Is Your Channel Marketing Program Spending Money on All the Wrong Things?
Year over year, Brand marketing teams face the challenge of doing more with less. And it seems that already limited marketing budgets are being pushed to the brink.
Let’s take a step back and examine what Brands say is driving this push:
- Higher Agency Fees:
74% of Brands depend on their Channel Partners to build ads. This generates frequent Partner requests for ad customizations, which leads to increases in agency fees.
- More marketing vendors:
79% of Brands say the number of marketing vendors dedicated to Partner Marketing is on the rise. This is largely due to the insatiable appetite for multi-tactic campaigns and the idea that more tactics require more vendors to produce them.
- Dwindling Partner participation in Co-Op:
68% of Brands say less than half their Co-Op funds are being used by Partners. This shows that Brands don’t have as much influence over their Partners’ decisions as they want.
- Ineffective use of Co-Op funds:
50% of Brands say they’ve spotted fraud and ineffective use of Co-Op funds. This reveals that Partners need more help and better oversight.
How to Stop Spending Money on the Wrong Things
When you’re trying to stretch every marketing dollar, half the battle is identifying the areas of wasteful spending. The other half is all about course correction. Marketing investments need to deliver results. Here are three ways to ensure that your Brand’s marketing budget is focused on generating leads, traffic and sales for the agents, dealers and retailers in your Channel Partner network:
1. Centralize Marketing Resources beyond Digital Asset Management
Many Brands still view customizing, funding and executing local marketing as separate. Yet opting for a single SaaS Channel Marketing Automation platform that centralizes marketing resources can mean significant savings for your Brand and provide much-needed support for your Partner network.
- Customization Solutions: This should include both an Ad Builder — using pre-loaded dynamic templates for ad creation — and Ad Flexing technology, which allows changes in aspect ratio so ads can be resized without having to be rebuilt. Dynamic templates with pre-configured content variables — based on Brand rules to insert pictures, headlines and body copy — simplify ad customization and guarantee Brand compliance.
- Flexible Funding Options: This gives your Brand multiple cost-saving options, including cutting Co-Op Claims and Reimbursement costs, opting for innovative instant-funding solutions, or creating customized combinations of claims and instant funding options to give your Brand greater influence over Partner Marketing decisions.
- Automated Campaign Execution: This means making marketing as fast and easy for your local Channel Partners as online shopping. With point-and-click ease, Partners can select, execute and pay for tactics and opt into marketing programs.
2. Rein in Vendor Sprawl
In a world of multi-tactic campaigns, how can your Brand compete without spending more money on more vendors for more tactics? Or what if your Partners pick their own local vendors, which means your Brand has no control over pricing, capabilities and quality? The solution is simple: opt for a leading Channel Marketing Automation platform that has pre-integrated, best-in-class vendors. This takes vetting, selecting, monitoring and managing those vendors off the shoulders of your Brand marketing team and your Partners. It also ensures high-quality results and more competitive pricing.
3. Let ROI Data Drive Decisions
No matter how much your Brand spends on marketing, there is one thing that will derail your efforts every time: the lack of analytics and metrics on tactics, campaigns and your Partners’ performance. If you don’t have access to analytics, how would your Brand or your Partners know if your local marketing efforts are successful or not? Don’t be fooled by platforms that only focus on producing and executing marketing. Leading Channel Marketing Automation platforms make analytics an integral part of the software solution and back it up with expert support for Brands and their Partners.
You need the right data and analytics tools in order to invest only in what works. Don’t settle for anything less.
Gary Ritkes, President of SproutLoud, oversees all Business Development and Marketing for the company. Gary, a pioneer in the emerging vertical of Distributed Marketing Technology, is an industry leader and innovator with 20+ years experience in graphic communications and marketing strategy. Gary has been involved with SproutLoud since the inception of the company. Prior to joining SproutLoud, Gary was VP of Marketing for Rex Three, Inc., SproutLoud’s first and largest vendor among its network of providers. He has served many Fortune 1000 clients and worldwide advertising agencies in providing marketing technology direction and optimization. He was an original founder of U.S. based Earth Color Group and co-founder of Advanced Digital Services (ADS), which was sold in 1996 to publicly traded Katz Digital Technologies. He has served as a board member of the local chapter of the American Advertising Federation chapter and other national industry associations, including the DMA and AGA.