Change comes quickly in marketing, especially in digital marketing. Although digital marketing is a relatively young field, there is a great deal of complexity, risk, and “noise” out in the marketplace for business owners to sift through.
The internet is pervasive and touches every corner of our lives, it’s the not so new, new way people discover, learn, and consume information along their path to purchase. It’s the new reality, your channel must embrace to survive. But who do they trust, and who can help them make the right decisions on the tools out there to help them grow their businesses? You can! And it’s easier than you think. Consumers today are increasingly more likely to interact and engage with your brand and partners online. Your channel partners are very conscious of this. Options are available to them, guidance comes from many directions, but leadership is needed. When you combine your leadership, your program options and then fund it with the co-op dollars they have earned, you are creating a partnership recipe for success.
The old media model works. Marketing through traditional outlets such as tv, radio, print, outdoor advertising (signage, billboards), events, etc. works and that’s typically where the majority of co-op funds are spent in the channel. Things are trending differently though, with an increasing shift of co-op, MDF, and channel supported funds being diverted to digital marketing products such as paid advertising through the search engines and social media, SEO, email marketing, etc. The new digital model has been proven to work but the same challenges continue to present themselves to SMB’s. There is too little time to make good decisions, too many choices and the clamor of vendors approaching them with “solutions,” and there’s often a general lack of experience with how these products are supposed to work for their business. By eliminating or simplifying some of the decision making processes and guiding your channel partners marketing efforts, you can help build in them the confidence they need to adopt, invest, and market with these programs.
Regardless of what programs your partners choose or choose not to use, they will need access to funds. The outdated and slow reimbursement model process alone is a deterrent from using them and participating in your co-branded digital programs.
By addressing their pain points and removing obstacles, through a marketing automation platform- designed with SMB’s in mind, you will give your channel partners a reason to use every dollar you provide them and get them to invest in and commit more fully towards their digital marketing efforts. They will need your leadership, guidance, and tools to help them navigate this new reality. You will lead and they will have a reason to want to follow. SproutLoud specializes in the simplification for channel partners to use the co-op dollars the brands provide. Time to make it simple and use a co-pay model.
About the Author
Ben Heyworth formerly served as Marketing and Sales Coordinator at SproutLoud.More Content by Ben Heyworth