In its 2022 Digital Trends research report, Adobe noted significant changes in consumer behavior over the past two years. If there was ever a doubt that consumers are now operating with a digital-first mindset, the Adobe research certainly validates this premise.
The Adobe research noted that 75 percent of a brand’s existing customers are increasingly turning to digital channels and experiences to engage with a brand, while 72 percent of new customers are doing the same. In addition, 82 percent of the marketers responding to the research questionnaire indicated there are new and evolving customer journeys impacting the path to purchase for their products and services.*
For channel marketers, this research is a reminder of the importance of:
- Constantly evaluating how consumers are moving through the purchase funnel
- Ensuring the marketing touch points on the path to purchase resonate with your brand’s consumers
- Providing channel partners with marketing programs and services that deliver desired outcomes
Optimizing the Path to Purchase
In todays’ digital-first world, there’s an everchanging multitude of ways consumers can engage with a brand. Therefore, it’s critical for channel marketers to have a process in place for continuously evaluating their brand’s purchase funnel, including messaging and touchpoints. A good starting point is to understand and acknowledge that different consumer types or segments may have their own, unique path to purchase.
While there may be common touch points among consumer segments in terms of their buyer’s journey, the ability to understand where the nuances or differences lie and create unique touch points that resonate will allow channel marketers to ensure the path to purchase is optimized for each segment, as appropriate.
Fluid Tactical Offering
If the customer’s journey is continually being tailored and optimized to accommodate the distinct paths to purchase for consumer segments, channel marketers need to ensure they have a robust and flexible tactical offering to deliver messages at the right time and through the right channel, depending on where a consumer is within the purchase funnel.
Many brands turn to their channel marketing technology and services provider to support their agents, dealers or distributors. For companies like Channel Fusion, that’s Digital Fusion, the company’s local digitally-focused agency that provides last mile marketing programs for a brand’s channel partners.
Organizations like Digital Fusion are structured to be nimble and respond to the ever-changing consumer behavior. When the path to purchase ebbs and flows and tactics should be adjusted, having a hyper focused team that can provide counsel to a brand’s channel partners in a timely manner and deliver tactical programs is invaluable. Ideally, organizations like Digital Fusion are tied directly into a brand’s co-op program, making it easy for channel partners to adjust their tactics and spend quickly, while ensuring a seamless verification and reimbursement process.
Outcomes-based Programs and Services
Brands need local channel marketing support to meet the needs of the unique path to purchase of each consumer segment and nimbly adjust and deliver the marketing tactics that are going to drive results and, ultimately, return on investment. By working with a channel marketing provider’s local marketing agency, desired ROI outcomes can be defined up front, measured and reported in a unified customer experience that flows from the brand through the channel partners at the local level.
For instance, when a brand runs national promotions, it isn’t enough to just advertise at the national brand level. Consumers need to know where to go in their local market to take advantage of these offers. That’s why it’s important to have your channel partners plugged into an agency that is familiar with your brand, your offers and, more importantly, one who is constantly testing creative, platforms and channels that best resonate in your consumers’ local markets in an agile way.
If the Adobe 2022 Digital Trends research report is any indication, the speed and fluid nature of digital consumer engagement is likely to continue to increase exponentially in the years to come. For channel marketers, having an established process for dealing with the continual introduction of new channels that impact the path to purchase will allow them to meet those changes head on. It starts with continually monitoring and adjusting a brand’s target customers’ path to purchase, ensuring corresponding tactics are ready and available, and having a local marketing partner in place to deliver outcomes for the brand and their channel partners.
About Channel Fusion
For 20 years, Channel Fusion has been delivering strategy, customer experience and return on investment outcomes for brands and their channel partners with a wide variety of solutions and industry expertise. We continue to invest in the overall ecosystem of our channel marketing offering to ensure our clients provide their partners with an optimal customer experience. Our core technologies and configurable platforms are supported by a team of customer-centric “Fusers.” Let us know if you’d like to learn more about how we deliver desired outcomes for brands and their channel partners.
* Source: Adobe/Econsultancy, Digital Trends Survey, Q4 2021