Steve LaPedis, VP of Marketing, Zyme Solutions gives marketers some tips to improve their marketing RoI through a more intelligent way of driving the business through channel partners
Companies that sell through indirect channels have historically left marketing departments with very little hard intelligence about the work they do. Real-time data is being used to drive almost every decision across the enterprise, but marketers in these enterprises often miss a critical piece of the puzzle: accurate and detailed channel sales data. While trillions of dollars of goods and services are being moved through the channel, marketers only get vague and outdated information about how end customers buy their products.
With channel data management (CDM), marketers can uncover the value hidden in the channel to understand which distributors and resellers are driving business successes. This understanding empowers them to redirect wasted marketing dollars to profitable partner programs and ultimately improve marketing ROI.
Flying Blind in the Channel
Companies traditionally collected data from distributors and resellers through a mix of manually completed forms and custom-built reporting tools. But these systems that provided the foundation for understanding channel sales, inventory and payment information created long reporting lags and produced data that was often incomplete and riddled with errors, not to mention susceptible to fraud.
Being unable to drill into the data limits the ability for marketers to understand the effectiveness of past campaigns and plan for future initiatives. Marketers can’t get a granular picture of performance among specific market segments and customers, so targeting campaigns to specific audiences remains a guessing game. In addition, without the insight to match actual sales to specific campaigns, marketers are unable to show senior executives that their initiatives deliver quantifiable success.
The Untapped Value of Channel Data Management
With modern CDM solutions, marketers are able extract immediate value from timely, accurate channel data. By obtaining complete access to near real-time data from resellers, retailers, e-tailors and other channel partners, marketers can better understand their customers, their market and partner segments, and the actual value of their campaigns and programs.
Clean and timely data from channel partner gives marketers important insight into their market and customer segments. For example, marketers can identify extremely lucrative white spaces in their target markets that would go unnoticed without granular channels sales data. Marketers can use channel data about end customers to implement advanced targeting and customer segmentation by grouping prospective current customers based on behavioral and demographic attributes. With access to these types of attributes, marketers are able to improve sales effectiveness by aligning customer segments with partner segmentation to ensure the right mix of partners are covering the customer segment opportunity.
Marketers are also able to better manage partners with a complete foundation of comprehensive channel data. Up-to-date visibility into the channel enables marketers to stay on top of changes in sales patterns and take corrective action to manage partner programs before it’s too late. They can also increase partner program effectiveness by focusing efforts on high performing partners and cutting investments in unproductive partners.
Finally, marketers are able to “close the loop” and map specific sales data back to different campaigns and programs to better understand marketing ROI. Marketers can use this understanding to maximize profits by focusing on campaigns that deliver the right offer via the right channel at the right time. Ultimately, CDM provides a better way for marketers to track their efforts and ensure that each marketing dollar is producing results.