5 Tips to Help Your Channel Marketing Strategy Run Smoothly
Channel marketing is the term that describes the methods a company uses to put their product into the hands of the end user, or customer. Most businesses employ a variety of channels to sell their products. One popular option is for a company to sell directly to its customers, from either its physical or digital storefront. Other businesses use social media as a way to sell products. Still others place products in the storefronts of third-parties, to engage those third-parties in the sales effort. No matter which channel(s) your company uses, there are a few tips that can make your overall channel marketing strategy run smoother. They include:
- Picking the right timing
- Making product info easily accessible
- Using powerful advertising techniques
- Focusing on your brand
- Implementing measuring systems
Picking the Right Timing
Just like with comedy, timing is everything when it comes to channel marketing. Knowing when to increase the variety of channels used or when to pull out from certain channels can be key to selling your product successfully. For example, have your social media accounts suddenly boomed in popularity? Consider implementing sales channels to leverage the audience growth you’re seeing. On the other hand, if you sell your product in a retail store that has recently been involved in some sort of scandal or controversy, it might be the right time to pull your product from that channel (if your contract allows you to do so).
Making Product Info Easily Accessible
One crucial element to maintaining a successful channel marketing strategy is ensuring that product information always stays with the product, no matter how far removed it is from your business. For example, if you’re entrusting a third-party retailer to sell your product for you, you want them to be able to answer any questions a customer may have about it, when you aren’t there to answer for them. A few ways to ensure this is to provide written copy for an ecommerce retailer to put on their website, to provide information sheets (similar to an FAQ) that employees can refer to, and to create simple training packages for third-parties to deliver to employees. Likewise, if you sell your product to customers directly, ensure that all of your own employees are trained and knowledgeable about the product to promptly answer any and all questions about it.
Use Powerful Advertising Techniques for Your Channel Marketing Strategy
Channel marketing is a great way to increase your advertising efforts. In most cases, any partners you use to sell your product will be able to lend their marketing clout to your campaigns as well. However, relying on third-parties to run your advertising for you isn’t enough. Their audiences might be small, or their campaigns inconsistent with the needs of your brand. Instead, develop a powerful advertising strategy to go hand-in-hand with your channel marketing strategy (even and especially if you don’t use third-party channels). Reach out to audiences on the platforms they respond to most, inform them where they can buy your products, and guide them to those locations so they can make a purchase with the least amount of effort.
Focusing on Your Brand
When you partner with another business to sell your product, they may have specific requirements when it comes to packaging and advertising your product. For example, some companies require bar codes on products. Other companies may only want to sell an item if it comes in sustainable packaging. These requirements are usually in place to ensure that your product remains consistent with their brand. However, you also need to remember to focus on your brand. In cases like this, work with potential partners to meet the needs of both your company and theirs. If a company wants to completely overwrite your brand image, they’re probably not the partner for you. A vendor’s brand should never be more important than your own. If you sell your product directly (without the use of third-parties), make sure you have clear and consistent branding on your own website, social media pages, and in your physical store if you have one.
Implementing Measuring Systems
Finally, in order to stick with a particular marketing channel, that channel has to be selling your product successfully. In order to determine if your channels are doing just that, implement measuring systems for each. A measuring system might be something as simple as requiring a particular channel to sell a specific number of items within a set time frame. However, your means of measurement can be as simple or complex as your business demands.
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