Accelerate your channel sales efforts and empower your Channel Partners to market your products more aggressively while still protecting your critical brands, messages, and offers. Channel partners can conveniently browse pre-approved marketing materials, personalize them and order online 24x7.
Corporate sales and marketing teams have never been pushed harder. Year after year they are called upon to produce more sales with smaller budgets and fewer resources. These teams need to build highly successful marketing programs that won’t break the bank. Of course, the only way to accomplish this is to become extremely effective.
This is difficult enough in a centralized organization where sales and marketing are both in the same building. However, in order to better serve the customer, the modern sales organization is often distributed around the country, or even the globe. The marketing team remains centralized to assure the continuity of brands, messages, and offers; while avoiding duplication of effort. This is the anatomy of a distributed enterprise.
There is also a much greater reliance these days on indirect channel partners to meet sales targets: value added resellers, distributors, agents, or even franchisees. Channel partners need to be highly effective as well; but quite often the corporate marketing team has little control over how aggressively partners market. Hundreds of millions in co-op advertising dollars and market development funds go unused every year.
Channel partners who choose to market aggressively are quite often pushing their own message rather than the channel owners. Corporate marketing departments spend millions each year developing brands, messages, and offers that correctly position the company and underscore the value proposition. Yet, with only a few simple missteps, a channel partner can erode years of investment in branding and messaging.
To avoid this pitfall some distributed enterprises take the opposite approach and centralize all lead generation and marketing programs. Programs are created and managed directly through the corporate marketing organization. The leads that are captured are ranked and routed to channel partners – a large portion of which are never followed up on.
This is not an act of malice on the part of the channel partner. Partners may already have their hands full with existing leads; they may be focusing on products with proven close rates, rather than the latest and greatest offerings from the factory; or the leads coming from corporate do not match their unique profile. In marketing organizations where lead follow-up is strictly enforced, the outcome is similar to making the channel partner dance in the dust by shooting at their feet.
So what is the answer? How can distributed enterprises empower local channel partners to market aggressively; while still protecting their brands, messages, and offers? How do these organizations achieve maximum effectiveness and increase sales; while still driving down the cost of marketing?
The Channel Marketing Portal allows distributed enterprises to display all corporate approved marketing materials online. Channel partners from around the globe can browse pre-approved marketing materials and order online. Co-branded materials can be customized in minutes using the same easy-to-use interface. This tool also ties together corporate marketing, channel partners, and production partners so that they all know the exact status of any order or marketing program – at any point in time.
Empower Corporate Marketing
Corporate marketing can take complete control over the private label site. No need to learn special programming languages or pay for custom development. Templates can be quickly and easily added, removed, or modified using simple online control panels that accept PDF’s and HTML. Critical program elements such as pricing, discount schedules, or authorized purchase order approvers, can be updated instantly using the administrative control panel for the portal. More control over programs and marketing materials, means faster turn-around times, and reduced marketing expense.
Protect Critical Messages
Marketing departments spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year building strong brands and developing core messages. Of course, the key to a powerful brand is to define it well and then re-enforce it over and over again – beating the same theme like a tribal drum. Posting materials on the channel marketing portal assures that only pre-approved materials are made available to partners. Marketing materials can be setup for partners to modify or co-brand; but only those templates approved in advance. The net result is tighter control over brands, messages, and offers – while still empowering channel partners.
Reduce Operating Expenses
The Channel Marketing Portal is delivered as a hosted service. No need to buy expensive software; allocate computer resources; or staff and train an operations team. No need to do painful annual software upgrades. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from any place in the world with an Internet connection.
Eliminate Back-Order Delays
Marketing materials that change infrequently can be printed in volume using traditional offset printing to assure the lowest cost per piece. For high volume products that require personalization color shells can be pre-printed in advance and then personalized in smaller batches as required. The Channel Marketing Portal supports both models by allowing production partners to add inventory when materials are produced and adjust inventory levels automatically as materials are consumed. The system can even alert the channel owner when a re-order is required. This virtually eliminates the delay associated with unexpected back-orders of critical marketing materials.
Reduce Material Spoilage
The rapid pace of change in many markets has created massive inventories of obsolete marketing materials. Offset printing may still be appropriate for materials consumed in large quantities that never waiver. However, print-on-demand provides the flexibility to personalize each piece – shown to increase response rates by 30% or more. This process also allows partners to order exactly the quantity required, when required – no waste, no spoilage, everyone wins.
Administer Co-op Programs
The Channel Marketing Portal offers two ways to support the distribution of market development or co-op advertising funds: promo codes and business accounts. Using promo codes channel partners receive immediate discounts based on the quantity or dollar volume of an order. Promo codes can be single or multiple use; can have specific expiration dates; and can be limited based on the total uses, or the total uses per partner. With a business account discounts can be offered based on sales performance and credits can be accumulated from month-to-month. Providing easy access to co-op advertising funds assures channel partners are marketing aggressively.
Automate Any Program
The Channel Marketing Portal currently provides modules for direct mail, list purchasing, and marketing collateral (static or co-branded). However, adding additional modules for other types of materials is a simple process. Other modules could easily include: email, seminars, Webinars, logo items, gift cards, business papers, and more. Any materials or programs that can be deployed in the channel can be automated to empower channel partners while protecting corporate message.
Empower Channel Partners
Channel partners have access to corporate approved marketing materials 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from anywhere in the world. They can select materials for the products that best fit their market demographics and expertise. They can generate exactly the right number of leads when they are in the best position to follow-up. The end result is happier channel partners, less waste, and a lot more sales.
Boost Channel Performance
The Channel Marketing Portal allows corporate marketing to publish best-of-breed materials and make them available to channel partners anywhere. New materials are available to all partners immediately. Those that are out of date are taken out of circulation equally as quickly. Posting only those materials that are tested and proven assures better results for all partners.
Increase Channel Profits
The Channel Marketing Portal can deliver savings of 50% or more over traditional tools. This savings comes from economies of scale in production; a decrease in the time needed to order materials, launch campaigns, and track progress; and avoiding the purchase of specialized desktop publishing tools. Best of all, since all materials are pre-approved, channel partners will qualify for co-op advertising funds whenever they are available – lowering costs and boosting profits.
Target Campaigns Precisely
The best way to assure the success of a direct response campaign is to put the right offer in hands of the right prospects. However, finding exactly the right prospects without specialized tools can be almost impossible. The Channel Marketing Portal taps directly into the largest consumer and business database in the world to provide contact lists. Channel partners can select specific demographic profiles and receive real-time list counts. Channel partners can purchase a list online and launch their campaign. Of course, custom integration with other list providers is available as well. History has shown if we get the right offer in the hands of the right prospect good things happen.
Assure Instant Communication
The status of any order placed using the channel marketing portal is updated in real-time at every step of production. Channel partners know the status of every job at any time. Channel owners know which materials are getting used, and how frequently, and which programs are not. Materials that are producing results can be retained; others can be eliminated – immediately!
Eliminate Production Errors
The Channel Marketing Portal provides visual cues at every stage of the ordering process. Marketing materials are shown as thumb-nail images of the actual documents. Channel partners must approve a personalized proof of co-branded materials prior to production. The actual PDF proof may be printed on a local printer or emailed to others for prior approval. Co-branded materials are also automatically checked to assure that uploaded images are the correct size; the resolution of uploaded images is dense enough to print correctly; and the correct fonts are embedded in the document. Assuring materials are submitted correctly avoids delays and costly rework.