What Is Through-Channel Marketing Automation?

BrandMuscle | August 15, 2019

Through-channel marketing automation (TCMA) is a technology platform that revolutionizes how brands scale their advertising programs and drive local sales by effectively managing brand assets and marketing resources with channel sales partners. Coined by Forrester analyst Jay McBain in 2017, TCMA has emerged as a game-changing solution, supported by extensive research on its use cases, benefits, and vendor landscape.

With 75% of world trade flowing indirectly…the time has come for channels, partnerships, and alliances to be enabled with the same level of passion. The third stage in sales and marketing transformation will be anchored around effective partner management and through-channel marketing automation.

Jay McBain, Principal Analyst, Channel Partnerships & Alliances, Forrester

Who Can Benefit from TCMA?

Both brands and their partners reap significant advantages from implementing a TCMA platform. TCMA bridges the gap between a brand’s corporate marketing efforts and the unique requirements of its local partners.


Brands, including manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and service providers, with a distributed network of partners, greatly benefit from TCMA. These partners, such as dealers, agents, franchisees, operators, sales reps, and retailers, play a pivotal role in driving product and service sales at the local level. However, executing cohesive corporate marketing campaigns at scale becomes challenging without a robust TCMA platform. With hundreds or even thousands of partners scattered across the nation or globe, the need for streamlined collaboration and consistent messaging becomes paramount.


On the other side of the equation, partners benefit immensely from TCMA as it empowers them to easily create brand-compliant marketing materials at a subsidized cost.

Many local partners are small business owners or managers with limited time and resources to devote to marketing. Brand compliance often takes a backseat, particularly for partners selling competing products simultaneously. TCMA resolves this challenge by providing simple, scalable, cost-effective marketing solutions. The platform offers marketing templates and resources aligned with the current corporate campaign. This allows partners to customize and make them more relevant in local markets.

Key Features of Top-Notch TCMA Platforms

The best TCMA solutions provide partners with a one-stop shop where they can seamlessly complete essential channel marketing tasks. These platforms offer streamlined workflows, customizable governance, robust analytics, user-friendly interfaces, shared brand marketing assets, controlled local customization, and efficient portals for content distribution. By integrating these features, TCMA platforms enable partners to execute their marketing initiatives effectively while staying aligned with the brand’s guidelines and objectives.

Untapped Potential: TCMA’s Underutilization

Despite its immense potential, TCMA remains underutilized. According to Forrester Research, only around 50% of brands leverage a TCMA platform. Out of those, only 17% believe they have fully maximized their potential. This statistic reveals a significant opportunity for brands to educate their partners on the remarkable benefits of TCMA and unlock its full potential.

Empowering Brands with Comprehensive TCMA Solutions

At BrandMuscle, we understand the transformative power of TCMA and its role in driving local business growth. Our TCMA platform has demonstrated exceptional results, with local businesses that effectively implemented our solution experiencing twice the increase compared to disengaged or developing efforts.

Our TCMA platform integrates four primary functions for comprehensive marketing automation:

  1. Brand management: Empower local channel partners to personalize and execute brand-compliant marketing campaigns, resulting in increased sales and ROI at the local level.
  2. Fund management: Optimize your marketing strategy with flexible market development funds (MDF) and co-op programs for partners, increasing the effectiveness of your fund management program and driving revenue growth.
  3. Marketing execution: Help your marketing channel partners implement effective, scalable, and brand-compliant marketing campaigns that deliver tangible business impact across paid, owned, and earned media channels.
  4. Analytics and insights: Provide robust analytics and insights to measure campaign performance, identify areas of improvement, and optimize marketing strategies for increased cost-effectiveness and sales growth.

Discover the Power of BrandMuscle’s TCMA Solutions

Unleash the full potential of TCMA and revolutionize your local marketing efforts with BrandMuscle’s industry-leading platform. Let’s drive growth, foster partnership, and activate your brand like never before.

Book a demo today.

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