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

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 (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. It helps bridge the gap between a brand’s corporate marketing efforts and the unique needs of their local partners.

Brands benefit from TCMA because it enables their local partners to create brand compliant marketing materials and effectively manage their co-op dollars. Brands include 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 significant impact on the brand’s ability to sell products and services in a given local area. Because many brands have hundreds or thousands of local partners across the nation or even the world, it can be challenging to execute cohesive corporate marketing campaigns at scale without a TCMA platform.

Partners benefit from TCMA because it empowers them to easily create brand compliant marketing materials at a subsidized cost. Because local partners are often small-business owners or managers with a lot on their plates, they don’t have a lot of time or resources to devote to marketing. Therefore, brand compliance isn’t a high priority for many partners, especially those that sell competing products and services simultaneously, such as telecommunications dealers. Through-channel marketing automation solves for that by providing simple, scalable and cost-effective marketing solutions. The platform provides marketing templates and resources that match the current corporate campaign and can be customized for increased relevancy within their local market.

Key features of the best through-channel marketing automation platforms

The best TCMA solutions provide a one-stop-shop where partners can easily complete essential channel marketing tasks, such as accessing logos, customizing templates, ordering promotional items and managing co-op funds. Key features of the best through-channel marketing automation platforms include:

• Streamlined workflow

• Customizable governance

• Robust analytics

• Easy for business partners to use

• Shared brand marketing assets

• Controlled local customization

• Efficient portal for distribution of content

Through-channel marketing automation is essential but under used

TCMA allows associated organizations to use many different channels accessible through an all-in-one system. The software also provides vital in-market analytics information, allowing for decreased operational expenditure, which further benefits ROI. Partners also have better communication with brands and marketing resources are transferred and applied more successfully.

Forrester Research posits that TCMA is under used. Only about 50% of all brands currently have a 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 on the benefits of their TCMA platform and use it to its greatest potential.

yoy revenue growth 2x

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 that are currently considered to be disengaged or developing their efforts. The BrandMuscle TCMA platform integrates four primary functions for comprehensive marketing automation:

1. Brand management

2. Fund management

3. Marketing execution

4. Analytics and insights

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 can increase the effectiveness of your fund management program. 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
Help your marketing channel partners implement effective, scalable and brand compliant marketing campaigns that drive business impact. A comprehensive application of software and services can reduce your cost per sale by 18% through the right blend of paid, owned and earned media.

Learn more about our TCMA solutions or how to choose a TCMA vendor