Australian Retail Brand Health (RBH) specialist, The Marketing Department (TMD) has joined with global retail marketing services giant Crossmark to form Crossmark Asia Pacific.

The partnership creates Australasia’s largest retail marketing services company, with turnover of $45 million, and 2000 retail marketing staff representing over 200 manufacturer and retailer clients in Australia and New Zealand.

The new company, to be known as Crossmark Asia Pacific, represents an opportunity to grow the range of retail marketing services and offer additional expertise to clients across all retail categories.

“The marketing department was the last privately owned company of any scale in our business sector. We have been actively seeking a partner in the US marketplace to ensure our continued growth and competitiveness,” said Crossmark Asia Pacific CEO Kevin Moore.

“To be serious in the Australian/New Zealand retail environment, you must understand the North American markets. They are the world leaders in retail. We now have access to this enormous market and can draw information, and give a depth of expertise and resources to our clients in a way that no other Australian retail marketing company can provide. Importantly, it offers great global career development opportunities for our staff.”

TMD’s proprietary research tool, RBH, and proprietary field reporting tool TMD Storetrack will be adopted throughout Crossmark globally, augmenting Crossmark’s specialist grocery reporting tool SalesTrak.

RBH measures a brand’s effectiveness against its competitive set in the last six feet of the sale, where 80 per cent of buying decisions are made.

The measurement is based upon how a consumer experiences a brand or product in store, such as the interaction with retail staff, their product knowledge and recommendation, point of sale visibility and the impact share of retail space has on consumer choice and selection.

The combining of TMD and Crossmark takes place at a critical time in the Australian retail marketing services industry, with the business sector at a tipping point, according to Moore.

“Outsourced retail marketing services today is where call centres were 10 years ago. There is huge potential in our business sector for both clients and staff with the move by more companies to outsource these specialist services,” said Moore.

The sector is currently worth an estimated $255 million in Australia and is growing at 25 per cent per annum. Globally the industry is worth around $6 billion (in English speaking markets).