Brands often discover that their channel partners fail to use the marketing materials and co-op funds they have created for their use. The result? Frustration by what they perceive as apathy from their local partners.
But that’s usually not the full story. Their network members usually do have some level of apathy, but because they are small business owners, this apathy originates from ignorance and time constraints, not active indifference. So how can you fix this dysfunctional relationship?
- Provide Motivation to Network Members
If brands simply provide the what and the how of marketing programs, and never explain the why, motivation will be lackluster. You must give local partners a reason to opt into your programs by providing statistics to back up your program’s value.
- Provide Resources and Education
Marketing within a distributed organization can be hard to navigate. It can be especially complicated for business owners that are already overworked. By providing a marketing 101 kit to your local members, you may be turning a scary unknown subject into an easy-to-understand process.
Some people avoid subjects that they don’t fully understand for fear of looking ignorant or making mistakes. Equip them with the resources to inform themselves.
- Embrace Your Mistakes
Marketing can be difficult, even for the best of us. Not all marketing campaigns will be successful, and the only way to learn what works is by trial and error. Always resist the temptation to sugarcoat your failed programs so you don’t delegitimize yourself and any future programs you want to launch.
Once you own up to your mistakes and turn them into teaching moments for your network, you will begin to share marketing wisdom with your local partners. Instructions only take people part of the way. Most need to learn from practical experience.
Following these tips will create an army of wise local marketers. They will be motivated to adopt into, and properly deploy high quality programs will help your brand and their businesses benefit.