While technology and innovation continue to provide marketers with more opportunities to ensure channel partners are engaging with their brands to deliver desired outcomes, providing a strategically driven, “last mile” digital marketing offering to drive sales results is oftentimes overlooked. The most successful channel marketing programs include easy-to-use, turnkey digital marketing solutions that allow channel partners to focus on what they do best: sell and service the brands they represent.
When implementing a digital marketing strategy and corresponding program for channel partners, brands should ensure the offering addresses the different stages of the path to purchase, is supported and managed by a team of specialists, and provides reporting to measure program effectiveness and results.
Tailor Program to Purchase Path
Long gone are the days of a typical or standard path to purchase. With the advent of digital marketing, social influencers and cross-channel touch points, for example, a consumer’s purchase journey is no longer a linear path. The circuitous route to purchase often depends on the product and a consumer’s exposure and engagement with a variety of media types and content sources. That’s why digital marketing programs for a brand’s channel partners should be strategically driven and tailored to the type of product or service being offered.
Once a path to purchase has been defined, it’s important to work with a provider that offers a depth and breadth of digital marketing solutions and can create tailored packages for a brand’s channel partners. Examples of capabilities and solutions to look for in a partner include:
• Web presence creation and management
• Online listing and reputation management
• Original (non-syndicated) content development and distribution on social channels
• Paid media, including search, social, display and retargeting
• Streaming radio advertising
• Search engine optimization
• Custom landing page developmen
Dedicated Support and Management Team
Putting together an offering that meets the needs of a brand’s channel partners is just one step in implementing a successful digital marketing program. How the program is implemented, managed and optimized on a day-to-day basis is critical to its success as well. Oftentimes, channel partners lack the experience or time to manage their own digital marketing programs. That’s why brands should ensure the programs they offer channel partners include a team that is focused on driving success through active engagement, support and management of all program elements.
In many cases, brands turn to channel marketing partners for these services. These types of partners bring deep and diverse digital marketing expertise to bear on behalf of brands and their channel outlets, and are familiar with a brand’s overall channel program, including brand compliance, co-op funding and incentives, among others, helping drive adoption and engagement of the digital marketing programs.
Measurement that Drives Outcomes
Digital marketing has brought with it a level of reporting precision that traditional channels have struggled with for years. These reporting capabilities should be a key part of a brand’s channel partner digital marketing program. Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) and corresponding measurement criteria up front establishes a common understanding between the brand, channel partner and digital marketers supporting the program regarding what is being measured and, more importantly, how success will be defined.
While ultimate success is increasing sales, other KPIs could be focused on reporting engagement with social content or conversions of paid search ads, for example. Having program measurement in place allows digital marketing partners to adjust or reallocate a channel partner’s budget dollars from one medium to another based on individual program element performance.
When brands provide a channel marketing program that includes a strategically driven and tailored digital marketing offering, that’s managed by a focused team of digital marketing experts and has corresponding measurement and reporting in place, they are helping channel partners focus on delivering desired outcomes.
About Channel Fusion
For nearly 20 years, Channel Fusion has provided brands and their channel partners with a wide variety of solutions and industry expertise. Part of our offering is Digital Fusion, a turnkey offering and dedicated team of “Fusers” who are focused exclusively on the development, delivery, management and reporting of digital marketing programs for brands’ channel partners. Let us know if you’d like to learn more about how we deliver digital marketing outcomes.