Many companies rely on independent distribution channels for their products or services. These companies also spend millions of dollars on national marketing campaigns, which keeps current customers engaged with their brand, and can help pick up new customers. Execution of a channel marketing campaign that supports the national messaging takes a marketing team that understands your campaign strategy. These channel marketing professionals should also have a pulse on marketing mediums that perform well in individual markets and with your brand’s local customers.
Some label the delivery of these local marketing campaigns as field marketing, but most label it channel marketing. Regardless, if you have independent dealers, agents and/or distributors, there is likely co-op marketing-earned dollars available for you to implement with your channel sales partners.
Whether your company is ready to enhance an existing channel marketing program or roll out a new program, here are some tips to consider when planning the execution of a national marketing campaign through local sales partners (retailers, agents, dealers).
1. Tweak your national strategy: As marketers we are asked to do more, and often with smaller budgets than the previous year—especially at the local, independent sales partner level. When you are diligent about going local, your strategy needs to be refined from the national scale to multiple consumer-centric messages delivered concisely to a local audience. Bonus tip, give your independent sales partner the opportunity to add their own value to the marketing as well, such as their own local product discount offer or a service discount that may not even be funded through corporate.
2. Change up your marketing mediums: Different marketing tactics should be considered and then tested locally. When you add local sales partner details (i.e.: local store logo, phone number, retailer website and address) the creative space can get crowded quickly. For example, a simple animated banner ad that performed well for a corporate national marketing promotion, needs to have a tweaked creative approach when you add local retailer information to the execution. Your creative real estate gets crowded quickly with such limited banner ad space. And discuss in advance which company gets the click-through credit? Corporate or local sales partner? Only one gets the click and they both want to track and retarget the sought after cookie for post-impression tracking.
3. Partner wisely: Channel marketing takes a lot of boots on the ground. I work with some corporations that have large programs, some more than 5,000 independent sales partners spread out through North America. It takes a team of media and production buyers to procure the advertising and then execute consistent messaging, exact timing and the same high quality throughout all marketing mediums.
Marketing technology plays a huge role in saving both time and money with the execution of channel programs. The right MarTech solution grants your local sales partners the ability to tailor marketing materials for their business, make their own marketing choices and still stay true to your company’s brand standard and campaign expectations.
4. Don’t stop with execution: The real fun is in measuring the results and performing customer analytics with the data that has resulted from your channel marketing campaigns. It’s a surprise to many that what corporate knows as their customer’s demographics, can often look different at the local level. Each region, and even business unit, may have different customer demographics. This is true for both the consumer and business data segments. Knowledge gained from campaign analysis will net you more specific targeting on your next campaign.
Be sure to check out www.thinkmetis.com for more resources and information on channel marketing solutions!