The Asian Paints commercial on TV, hoardings and other advertising mediums, all had one consistent message: har ghar kuchch kehta hain. Translated, it means, ‘every home has a story to tell’. When Amul advertises, their brand message, ‘the taste of India’ is consistent across all mediums. Everything right from the font, the tone of the message, the creative aesthetic adheres to brand message on point and talks to customers in one voice. This consistency resonates better with customers, leading to greater brand recall. But do brands sold through Channel Partners enjoy the same level of brand consistency?
Challenges of Partner Marketing
You sing a song. Your top performing channel partner sings a variant of the same song. However, your last mile channel partner seems to be singing a whole new song! This lack of harmony can lead to missed opportunities.
Here’s an example to illustrate this. I was looking for a SUV with auto-gear. One of the leading car manufacturer’s website indicated 4 SUV models with automatic options. I registered for a test-drive on their site. I received an email from one of the brand’s car dealers saying that only 1 model of SUV has the automatic option. Imagine my surprise! I wrote to the car manufacturer on the discrepancy of information. After 3 months, the principal company called to ask me if I had test-driven the car, but by then my new SUV (a different brand), had already run 10k miles. Alas!
So can marketing teams and their Channel Partners fine tune this discordant note and sing in harmony? The truth is it was easy before, but today several marketing technologies that promised to deliver seamless customer experience have failed. Earlier when offline advertising was in play, it used to include channel partner contact information in ads, brochures, direct marketing mailers and more. This made it easier for customers to directly access them. While we’ve evolved to advanced marketing solutions, simple yet effective methods like these have been relegated or forgotten.
Today, while marketing automation solutions are geared to automate and streamline unified messages to targeted customers, trigger event-based mails and schedule social posts and generate insights, they’re limited to the principal organizations alone. The moot question to ask is: are your Channel Partners equipped to market? Perhaps it is time to include and extend marketing automation solutions to the Channel Partners and unleash the power of a unified message.
The challenge is: the current marketing automation solutions used by principal organizations do not offer the convenience, extendibility, affordability or flexibility of providing access to their Channel Partners to edit and deliver/ distribute campaign assets in a secure manner.
5 Simple Steps To Effective Channel Partner Marketing
Let’s examine how a marketing automation tool used by principal marketers and Channel Partners in tandem yield better marketing results and boost business.
Step 1 – Create Messaging & Campaign Strategy: The principal company enlists their agency to develop and design the creative messaging to be used across several channels including web, emails, social media, TV, offline and so on.
Step 2 – Message Sharing & Campaign Execution: The principal organization uses campaign in a box, to share their marketing creatives with their Channel Partners. The Channel Partners just need to login to their marketing automation tool, check the creatives, add elements (such as their own logos and contact information) and roll-out the campaign. Very simple, very quick, very effective and very similar to the offline practices of the past.
Step 3 – Monitor Ecosystem-wide Performance: Partners can study customer responsiveness, engagement, customer behavior, and along with their principals, monitor the campaign together to check which content has the best uptake or which audience segment is responding better.
Step 4 – Make Improvements On- the- Fly: With TCMA (Through Channel Marketing Automation) tools, change a communication not fetching audience attention, on-the-fly, and most importantly, share across the ecosystem. Sweet!
Step 5 – Reward Partners with MDF: Study the TCMA campaign analytics to discover: if every marketing dollar was optimized to achieve conversions to sales revenues, the Cost per Lead and Cost per Acquisition by Partners, your top performing Partners and who is the rightful beneficiary of the MDF.
Finally, it is one brand, one song!
One voice, one message, one brand resonates better with the audience than a cacophony of brand messages. The 5-steps outlined in this article helps Partner-led organizations to better predict revenues, gain visibility to ecosystem-wide demand and sing a unified brand song.
If you are faced with this exact issue and would like to understand how you can extend your marketing automation and analytics to your Channel Partners, contact us. Let’s unlock the potential of your marketing dollar together.