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Digital ads for distributors: Hosting manufacturer ads as a marketing tool


Digital ads for distributors: Hosting manufacturer ads as a marketing tool

Digital ads for distributors: Hosting manufacturer ads as a marketing tool

Digital marketing has become an indispensable tool in today's business landscape. The average American spends 6 hours and 58 minutes online per day. So, the digital space is an important outlet for getting word about your brand and products out there. Digital marketing can help distributors reach a larger online customer base by targeting specific demographics, locations and interests. Compared to traditional marketing channels such as print and television advertising, digital marketing is far more cost-effective, with a higher return on investment. 

Key benefits of digital marketing

A key benefit of digital marketing is the ability to track and measure the performance of marketing campaigns in real time. Distributors can monitor website traffic, conversion rates, and customer engagement, allowing them to optimize their marketing efforts for better results. Digital marketing increases the awareness and visibility of the company brand among potential customers, which can improve brand loyalty and repeat business. 

Another benefit of digital marketing is that it is very flexible and adaptable; whether it's experimenting with new advertising platforms, refining targeting criteria, or adjusting messaging, digital marketing allows distributors to stay responsive and competitive in their marketing. According to Accenture, digital media accounts for 41% of ad spending by large companies.

Case study: Do digital ads on Yelp help restaurants gain more customers? 

An experiment was conducted on a randomized sample of 7,210 US restaurants that had never used digital advertising on Yelp. The researchers designed free ad packages for each restaurant and ran them on Yelp for a period of 3 months. The study found that, while the ads were live, the restaurants received:

  • More page views than the others—22% more on desktop browsers, 30% more on mobile devices, and 25% more overall.
  • Users requested directions to them 18% more often.
  • Made 13% more calls to them.
  • Clicked through to their websites 9% more often.

As it turns out, digital ads were a positive investment even for businesses that don’t generally use digital advertising.

Distributors play a crucial role as intermediaries between manufacturers and operators. While distributors traditionally focus on logistics and sales, in the digital landscape, they are strategically placed to harness the power of digital marketing to yield significant benefits to both themselves and to manufacturers. 

What are digital ads?

Digital ads refer to advertisements displayed online or through digital channels to promote a product, service, or brand. These ads can take various forms and are typically tailored to reach specific target audiences. There are different types of digital ads:

  • Display ads are graphical ads that appear on websites, mobile apps, or social media platforms in the form of banners, images, or videos. Display ads can be static or interactive and are often used to increase brand awareness or drive traffic to a website. Display ads have been shown to outperform traditional advertising methods in all three key brand metrics: awareness, association and motivation. 

  • Search ads appear at the top or bottom of search engine results pages when users search for specific keywords related to the advertiser's products or services. These ads are typically text-based and are targeted based on user search queries and preferences.
  • Video ads are promotional videos that are displayed before, during, or after online video content on platforms like YouTube, streaming services, or social media. These ads can range from short, skippable ads to longer, immersive brand stories.
  • Native ads are designed to blend in seamlessly with the content of the platform on which they appear, providing a less intrusive advertising experience for users. These ads match the visual and functional design of the platform and can appear as sponsored content within articles, feeds, or recommended sections.
  • Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others offer advertising options that allow businesses to target users based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and more. Social media ads can take the form of sponsored posts, carousel ads, video ads, or stories.
  • Email ads are promotional messages sent directly to a recipient's email inbox. These ads can take the form of newsletters, product announcements, special offers, or personalized recommendations.

What are the benefits to a distributor? 

You may be wondering how distributors can benefit from hosting manufacturer digital ads on their platforms. Well, keep reading to find out:

  1. Higher product visibility: By hosting manufacturer digital ads on their e-commerce platforms, distributors can exponentially expand the visibility of products. These ads serve as virtual storefront displays, capturing the attention of potential customers browsing the distributor's website. This increased exposure not only drives traffic but also enhances the overall customer experience by providing a comprehensive array of options. 
  2. Builds credibility and trust: Collaborating with reputable manufacturers to display their digital ads instills a sense of credibility and trust in the distributor's brand. Customers are more likely to purchase from platforms featuring recognized brands, perceiving them as reliable sources of quality products. This association fosters consumer confidence and loyalty, benefiting both the distributor and the manufacturer.
  3. Mutually beneficial partnerships: Collaborating with manufacturers is a mutually beneficial endeavor. Manufacturers gain access to a broader audience through the distributor's e-commerce platform, while distributors benefit from increased revenue streams and strengthened brand associations, leading to higher sales for both parties.
  4. Competitive edge in the digital space: Differentiation is key to standing out. By hosting manufacturer digital ads, distributors can differentiate their e-commerce platforms and offer a unique value proposition that sets them apart from competitors. This strategic advantage not only attracts customers but also positions the distributor as an attractive partner to manufacturers.

Case study: How Conagra’s Brand ‘J Hungerford Smith’ earned $126,000 net new revenue from digital ads

Southwest Traders is a premier foodservice distributor based in Temecula, California, and a distributor-partner of Cut+Dry. Cut+Dry ran a three-month ad pilot for SWT, and the results are breathtaking. The ad promoted Conagra Foodservice’s ‘J Hungerford Smith’ line of products inside the Southwest Traders online catalog. The ads included a combination of sponsored products in the search feature, banner display ads, and product placement in ‘Top category picks’.

The ads resulted in:

  • Additional $126,000 in new sales for Conagra Foodservice
  • A 36% increase in the number of cases sold of the products advertised and
  • An increase in the number of SKUs of the ‘J Hungerford Smith’ line of products being stocked at SWT from 4 to 12


The digital landscape offers awesome opportunities for distributors to amplify their presence and drive sales. By hosting manufacturer digital ads on their ecommerce platforms, distributors increase brand visibility, drive traffic and increase revenue for both parties. Don't miss out on the chance to maximize your online potential. Take action today by exploring how you can collaborate with manufacturers by integrating targeted digital marketing strategies into your distribution channels. 

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