What is channel marketing?
Channel marketing encompasses the various tactics and strategies brands use to reach their target audience through different channels. It involves leveraging the strengths of each channel to maximize reach and engagement with prospects, alongside the development of strategies for each individual point of contact with prospective and existing clients, through these channels.
However, this term is also used to denote another very different strategy, referring to the process of promoting and selling products or services through a network of partners or intermediaries, such as retailers, distributors, and resellers, who help to expand the reach of a company's offerings.
This ambiguity is the reason why confusion arises among B2B professionals when referring to channel marketing. This entry focuses on both meanings of the term (channel mix and utilization of partner channels).
What is the purpose of channel marketing?
The purpose of channel marketing is to provide brands with multiple touchpoints to communicate with their prospects and clients. This allows them to deliver targeted and personalized messages to their audience, via diversified channels that cater to different leads’ preferences, ensuring a comprehensive and cohesive client experience (CX) that ultimately results in higher engagement and conversion rates.
When referring to the use of partners, the goal of channel marketing is to boost outreach and sales through the use of trusted intermediaries, who will promote products and marketing materials on another brand’s behalf.
How does channel marketing work?
Channel marketing involves identifying the right channels for a brand's target audience and creating compelling content that resonates with them, distributed across multiple touchpoints via different channels. It also involves monitoring and analyzing the performance of each channel to uncover an audience’s preferred messaging, tone, and channels to optimize the efficiency of marketing campaigns and improve ROI.
In the case of channel marketing with partners, promotion is usually leveraged through the use of Marketing Development Funds (MDF) provided by the producing/parent brand (also commonly referred to as vendor).
Why is channel marketing important?
Channel marketing is important because it allows brands to engage select audience members with messaging on their preferred channels. This results in higher engagement and conversion rates, as well as increased brand awareness and loyalty. By utilizing multiple channels, brands can also diversify their marketing efforts, reducing their reliance on any single channel or tactic.
As for channel marketing with partners, brands can delegate promotion to established vendors, who can procure sales opportunities at a lower cost than possible on their own.