Distributed Marketing through E-mail – Should You Empower your Sales Channel Partners?

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Should You Empower your Sales Channel Partners with e-mail tools? Better yet – why should you care?

Many companies already have their e-mail strategy and systems well matured and established. E-mail systems are plentiful – both to the corporate user and the local marketer. ExactTarget, Silverpop and Lyris are all examples of companies with enterprise-level systems to administer strong e-mail marketing campaigns. MyEmma, Constant Contact, etc. are all examples of local marketer tools being used to run SMB e-mail programs. However, these software applications are usually built for the corporate or the local marketer, rather than both, and lack the features, ease of use and functionality required by both ends of a sales channel ecosystem.

If you are a marketing manager in a distributed marketing organization – (organizations that need their brand, products and services to be represented consistently across multiple marketing media at the local level, and especially when marketing decisions are decentralized and deferred to the businesses and people marketing locally) – you may often wonder how a distributed marketing system like SproutLoud can work harmoniously with your own centralized initiatives already under way.

The good news is you are not alone. The bad news is many marketing managers downplay channel partner empowerment (using e-mail) especially when strong corporate e-mail solutions are already in place.

Let’s take a look at why you should pay attention. First, If you aren’t providing an easy to use solution for your partners, your partners are finding their own. This means that hyper-local marketing initiatives are happening without you knowing – and your partners may be taking your brand assets and creative to re-purpose offers and messages of their own. Secondly, if your channel partners control their own data, chances are you are missing out on communicating with their customers. As an example: If you have 1,000 partners that each have a 1,000 contact database, and those partners are sending 2 touchpoints a month, there are 24,000,000 brand impressions a year happening under your nose that you don’t know about. What are they sending? How are they representing your brand’s products and services locally? More importantly, what is the response? How can you get actionable business intelligence to understand what your partners’ customers are interested in and clicking on to reform and revise your local marketing strategy?

By meeting this challenge head-on, and making it EASY for your partners to use your brand through the e-mail channel, you’ll get the following rewards: – Oversight into brand compliance and best practice – Local partner enablement to market the right content at the right time – Untapped market opportunity and increase brand presence – An understanding of local marketing activities to become more effective.

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