychologically priced a product with a certain amount that they are willing to pay (price point). If you exceed their psychological value, you risk failing in retail....Read more

Negotiation Tactics
It is obvious to focus on price as a sales factor. However, help yourself by prepare for negotiation tactics by highlighting the other Unique Selling Points (USP) - and at a minimum explain the price per performance compared to competitors....Read more

Rejection From Buyer
The buyer can reject you for several reasons. You must talk to the buyer to find out exactly WHY you got rejected.....Read more

Marketing Strategy
Selling to a retail chain often means you have to advertise in their catalogues, newspaper ads, etc.
This alone does not create a brand; you must also supplement the retail advertising with your own marketing strategy....Read more

Education Management
Your energy must focus on the stores (retail training). Face-to-face education is the most effective but also the most time-consuming and expensive....Read more

What retail warranties are you ready for? Depending on your sales channels, you must consider the quantity of products that may be returned...Read more

Building A Brand
You must raise the consumers' awareness and perceived value of your product through brand development.
Once you do this, consumers can and will identify your product as a brand....Read more

A high tech vendor will eventually have late delivery of products regardless of penalties. So what should a vendor do when the logistics fail?...Read more

Keeping Your Store Sales Alive
Keeping your retail store sales alive is a never-ending process....Read more

Product Development
One of the advantages to having a relationship with the sales channels is that you can discuss future product development....Read more