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Channel Marketing, Co-op Funds, Return on Investment, SPIFFs/Incentives, Strategy

Leveraging Channel Marketing to Combat Supply Chain Challenges, Extend Conference Momentum

As manufacturers try to move beyond the COVID pandemic, there’s another persistent issue that continues to cause sleepless nights: the supply chain. While the utilization of artificial intelligence and machine learning over the past several years has led to data-driven supply chain analysis, planning and optimization efforts, manufacturers are still waiting to realize positive outcomes. That’s because the labor that’s needed closest to the commodities for things like handling and delivery has dwindled to the lowest levels in decades.

 

That said, manufacturers press on as evidenced by the upcoming conference season, where the latest and greatest products and services will be displayed and unveiled, creating excitement for what’s ahead among the dealer and customer communities alike. In the meantime, those future projects will take a backseat to current initiatives where existing products are the focus and dealers are straddling closing sales and managing installation logistics.   

 

Unfortunately, this will increase demand in Q4 2022 and Q1 2023, creating the perfect storm, potentially, for even longer lead times throughout 2023. One way manufacturers can prepare to weather the storm in the short-term and still achieve their desired outcomes is to leverage their channel marketing program.

 

Three channel program elements manufacturing industry marketers can use to leverage excitement following conference season and drive near-term sales results in a fluid supply chain environment are:

  1. Dealer SPIFFs
  2. Customer rebates
  3. Co-op/MDF funding

 

Motivate Dealer Behavior

With the back half of 2022 approaching and supply chain issues expected to continue into 2023, one way channel marketers can ensure their dealer networks are properly focused and motivated is to leverage their sales performance incentive fund program. For example, consider creating a SPIFF that motivates dealers to accelerate the typical decision-making timeframe for new products and projects. This will help drive bookings in Q3 and Q4 2022.

 

Incentivize Customers

Similarly, providing an incentive for customers to purchase from manufacturers following the conference season is another way to help drive sales in the latter part of the year. Brands and their channel marketing teams should consider time- and volume-based customer rebates to ensure orders are placed in a timely manner and revenue targets for Q3 and Q4 are realized.

 

Jumpstart Program Funding

While SPIFFs and rebates provide incentives for dealers and customers at the bottom of the purchase funnel, a manufacturing brand’s co-op or market development fund program is a key component for supporting top- and mid-funnel path to purchase activities. To jumpstart and support post-conference sales activity, manufacturers should consider two options related to their co-op or MDF program.

 

The first is providing a one-time increase to a dealer’s co-op fund or MDF that has to be used in a specific period of time. This will motivate and provide a sense of urgency for dealers to utilize their additional funds in a timely manner following conference season. The second option is to increase the reimbursement percentages for certain co-op/MDF program elements manufacturers believe will help increase sales during the second half of the year.

 

By motivating dealers and customers alike, manufacturing brands can carry forward the momentum of conference season, accelerate the typical decision-making process and timeframe, and, in doing so, minimize the impact of potential supply chain issues that may carry into next year.

 

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.

 

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