co-opfunds

When our 2015 State of Local Marketing Report asked local affiliates why they didn’t use their co-op funds, a resounding amount of them metioned a lack of support from their corporate marketing team.

Advertising is important. Not only does advertising assist channel resellers in driving awareness and sales, but it creates brand value and recognition for you.  In part one of our “seven co-op questions” post, we discussed enhancing your current co-op program by evaluating your time, addressing the ease of your channel-marketing program and simplifying your co-op guidelines.

Now that you’ve got the ball rolling to analyze your current channel-marketing program, consider these remaining questions:

IV. Are You Selling Your Channel-Marketing Program?

If brand and channel marketing managers want co-op and MDF funds to actually get spent on local marketing, they need to make the process easier and more beneficial for local affiliates – a process that usually starts by opening the lines of communication.coop quote (3)

Affiliates need to be informed of your co-op program. How are you getting their attention? Think about some common ways you capture attention in an email, in general conversation or through visual displays. It’s vital to send out various communication and reminders about program details and updates. Often, your co-op participants are busy managing their entire business and depend on you for reminders and support. Continuously offer training to educate your affiliates, and don’t forget to make it exciting by offering incentives to invest in the most valuable tactics.

 

V. Is Your Channel-Marketing Program Driving Digital?

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Despite relativley high usage, only 16% of co-op funds go to digital media tactics, according to the 2015 State of Local Marketing Report.

To ensure you’re developing a better channel marketing program, it’s imperative to consider the tactics which are most valuable and most utilized by your affiliates. If you’ve been continuously gathering market research to keep your program up-to-date, you’ll know some of the best performing tactics are display advertising, paid search campaigns and SEO. Depending on your industry, you may also identify other digital tactics that you’d like your resellers to use as well.

Here’s the tricky part: you led the horse to water, now make it drink! Offer incentives so your affiliates take action; consider offering a higher reimbursement percentage to dealers for advertising through these effective digital media channels. Be sure to truly sell these packages in to ensure your co-op participants take full advantage of them.    

VI. Is Reimbursement Timely?

If you’ve seen the movie Jerry McGuire, you can probably hear your co-op participants shouting in your head: “Show Me The Money!”  In fairness, time equals money. Devote your time to ensure your channel-marketing program is distributing funds efficiently. Don’t leave your affiliates waiting for long periods of time between submitting claims and getting reimbursed for their efforts – especially if the issue is a lack of organization and efficiency on your end.

If there is some process improvement to be done on your end, consider the end result. When your channel resellers are satisfied and see funds returned quickly, you keep the co-op cycle in motion and help to build your brand. Keep in mind most co-op participants operate with marketing budgets under $10,000/year, so they are quite literally waiting for their co-op refund before they execute any further marketing efforts.

VII. Is Reporting Defined?

Consider the insight you offer your channel partners via regular reporting. Give your participants info that is important to them and reflects the core objectives of your full channel marketing program. Reports should put these four pieces of information front-and-center

  1. Used and unused fund balances

  2. Credit information

  3. Claim status updates

  4. Fund expiration dates

Ultimately, channel revenue is your goal, but don’t forget to show how co-op dollars reap returns for the global brand through branding at the local level and product mix.

Did you get all that?  🙂

After analyzing these questions, you should have a better understanding of how to enhance your current channel-marketing program. The key to being successful is being open-minded to the ever-changing ways of local marketing and helping your co-op participants transition with it. Work with your channel resellers to build a winning partnership, drive sales and deliver a successful channel marketing program.

It’s just that simple to Own Local.