Channel Marketers: The Ninjas of the Marketing World

Posted on Mar 1, 2015 · 4 min read

Channel Marketing is such a specialized marketing challenge. I’m not a career channel marketer, I’ve only dipped my toe in that world with a couple of companies. lady ninja in redI think in the world of all marketing professionals, the channel marketers are the ninjas. They are the stealthy ones convincing companies with all different goals, strategies, locations, and customer types to pay attention to their product and adopt their programs to sell more of their products. Also, as new trends come up like showrooming, big data usage, or mobile shopping, channel marketers are the ones standing at the bottom of that proverbial hill that the poo rolls down. They have to interpret how those trends affect not only their products but understand how it is affecting dozens of types of resellers and retailers and then determine how to respond. Whew!

So now what? We’ve all agreed that the ninjas of the marketing world deserve a fist bump, but in the ever changing world of technology and marketing, are there strategies that can help them? In a word, yes. The channel marketers newest weapon of choice to consider is affiliated exclusive discounts.

Note I didn’t say “affiliate discounts” that’s completely different. I’m talking about offering a discount for your products to pre-defined groups of consumers that your resellers can attract to create new and loyal customers. Instead of looking at your resellers existing customers and speaking to them, look outside of that to where new customers could be coming from. Here are a few examples, then we’ll talk about how you turn this strategy into a channel marketing program:

Businesses

Um duh, that’s covered. But what if you broke down businesses and offered discounts to the target markets you wanted. Create special programs for specific SIC codes, or for women- or minority-owned businesses, or specifically small businesses. Or better yet, offer the verticals to your resellers, let them decide who the program targets.

Military Personnel

Nearly one in 10 small businesses are veteran-owned, and retired service members are at least 45 percent more likely than those without active-duty military experience to be self-employed. One of the challenges for many channel marketers is to help resellers find and encourage that purchase trigger. The over 20 million veterans and spouses are a dynamic group of consumers that companies are actively seeking out. 94% of veterans say they are more loyal to companies that they view as “military friendly.” A program launched by you that encourages your resellers to reach out to military personnel could equal immediate incremental revenue and develop a great loyal customer base.

College students and Alumni

Another dynamic consumer group with many triggers coming their way that are going to make them need all sorts of stuff. An early branding program to soon-to-be graduates could fill the sales pipeline for the next year.

Affiliation of Your Choice

Who do you want to reach? Members of certain associations like licensed tax accountants or financial planners? Or members of non-profits? Or customers of a non-competing business that you’ve partnered with? Create a special offer for any affiliated group that makes up your dream target market.

Does it all sound too complicated to stuff into a VAR program? For a ninja? Please, this is easy.

By partnering with a verification platform, all of the heavy lifting is taken care of for you. SheerID, or another verification platform can be your katana (Ninja’s weapon of choice according to Wikipedia, I looked it up). SheerID can create custom hosted pages at no charge for your resellers customers to be verified that they qualify for the exclusive discount, then SheerID will handle all the tracking so you can offer incentives for highest traffic, highest number of verified customers, and highest number of conversions. You come up with the offer, the incentives, and the announcement, and the rest is handled including the reporting. Everything can be customized to meet the needs of you and your resellers. After all, even ninjas need a little help once in a while.

Marci Hansen by Marci Hansen