1. Reevaluate your reimbursement percentages
First, reevaluate your reimbursement percentages. Know the tactics with the highest ROI and potentially reimburse at a higher percentage than normal. This will help lower the amount of out-of-pocket costs to your partners while still ensuring the shared investments lead to shared rewards. Our 2019 SOLM study shows “shared-spend co-op programs between the marketer and partner attain 20% better growth.”
2. Help channel partners stay in business
Next, consider assisting your partners who have temporarily accrued channel funds this quarter in areas such as their office rent and payroll. When business revs up again, the last thing any of us want to see is a decrease in channel partners because they were unable to survive the downturn. While these areas might not have a direct impact on your brand now, they will undoubtedly have a positive impact in the coming months.
Your channel partners will remember your helping hand will be remembered, and they’ll have a stronger loyalty to you than before. By no means do we recommend allowing your partners to request reimbursement for operational activities without marketing first. These two should go hand-in-hand. Identify marketing thresholds that will help move the needle before operational activities are even available.
3. Allow co-op funds to be used for PPEFinally, everyone is thinking about personal protective equipment (PPE), especially if they have a store, office, or dealership that consumers visit. Consumers who aren’t offered proper protective gear, such as face masks and hand sanitizer, may not visit these local businesses. Allowing your channel partners to apply co-op funds to these protective items through preferred vendors is key, but like the aforementioned operational activities, you want to ensure they are also marrying this with marketing activities. You can ensure the preferred vendors are utilizing your correct logo on face masks and hand sanitizer, or you can kit the items with branded flooring for safe distancing. When reevaluating your channel fund programs, consider how the changes in customer experience (CX) impact your partners.
Contact the BrandMuscle to tearn about our fund management software and personalized marketing services.