The marketing technology landscape can be overwhelming. While these technologies are designed to improve marketers’ ability to efficiently deliver and measure multi-channel programs, they are oftentimes deployed without a sound strategy, unconnected tools and program elements that can’t be integrated with each other, as well as disparate and inconsistent support.
For channel marketers these challenges can be even more daunting. The marketing technology stack channel marketers deploy needs to meet the needs of not only the brand, but, just as importantly, the requirements of the channel partners who are driving and delivering sales results.
The most successful channel marketing programs have three things in common. They are:
1. Focused on defined objectives or outcomes
2. Delivered on flexible and scalable marketing technologies
3. Supported by a strategic partner that becomes an extension of their brand
Focus on Outcomes First
Regardless of whether a channel marketing program is well established or just being formulated, establishing and defining objectives up front is critically important. That is often easier said then done. For example, some channel marketers are quick to deploy a SPIFF program without clearly defining and articulating clear and measurable desired results for the program first. Is the SPIFF program being offered to increase sales of a particular product or product line, or is it being deployed to increase sales engagement and commitment at the overall brand level? In this case, by focusing on results up front and clearly defining measurement criteria, channel marketers can determine if the SPIFF program realized its established objectives and delivered desired outcomes.
Flexible, Scalable Technologies
Clearly defining and measuring objectives is just one of the challenges facing channel marketers. The depth and complexity of today’s channel marketing programs also requires channel marketers to source a robust ecosystem of technologies. Unfortunately, many brands end up cobbling together a variety of solutions that don’t integrate with each other, making the management, operations and reporting of channel program elements a daunting task. As marketers are looking to source, expand or evolve their channel programs, it’s important to partner with a technology provider that offers a fully featured and integrated platform that grows and evolves with a brand’s channel marketing program.
Selecting the right partner may be the most important decision marketers make as it relates to their channel program. There are a multitude of providers out there that offer technologies to support the elements of a brand’s channel marketing program. However, there aren’t many that challenge the status quo and focus on developing sound strategies up front to ensure outcomes are clearly defined and technologies are deployed and supported in partnership with a brand’s channel marketing team. Bringing this strategy-first mentality to a partnership also extends to the ongoing support of the channel marketing program. The partner that ensures a brand’s strategic vision for their channel program is translated and extended to the teams providing ongoing operations and support of the various program elements is another critical component of a successful provider partnership.
The marketing technology landscape will continue to evolve and expand. Whether that’s the result of consolidation or innovation, or a combination of both, the most successful channel marketing programs will be built around a true partnership between a brand and their channel marketing technology and support provider. The success of these partnerships will be determined based on ensuring desired outcomes for all program elements are defined and articulated up front; the technologies brought to bear on behalf of a brand’s channel program are robust, flexible and scalable; and the provider’s ability to help define, articulate and translate strategies into actionable program elements.
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.