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Heard It Through the Grape Vine: Channel Marketing


Learning, as a manufacturer or distributor (even wholesaler), how to maintain the integrity of your expectations, brand, and other key areas throughout the channel is vital to solid, steady growth. This video linked below by Manobyte does a great job at giving 6 helpful pointers.1 One key concept that they hone in on is targeting the reseller and the ultimate customer--both at the same time. You are sure to find something embedded in this video that will get you thinking--no matter how far down the line you are in the distribution chain. These steps will help your company to start things off running and also brush up on areas that may need some fine-tuning. Consider this the 6-step checklist to get operations flowing smoothly all the way down the grape vine.


Summary of 6 Grapes on the Vine:



1. Build the Right Personas. Understanding the needs, experiences, behaviors, and goals of-not only the end user-but also the distributor is important in improving the experience both for the distributor and ultimately for your own business. I add here that building your own ideal persona to your resellers is just a vital. Finding the right fit or match from the start builds a solid foundation to start your workflow.

2. Target Efforts to Resellers and End Users. Marketing should be to both the reseller, and at the same time, marketing should be in place for the end user by the reseller. Distributors, resellers, and retailers should have specific marketing that targets them as well.


3. Channel Incentive Program. Have an incentive for resellers to sell your materials more than the competition.


4. Communicate Changes and Updates Regularly. Software or social media sites can be set up to increase communication.


5. Strict Branding and Marketing Guidelines. Make guidelines for your branding and how you desire to market, and have systems in place to make sure that they are followed through.


6. Provide Distributors/Resellers With Everything They Need. The resellers usually don’t have time to come up with marketing for just one of their products; this must be done from the manufacturer/distributor.


Just About to Keep My Mind


Another last thought to add is that this idea of collaboration can be spread out to maintain operations on all levels. The business glossary idea is one such tool that can mainstream ideas across different divisions.2 This can help for everyone to be on the same page with terms and where information is stored. Also, Trello is a great software that helps all team members see development of the workflow.3 Developing channels for operations is also incredibly efficient. Making a definition for how to handle certain operations that others can simply look up creates delegation that is automated. Slack comments on how,

Channels bring order and clarity to work — you can create them for every project, topic, or team. When there’s a channel for everything, you can focus on the conversations and work that matters most to you.4


Eliminating confusion for all involved is incredibly important, whether it is trying to market or just simply trying to work together as a team. Let them hear it through the grape vine, with minds and message in tact.




Footnotes

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1 Post, Amy. "6 Tips For Marketing Through a Channel of Distributors." Manobyte. June 29, 2018. https://www.manobyte.com/growth-strategy/6-tips-for-marketing-through-a-channel-of-distributors


1 Leigh, Alex. "What is a Business Glossary, and Why Do I Need One." November 23, 2018. Leigh Partnership. https://www.leighpartnership.com/what-is-a-business-glossary-and-why-do-i-need-one/


2 Trello. "Trello helps teams move work forward." February 22, 2022. https://trello.com/en-US


4 Slack. "Discover a New Way of Working." 2022. https://slack.com/features/channels



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