You’ve made the decision to launch or expand your brand’s channel marketing program. In some respects, that’s the easy part. Now it’s time to start the process of developing and implementing your new program. One of the keys to a successful development and launch process is understanding your channel provider’s approach. To ensure a successful development and deployment, there are a number of key areas to look for from a project management perspective.
Successful project management starts with a defined methodology or approach. This doesn’t necessarily have to come from the Project Management Institute. That said, your channel partner should be able to clearly articulate and document the structure they use to successfully launch a new program. Things to look for include clearly defined steps and milestones that provide a roadmap to launching a new program on time and within budget. Having a rigorous, disciplined and repeatable structure to project management will lead to a successful outcome.
A key part of a structured approach is having a corresponding communications cadence and tools to support the development and launch of new programs. Each step in your partner’s project management process should include pre- and post-event communications. For example, when a kickoff meeting is scheduled, an agenda that clearly articulates the purpose and desired outcomes of the meeting should be sent to all participants. Following the meeting, a detailed recap of the meeting with assigned tasks, responsible parties and corresponding timing should be sent to all participants in a timely manner.
Another key communications piece related to the project management structure, is understanding your partner’s change management process. It’s important for all parties to be on the same page in terms of understanding what constitutes a change in scope. Are you asking for new functionality that is outside of what’s been proposed? Do you want functionality that was included in the scope of the project changed to work in a different matter? It’s crucial for your channel partner to manage expectations and impacts so everyone stays aligned during the project.
Whether you’re launching an entirely new channel marketing program that includes various solutions or you’re adding a new solution to your existing program, it’s important to understand the various reviews that will take place for the duration of the project. For example, if a new ad builder solution is being added to enhance your existing co-op program, it’s important to understand the various visual reviews that will take place.
In other words, when should you expect to see initial design mockups and how will that review take place? Will it be done using a screen share program? Will there be links sent out prior to or after the meeting? What about incremental reviews that coincide with the development and launch milestones that are part of the overall structure of the project? Understanding up front how and when your channel partner will provide in-progress reviews, and what the process is for capturing and sharing feedback, will help ensure a successful program implementation.
When it comes to the productive execution of a new channel marketing program or enhancement to an existing program, ensuring your partner has a defined approach to project management will help ensure an efficient project that’s on time and within budget. An established structure, a disciplined and consistent approach to communications, and a formal review and approval process, are three key elements that will help ensure a project’s success and put you on a path to your program’s 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. 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.