Channel Marketing Strategies
Does Your Channel Marketing Strategy Have the Power to Succeed?
Not only do manufacturers have to develop innovative new products, they have to create high capacity channels and reduce channel conflict. The success of your product or service is riding on the quality of your channel strategy.
As tough as it is for marketing executives to make channel strategy changes, it’s even worse to jeopardize your success by running your business on cruise control. Frequent channel assessments should be conducted on a regular basis. The manager who understands and plans for change will capture more market share. Whether the market is slowly shifting or you are driving change, ask yourself the following questions:
Does your channel strategy give you access to each customer segment? To achieve success, you must be present at the point of sale. Do you have the ability to reach your target audience at each purchasing crossroad and at the key buying time? Are your channels calling on the right customers?
Does your channel marketing strategy have the skills and capabilities to communicate and deliver your value proposition? Value represents the benefits the customer perceives versus the total cost the customer incurs. These costs include all adoption costs, risk and the purchase price the customer pays. You “win” more when customers perceive your offer as a greater value than the alternatives.
Your channel strategy must meet the needs and expectations of your customers. Do your customers want knowledgeable sales help? Do your channels have strong pre-sales skills? What are their transaction capabilities? What about post-sale support? Your commitment to your customers extends beyond the purchase of your product.
Your channel marketing strategy must provide the customer relationships necessary to become a valued customer partner. The channels should introduce you to customers’ senior management, planning, and R&D to expand knowledge of your customers’ needs. The affiliation between your channel and customer should allow you to conduct development and product testing programs with key customers. Above all, your channel partner should not be “just another vendor.” Your goal is to develop structural and social bonds with your target customers. What role is your channel strategy playing to make this happen? Is it a help, a hindrance or not a factor at all?
You can’t overestimate the importance of your relationship with your channel partners. Your success depends on their success. If your channels are congested with conflicting product lines, you’re not receiving the level of commitment you need to win the sale. Can you identify gaps in your relationship that could be repaired? A good relationship with your channel partner can accelerate the adoption of your product and dramatically reduce the resources needed to meet your market share objectives.
Each of these performance metrics impacts the market share your channel strategy can deliver. QDI can help you determine if your existing channels are capable of achieving your three to five-year objectives; and if you’re introducing new products, QDI can help create a channel strategy designed to boost your odds for success.
For solutions to your Channel Strategy challenges, contact Steve Bassill or
Mike Barr at QDI Strategies, Inc.
Steve Bassill -- 847-566-2020 Ext. 229
Mike Barr -- 847-566-2020 Ext. 225