Categorized as Channel Marketing, Customer Experience, Return on Investment, Strategy

Leverage Channel Program to Combat Supply Chain Challenges

As the end of 2022 approaches, the supply chain issues that started in 2021 continue to disrupt manufacturing. For the past 18 months or so, brands that rely on channel partners to sell their products and services have been struggling to ensure those partners have the product at their brick-and-mortar locations to sell.


For channel program leaders and their partners, there are a number of ways to help dealers and distributors continue to drive revenue generation during the ongoing supply chain disruptions.


A report published at the end of last year by supply chain management software provider Anvyl identified five reasons for supply chain delays, including lack of shipping containers, COVID-related issues, space availability on vessels, raw material shortages and issues with brands making payments in a timely manner. Depending on the reason, the delays were anywhere from 16 to 27 days, according to the Anvyl report.


Not having things like access to shipping containers and enough space on ships to move inventory closer to the distributors and dealers that sell a brand’s products provides an opportunity for channel marketers and their partners to think differently about their channel program.


Four Areas to Consider

Providing consumers with incremental value that goes beyond actual product sales is one way channel marketers can combat supply chain challenges.  For example, consider developing promotions that are focused on specific service offerings instead of actual products. Service promotions that aren’t tied directly to a product offering keep a channel partner’s brick-and-mortar location top of mind for consumers and will help ensure they come back when supplies of products are back to normal levels.


Similarly, another area brands can focus on while waiting for supply chains to improve is the development of a custom and technical support program offering. Whereas a service offering promotion is tied to a specific offer, a support program can provide a recurring revenue stream. By defining and developing support packages and the corresponding marketing materials to promote such an offering, as well as creating an easy enrollment program for dealers or distributors, brands can create a turnkey program that’s easy for their channel partners to adopt and implement.


A third area to consider when combating supply chain issues is leveraging data to maximize participation in things like service offering promotions and packaged support programs. Brands and their channel program partners have access to a treasure trove of consumer data within their programs. These data sources can be used to develop consumer segments and corresponding targeted and personalized messaging that maximizes the adoption of these types of programs.


A fourth consideration channel marketers should think about while waiting for the supply chain issues to subside is current loyalty programs. For brands that have a loyalty program, now’s the time to make sure it is aligning consumer demand for available products. There’s no better way to turn off consumers from a brand than having a loyalty program that is tied to products that are not currently available. Continually evaluating and adjusting a loyalty program based on what is available from an inventory perspective shows consumers when a brand is truly looking out for them.


Pursuing one or more of these areas will help ensure channel marketers are doing their part to drive revenue and consumer loyalty and engagement during the ongoing supply chain disruptions. Of course, having a channel program partner that can provide incremental strategic value and nimbly adjust, adopt and implement these types of enhancements in a timely manner is equally important.


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 can provide their channel partners with an optimal customer experience to drive results. Our core technologies and connected platform 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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