Published June 17, 2014
Volume 22, Number 6


CROSSMARK Specializes in Marketing Multiple Products

Left to right, Barry Johnson Region Vice President West, Mark McLean Customer Business Center Director,
Sam Monteith Director Perishables West.

By Zoe Francis


It is not a coincidence that your favorite store products end up at eye level or have more shelf space than their rivals.

The folks at CROSSMARK work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure thousands of products get prime real estate in almost every place people shop, from grocery and drug stores to discount retailers and convenience stores.

“It’s the best-kept secret,” Barry Johnson, CROSSMARK regional vice president, said of the work his company does. “There are so many behind-the-scenes functions we perform. In many cases, it makes more sense for us to do that work than it makes for a manufacturer to do that work because we can do it more efficiently.”

CROSSMARK, based in Plano, Texas, has a western region office in Hacienda that represents literally thousands of products such as Kimberly-Clark, General Mills, Dole, French’s Foods, Chobani yogurt and many, many more.

“The fact that you see Chobani on the shelf, that’s what we’ve done,” Johnson said. “Safeway doesn’t just arbitrarily put items on the shelves. We went to Safeway and explained why these items are right for them.”

Chobani is a prime example of a product skillfully marketed by CROSSMARK. The firm lobbies for the best shelf space for Chobani versus competitor yogurts. Not only does the company lobby for eye-level displays, but it tries to get as much space as possible.

“If Chobani is positioned in a favorable spot and you see Chobani better than you see Dannon, that’s what we do,” Johnson explained. “Then we take it to the next step, and we want to make sure we have the right price. If you see a promotion that Chobani is on sale 10 for $10, we worked with (the retailer) so that they could offer that product at 10 for $10.”

While Safeway is one of the largest retailers in the West, CROSSMARK works with a broad range of retailers such as Raley’s, SaveMart, Gene’s Fine Foods, Costco, Walgreens and many more.

“When we represent a company like Chicken of the Sea or Chobani, we represent them for many retailers,” he noted.

CROSSMARK is one of only three national agencies that specializes in marketing specific products to retailers. The firm has humble roots dating back to its 1905 start in Arkansas. It has evolved into an industry leader with 40,000 employees.

Thousands of those employees work for the western region, based in Hacienda and serving states from Texas westward with a focus on Northern California.

“We’re representing companies and taking their products to market for retailers,” Johnson said. “We explain to (retailers) what the new items are and what the marketing strategy is for those products.Let’s say we launch 20 new items. Every retailer isn’t putting in every new item we launch. They put in the items that fit their consumer base.”

It is the job of CROSSMARK employees to position products where they are most visible and reach their target market – the consumer.

“It’s transparent to the consumer,” Johnson said of CROSSMARK’s work. “The way it benefits the consumer is they get to see the products they want on the shelf.”

Learn more about CROSSMARK at crossmark.com.


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