Are You Using Channel Marketing For Greater Sales Results?


Be CuriousChannel marketing is one of the least understood roles in marketing.

Channel marketers walk a fine line between sales and marketing. But that also allows channel marketers to have a unique perspective in the organization by:

  • Intimately understanding the distribution channel and knowing the needs and priorities of their customers – and their customers’ customers
  • Being able to build a compelling story as to why their new products and programs will help build their customer’s sales and profits

What are channel marketing’s key roles and activities with Sales?

Channel Marketing Drives Sales SuccessChannel marketing goes by many other names: customer marketing, trade marketing even sales support or admin are other names for the same role. Regardless of what it’s called, the goals for channel marketing are designed to minimize the conflicts with sales.

  • Making the flow of information work for sales, not against them
  • Removing repetitive information requests
  • Building a faster process between questions and answers
  • Pushing information outward

As a result, channel managers strives to…

  • Understand customer strategies
  • Provide marketing direction & support to sales, product, and brand managers
  • Find ways to invest more in growth opportunities
  • Co-develop better ways of selling through product inventory

Sales can – and should — expect support from Channel Marketing with…

  • Channel Marketing Can Help You Through The Customer MazeDesigning & budgeting promotions
  • Tracking annual goals to Results
  • Joint customer planning
  • Building connections with the customer’s teams
  • Getting retail & online merchandising support
  • Sharing insights within & outside channel with the product marketing team

Who Does What?

Sales Needs Channel Mgr Brand Mgr Product Mgr
Establishing Item Pricing No No Yes
Customer Item Distribution Yes No Yes – FYI
Unplanned Promotions Yes No Yes – FYI
Updates to Products POP, Package, Web Yes (1st) Yes Yes- FYI

Financial

Sales Needs Channel Mgr What’s Needed Completed by
New Item Cost & P&L Impact Yes Customer’s potential unit volume Finance
Freight Cost Quotations Yes Item, delivery locations & requirements & unit volume Finance (& Logistics)
Unplanned Promotions & Expenses Yes Item, units, dates, offer level Channel & Finance
Trade Show Offers Yes Items, offers, dates, any Freight needs Channel & Finance

Merchandising

Sales Needs Channel Mgr What’s Needed Completed by
Changes to POP/New POP Yes Objective of changes, timing & process steps with customer Brand
Website Marketing Content Yes UPC, item, data fields that need to be entered Brand
Catalog & Ad Page Designs Yes Items, due dates, offer & output needs Brand
Planogram & End Cap Designs Yes Items additions or deletions, output needs Channel

Channel Marketing is a critical input to the planning process

Your committed actions to drive growth - for you and your customerAll year long, the channel team is watching and documenting the activities in the market. Their insights can assist the entire sales and marketing team with…

  • Product launch requirements
  • Competitive insights
  • Market and channel growth
  • Who’s winning and losing in the channel and why
  • Promotion insights
  • POS insights
  • Merchandising
  • AOP (annual operating plan) roll ups

These activities are all being accomplished within your organization but by breaking them out for a separate team to focus on, you will improve your insights, communication and, ultimately, your sales.

Good Selling!

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2 thoughts on “Are You Using Channel Marketing For Greater Sales Results?

  1. Reblogged this on INSIGHTOVATION® and commented:
    This is timely Greg,
    I was just in a discussion about Channel Marketing yesterday. From my product marketing perspective, and at a very high level, I explain product marketing as ‘where we play and how we win with our consumers’ and channel marketing as ‘where we play and how we win with our customers.’ Thanks for putting some meat around the topic.

    Reply
  2. Channel marketing plays a critical role in the execution of strategy. It requires specific knowledge, skills and expertise. It is too often overlooked, or viewed as a tertiary role, when compared to product marketing, brand marketing, and sales strategy, when actually the role is a peer to the others. Thanks Greg.

    Reply

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