Marketing Basics for Wholesale CPG Brands

Matt Robertson
May 31, 2019 · 3 min read

I’m not a marketer by training so in writing this series I had to acquaint myself with the very basics. In the process, I realized something rather mind-blowing (which I’ll explain in a bit) and I also developed a fondness for marketing that I never knew I had.

In its most general sense, marketing is every way in which your brand “touches” a prospect or customer. “Impressions,” in other words. Constant contact without being overbearing, so that you are at the top of a buyer’s mind when they’re in need of a product like yours (whether we’re talking about a wholesale buyer or an individual consumer).

From there, marketing can be broken out into its different components. One common way to visualize this is the “Four Ps”: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.

PRODUCT is the product itself — which different skus do you offer in your product line? How are they packaged? What are the different flavors, sizes, etc? All of these decisions should be very customer-focused, so that you’re presenting your customers with what they want, not with what you want them to want. We covered how you go about making these decisions in our Product and Brand Positioning series, beginning with the post Defining Your Target Customer.

Next up is PRICE. From a marketing standpoint, price is very much a part of how you are perceived in the marketplace. Price will make a big impression on your customers, and can communicate all sorts of information about your brand: luxury, quality, affordability, etc. We covered how to arrive at your price in our Pricing Series.

Now we come to the part that blows my mind — PLACE. Place is where your product is available for purchase, the goal being to have a presence wherever your target customer may be looking for your sort of product. In other words, when we’re talking wholesale sales — which this blog is all about!— sales is actually marketing. 🤯

All this time I thought that sales was its own thing, but really it’s all marketing. That daily hustle and grind of getting on the shelf, staying on the shelf, getting better positioning on the shelf? All part of the marketing effort.

This comes back to the fact that your product is primary. Product is the mother of all content. All the clever marketing tactics that we’ll get to in the next post…all just impersonations of your product, meant to create awareness in an audience so that the next time they encounter the product itself, they’re that much more likely to pull the trigger.

In other words, as a salesperson for a small wholesale producer, landing your product on the shelf in all the right spots serves both a revenue-generating purpose and a marketing purpose. You’re pulling double duty, ask for a raise immediately!

The final P, Promotion, is probably marketing in its purest sense, and what most people think of when they think of marketing: advertising, social media, email campaigns, etc. That’s what we’ll cover in our next post.

I’ve been talking with marketing people, and have gathered some nifty insights and hacks that I’m excited to share. Stay tuned.

Shelf Life


Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store