Inaugural Executive Customer Advisory Board Meeting Reveals Challenges and Opportunities – BrandMuscle
Inaugural Executive Customer Advisory Board Meeting Reveals Challenges and Opportunities
September 25, 2019

By: Jason Tabeling, Executive VP, Product Strategy, Product Marketing.

Last week, BrandMuscle hosted our first Executive Customer Advisory Board meeting at our headquarters in Chicago with customers across several industries representing over $100B of through-channel revenue. The event served as a forum for executives from across our customer base to interact with BrandMuscle executives and TCMA industry experts, and share trends, challenges, and priorities around their local marketing efforts.

In addition to presentations from BrandMuscle's executive team, industry leaders shared their expertise with the group. Jay McBain from Forrester addressed the State of the Channel. He noted the massive importance of channel marketing. In fact, 75% of world trade flows through channels. He provided a point of view on channel marketing that identified a massive shift in who those channel owners are becoming. By 2024, 40% of current channel owners will retire and 75% of channel owners will be millennials. This shift will require channel owners to be focused on understanding their customers, specifically learning where they go, what they read, and who they follow.

ROI tracking, measurement and reducing friction

This shift in channel owner and consumers kicked off a spirited discussion that provided some great insight into the day-to-day challenges of our Executive attendees. The key themes spanned the verticals that were represented, truly identifying a common set of challenges. Two main conversational developments included ROI tracking and friction. ROI and measurement is a key challenge and opportunity, with analytics reported in the top 2 priorities of 100% of attendees heading into 2020. During a discussion on removing friction for channel partners. We considered how this industry might improve the ability to access and create quality marketing by removing friction that may exist. How do things like user experience, time, knowledge impact the process and how can we optimize them?
Next Philip Rather from Facebook spoke on Facebook’s State of Local. He discussed how Facebook is looking to remove friction as well. This goal is founded in the trends Facebook is seeing in local. For example, by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be handled without a human and 1 in 2 consumers buy within one hour after decide on a product or service. This requires them to focus on creating a strong foundation, as well as providing support and education for their advertisers.

Channel partners want more integration

In addition to this we shared some data from our State of Local Marketing survey that validated these trends. At BrandMuscle we are seeing a demand for integration in our channel partners. In fact, 59% of channel partners want more integrated solutions. Additionally, we found that our most mature businesses based on the Local Marketing Maturity Matrix grew 2x faster than those business who were not mature in their marketing, indicating the importance of providing strong integrated, and frictionless programs. In response to these trends, one exec said, “we find ourselves doing more programs that are Do-It-For-Me or Do-It-On-My-Behalf.”

After the meeting ended, everyone gathered for a Taco Tuesday cruise on the Chicago River. We got to know each other better and further discussed the challenges in our businesses.

We are gathering feedback from this event and looking forward to continuing to partner with more of our clients to collaborate on the future of successful through channel marketing.