Coaxing Channels

I love complex markets that require collaboration with strategic partners, industry groups and channels.

It is an exotic form of auto-masochism.

channel-messagingMarketing requires appealing to byer motivations. But you are often not the only, or even the primary person delivering the marketing message. Intermediaries may deal more directly with end buyers than you. Yet for the buyer to receive a consistent message, perceive a consistent brand or believe a consistent value proposition, these outside organizations have to carry your message, value props and brand identities.

Not being your employees, they have to be coaxed with something other than the possibility of instant unemployment.

Intermediaries can either be controlled or encouraged. The latter is preferable because you have no real control over them. Sure, if you are an industry gorilla who can pick and choose channel partners, and dismiss them at will, you have some control leverage. Lacking that, everything else devolves to encouragement. Cash incentives work, but last only as long as the cash does, and money also drives occasional unethical behaviors. Indoctrinating intermediaries into believing your brad, loving your value and evangelizing your message works better and costs less in the long run.

Control must still be used to rein-in rogues, but otherwise make your partners and channels as much of a customer as you make your customers.


Speak up! What are your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.