An exceptional customer purchase journey requires an exceptional local experience. Channel partners’ importance cannot be overstated, because they control the customer journey. The customer journey determines the point of purchase, and to drive revenue for a brand, channel partners must shape the local experience.
Here are a number of effective ways for local channel partners to enable themselves to successfully execute on your brand initiatives and drive more revenue.
- Align Local Execution with National Strategy
TCMA provides the foundation for executing the customer journey through channel partners. But to get started, we must acknowledge that both national and local marketing have a role to play, and that they work better together.
Utilizing national campaigns to drive strategy, brand awareness, and market share is key in corporate marketing. But brands need local campaigns to drive discovery, engagement, and, many times, the actual point of purchase. You must quit treating national and local initiatives as competitors. It is imperative to work together so that when a consumer is moving from the question, “What do I need?” to “Where do I purchase?” your brand is represented and accessible to consumers locally. When local execution is aligned with national strategy, it creates synergies that drive success through store visits that result in purchases. So, it’s crucial to find ways to help channel partners propel the customer journey to purchase.
Start by providing assets to ensure local partners have materials that reinforce national messaging and align with the ideal consumer experience. Then, identify the actions you want your channel partners to take to support the consumer journey, and use an automated tool like Smart Marketing Planner to incentivize those behaviors above others. Finally, offer corporate-sponsored marketing execution services or solutions. This helps ensure both digital and traditional touchpoints are consistent no matter if the consumer is seeing a national or a local partner ad. As technology changes, your TCMA platform can become the hub that connects all these pieces together and drives local activation.
- Create Measurable Goals for Your Program
To ensure your partner and program strategies remain at the forefront, you must first know where you are going. For each goal, determine a success measurement. How will you know if you have met your goals or are successful unless you can measure them? So, if you set a goal like “usage,” you need a platform that provides a good user experience. If you want partners to customize assets but you have limited resources, you need a platform that can support dynamic templates. Align goals to requirements that channel partners need to complete the marketing actions you desire. Ensure the technology you use can track and measure your success metrics so that you can quickly identify opportunities for improvement, and more importantly, show the value of the program.
- Understand the Customer Journey and Partner Needs
Define the customer journey, and understand where local and national marketing intersect. Understanding those touchpoints will help you identify where greater consistency is needed. By understanding the customer journey, you can better develop a program strategy that supports the right marketing tactics with the right assets and a funding program that incentivizes the ideal behaviors.
Remember that your channel partners completely depend on your technology choices to execute marketing. They are stakeholders in your program and brand. You don’t have limitless resources to waste on a program that partners don’t participate in, so it’s vital to understand the biggest obstacles that may hold channel partners back from fully utilizing your program. Plus, understanding partner needs demonstrates a commitment to your channel program and will help move partners from mere participants to program advocates.
- Focus on What Matters and What Works
As you can see, TCMA can be the foundation to holistically executing a channel partner program that supports your customer journey. TCMA set up and integration run the gamut. Technology can be a great tool, but it can also be a huge distraction and create barriers to participation. Stay focused on what matters and what works. Keep your goals top of mind. Align technology requirements to your goals and success metrics. Don’t get distracted by bells and whistles and concentrate resources on developing the assets, incentives and executional programs that will propel the local customer journey. Just because you can create thousands of asset templates, doesn’t mean you should. Instead, help channel partners by focusing efforts on what works. A successful program requires partner participation. Technology should not be a barrier, but an enabler to success.
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