Have Wholesalers? You’re Gonna Need A Bigger SEM Budget

An often overlooked aspect of business strategy is what happens to your brand name and customer acquisition strategy once you launch the wholesale side of your business. Most founders take into consideration the dip in margins for volume and increased brand presence. However, they don’t consider that it will be more expensive to acquire and retain their own customers. Opening your product line to wholesalers is a natural step for many growing businesses, but business owner’s need to be aware of the impact to your digital marketing strategy.

Having national wholesalers ends up being exactly like that scene in Jaws. You’re throwing chum into the water, expecting a shark, and then you get that monster, and you’re gonna need a bigger boat. With wholesalers, you expect to grow a new channel of your business strategy, but you land a national wholesaler and realize they have more acquisition money to burn than your small business. Before you know it, that wholesaler is bidding on your brand name, and suddenly, you’re gonna need a bigger search engine marketing budget. Balancing wholesale and direct to consumer marketing strategies can be tricky, but below are a few steps to point you in the right direction.

Step #1: Launch Your Branded Search Campaign

Most business owners don’t see the value in bidding on their own brand names and slogans on Search. It’s true that if you rank organically for these terms, and if no one is bidding on them, then you don’t need to run branded search campaigns. It is a complete waste of money. However, once you have national wholesalers, the chance they will be bidding on your brand name is incredibly high. Most shopping campaign feeds are automated. When your product is in their system, so are the Search ads for your brand and product. This could be a real killer for your organic search traffic since shopping campaigns see higher click-through rates because they are image-based, directive and because all search (regardless of type) ads get top ranking. Plus, many browsers will click the first option, whether it’s an ad or an organic search listing.

Step #2: Optimize Your Search Engine Ads and Shopping Feeds

When your ads are up, ensure your full product line is in your shopping feed. And double-check that your text ads highlight your brand’s greatest strengths. This will keep your ads attractive to searchers.

Step #3: Offer Exclusives on Your Site

Including direct to consumer exclusives (whether in product offering, bundles or discounts), will ensure customers are more likely to buy directly from you. Having customers come through your site increases your margins. It also means you own the customer data, which you can use it for email, retargeting and lookalike campaigns.

Having wholesalers can throw a challenging hurdle in a customer acquisition marketing mix, but it’s easy to overcome if you keep the right things in mind. Make sure to always optimize and look for unique value points that only you can provide customers.

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