NEW YORK -- A majority of supermarket retailers, 71%, say they give preferential treatment to manufacturers who guide them in the practice of co-marketing, a survey has revealed.
The findings have strong implications for brand marketers, said Arthur Zimbalist, vice president of Meyers Research Center here, which conducted the research.
"Retailers are waiting and waiting for co-marketing opportunities, but the bad news is that they don't understand the word 'co-marketing.' One of the main things [manufacturers] are going to have to do is really work toward helping them define it, understand it, and differentiate from some of the other things that are going on in retailer and manufacturer initiatives," he said.
Zimbalist presented the findings at the Account Specific Co-Marketing Conference held here earlier this month. In the fourth quarter of 1994, his firm interviewed buyers and merchandising executives in food, household cleaners and health and beauty care at 100 leading supermarket chains and the top 25 wholesalers.
Co-marketing is a process through which marketers and retailers work together strategically to market brands and stores in tandem, with the goal of expanding their mutual business.
In unaided responses, retailers displayed at best a vague grasp of this definition. "Willingness to share information" was cited most often, by 28% of respondents, while another 16% equated it with "open-ness and trust." Aided responses were closer to the mark, focusing on in-store promotions, category management and data base marketing.
Zimbalist said these responses indicate that "many retailers still don't completely understand what co-marketing is."