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Control channel marketing activities

Efficient tracking and success control of channel marketing measures in the complex indirect sales model is only possible with a dedicated system that can integrate all relevant subsystems and processes and provides management with the tools to efficiently control this complexity.

Jan 2022

Control channel marketing activities

Where should I invest my tight channel marketing budget?

Channel marketing continues to be an important component in the indirect sales process. This involves activities in stationary retail or measures in online retail. The processes for the implementation and control of the measures are often characterized by a high degree of pragmatism. The guideline here is to use the tight budgets sensibly with as little effort as possible. And what makes sense is often determined by experience or a possible more or less gentle pressure from the customer.

Content requirements at a glance

The content requirements are quickly defined:

  • Creation of a basic planning of sales and the related top level activities for the next financial year. This also results in the possible budget per channel or product.
  • Detailed planning and tracking of the activity. Including accompanying budget and marketing approval processes.
  • Control of the operational implementation of the individual activities. Depending on the activity and channel, the implementation is completely different. Both from the point of view of the possible systems and from the point of view of the required resources.
  • Control of the implementation and the success of the budget used.

The central challenge here is that the individual measures are as different as the available systems and the type of implementation. Optimizing the visibility of products on Amazon is done with a completely different process than a measure in brick-and-mortar retail. But there are also different processes within the same channel structures.

From a management point of view, it is now important to use the processes and systems that are optimal for the respective implementation, but at the same time to install a comprehensive tracking and analysis system that is able to map the entire complexity of the channel marketing process efficiently and in compliance with specifications.

Transparency through tracking of all activities

Particular attention is paid to the implementation-independent tracking of activities. This is often done with supposedly simple, flexible Excel files that can be operated by anyone. But once the channel marketing process has reached a certain level of complexity, this approach quickly becomes a problem. Relevant Excel files are no longer up-to-date, blocked by input from colleagues or can only be maintained with a great deal of time. Not to mention automatic process support and integration with other systems and processes.

Modern managers and brand manufacturers therefore rely on simple, cloud-based systems with which all relevant measures can be tracked without any problems. And which can integrate other optimized systems and processes via interfaces. Ideally, these systems already know their own products and customers, so that the quality and significance of the relevant reports are high.

Ideally, the system is designed in such a way that activities cannot be changed after completion. In this way, a simple tracking becomes an auditable system for your own controlling and possible compliance requirements.

Helpful processes for more efficiency

In addition to pure tracking, some of the following processes are downright efficiency boosters. For both the sales operations team and the sales manager:

  • Workflow-supported budget approval process.
  • Automatic PO generation and transmission to the respective partner
  • Direct calculation of possible bonus payments to the partner by integrating corresponding sales reporting.
  • Prevention of self-competitive measures by visualizing the planned activities in an advertising calendar.
  • Direct integration of the implementation partners (e.g. distribution, merchandising service providers) into the system in order to efficiently integrate their sub-processes.

Return on Investment Determination: The supreme discipline

The well-known wisdom also applies to channel marketing: “I know that half of my measures do not make sense. I just don’t know which half.” An RoI analysis helps here. To put it simply, the costs of a measure are linked to the direct sales success of a measure and made comparable with a corresponding key figure.

With regard to a single channel such as Amazon, this is very well possible using specialized systems. Unfortunately, it will be difficult to implement this across channels. In addition to the existing detailed tracking of the activity, it is also necessary to include the relevant sales in the analysis and to differentiate between a “normal” background noise sales and an additive sale influenced by the activity.

Only through the automated analysis of all different activities on all channels can such a holistic optimization of the channel marketing process be realized.

vcs Invest as a solution for the channel marketing process

Invest was designed and developed together with brand manufacturers. Invest maps all important channel marketing processes in indirect sales. With Invest, processes are standardized, budget surprises are avoided and all activities can be analyzed transparently. Of course, collaboratively involving all relevant partners in the channel marketing process and integrating all relevant systems.

How do you see the situation? What are your requirements and experiences regarding the control of channel marketing activities? We would be happy to discuss this topic with you and show you Invest in detail. Contact us.

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Peter Krebs

Director Customer Success