What is Through-Channel Marketing Automation? – BrandMuscle
What is Through-Channel Marketing Automation?
August 15, 2019
By: Johnathan Risner, BrandMuscle Marketing Team.

Through-Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA) is technology that empowers partners of all types to leverage a company’s branded assets, messaging, advertising, co-op funds, and demand generation activities to drive local sales. Also referred to as distributed marketing management or DMM, Forrester analyst Jay McBain coined the term TCMA in 2017 and has since published a significant amount of research on the topic including use cases, benefits and an overview of the TCMA 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 a through-channel marketing automation platform?

In short, brands and their partners both benefit from the implementation of a TCMA platform.

To clarify, brands are manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and providers of services with a distributed network of partners (dealers, agents, franchisees, operators, sales reps, retailers, or whatever the industry label demands. These partners have a physical or digital presence in local communities and have a significant impact on the brands ability to sell their products and services in their local area.

TCMA platforms help brands bridge the gap between their corporate brand marketing efforts and the unique needs of their local partners Often, local business partners have little familiarity with their brand partners advertising strategies, or how best to locally orient their marketing efforts to get the most out of their partnership. This is an even a bigger issue for brands with independent partners that can sell competing products and services.

These partners (typically small business owners or managers) have a lot on their plates. They can’t be expected to have the marketing know-how to create the best advertising for your brand. In many cases, the marketing platform that is instituted by the brand partner may provide templates and resources that match with the current corporate campaign but fail to offer the creative flexibility the partner needs to stay relevant within their local market.

What are some of the key features of the best TCMA platforms?

The best TCMA solutions will address workflow needs, provide customizable governance, offer robust analytics, and be simple and easy for the business partner to use. It should enable the sharing of brand marketing assets with controlled local customization. TCMA solutions provide a one stop shop where partners can do everything from accessing logos, customizing templates, ordering promotional items and using co-op funds. In its comprehensiveness, through-channel marketing automation provides an efficient portal for distribution of content and marketing solutions.

TCMA is essential but under used

Through-channel marketing automation allows associated organizations to use many different channels accessible through an all-in-one system, managing client leads, market reports, templates, creative assets and more. The software also provides vital in-market analytics information, allowing for decreased operational expenditure, further benefitting ROI. Partners also have better communication with brands and related resources are transferred and applied more successfully.

Forrester Research posits that institution and proper use of TCMA is currently under used, with only half of all brands having a through-channel marketing automation platform. Of those organizations, only 17% believe that they have successfully applied the technology. This statistic suggests a huge opportunity for brands to better educate their partners; saving time, money and effort, all while empowering them.

How does BrandMuscle provide TCMA solutions?

The State of Local Marketing report suggests that local businesses that have effectively instituted our TMCA software platform see twice as much growth as those who are currently considered to be disengaged or developing in their efforts. Our TCMA platform integrates 4 primary functions for comprehensive marketing automation.

Brand Management
Enable local channel partners to personalize and execute brand and legal compliant marketing campaigns. Increased speed-to-market coupled with your proven brand messaging and tactics result in increased sales and ROI at the local level.​​

Fund Management
Optimize your marketing strategy with flexible MDF and co-op programs for your partners. Customizable rules and integration with brand management and marketing execution increase effectiveness. Highly supported co-op programs increase revenue growth by 25%​.

Marketing Execution
Help your marketing channel partners implement effective, scalable, and brand compliant marketing campaigns that drive business impact. A comprehensive application of software and services ​will reduce your cost per sale by 18% through the right blend of paid, owned, and earned media.

Analytics & Insights
Each solution includes channel marketing analytics across every tactic and campaign, measurable across geographic regions and store hierarchies. Insights are included within each BrandMuscle solution, creating an integrated data platform to drive effectiveness.

Learn more about our TCMA solutions