One of the main reasons new clients come to us is that their channel partners have a habit of publishing or distributing non-brand-compliant materials to their customers. This is understandably frustrating for marketers that have spent years of work on crafting a clear brand identity and reputation. Brands appreciate their partners marketing on their behalf, but they also want them to follow the rules and use approved images, verbiage, and media placement. Small businesses have access to image search, old brand templates, and many other means to go outside of current brand rules. So how can brands entice the businesses to stay compliant? The answer is money. Here’s why:
- One of the largest obstacles of preventing the use of non-compliant materials stems from low adoption rates for corporate marketing programs. Local partners are busy running their businesses, so planning marketing campaigns can be overlooked until the last minute. In the rush to get whatever marketing piece they need, they can make some mistakes. Strong enrollment efforts for new and ongoing programs should regularly provide local partners with many enrollment opportunities. The most successful programs offer co-op money or MDF at the program level. By footing some of the bill for marketing, you make your local partners much more likely to enroll. When they’re enrolled in a program, they can remain compliant and won’t need any last minute rush jobs.
- Once partners enroll in a funded program, they are much more likely to participate in your brand’s initiatives when other marketing needs arise. You can create and partially fund tactics that meet these needs. Generally speaking, the more money a brand allocates towards a certain template, the more control they have over the messaging and customizations. If you put more money towards a particular program or template, not only do you have more control of the messaging, but you also make these tactics more enticing for your partners to use.
- Time equals money. Marketing platforms that are built with co-op funds or MDF as a major feature can save your corporate marketing team from wasting valuable time on reconciliation and approvals. With less time needed to reconcile and work through the financial aspects of channel marketing, the corporate office can focus on producing better marketing materials. The better the materials, the more likely local partners will participate.
By providing a little money up front, your brand can start reaping these benefits and more. Building your brand image is a big investment -- and one that you should protect over time. Whether through co-op dollars or MDF, co-marketing funds are the “carrots” you need to dangle to entice your partners. More importantly, co-marketing funds help you make sure your partners don’t misuse your image and damage your brand.