Use search to transform your channel strategy

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Steve Riegel
Steve Riegel

As technology advances and the demands of customers frag­ment, the task of empowering resellers and distributors with effective, relevant marketing tools becomes daunting.

Companies are experimenting with emerging technologies — notably search — to help their partners respond to the market. We hear that traditional tactics no longer work. Significant co-marketing dollars are not driving channel sales performance.

The manufacturer-to-channel relationship is crucial to maximiz­ing value to customers. In a recent study, only 8% of marketing managers indicated they do an “extremely good” job of teaming with their channel. Atop the list of channel com­plaints were slim lead rates, unqualified opportunities and uninspired campaigns failing to connect with the customer.

Search is the solution. Chan­nel marketing managers are buried under requests from their partners for online re­sources — from Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. — that utilize creative ways to grow their businesses.

Many marketers have concerns, including channel bid conflict and artificial inflation; diminished brand control; and lack of expertise within partner organizations.

Our clients needed to bring emerging marketing tools to their business partners. Many of these are small businesses with lim­ited resources and marketing experience. Search helps overcome these hurdles by providing the centralized tools to help reach and communicate to their customers.

New tools, like Google's Template Center, help to leverage brand strength and search expertise to help partners manage their online programs and improve results from their market­ing budgets. Faction Media's partner marketing platform allows channel partners to create search campaigns, customize templates and preapproved creative and manage online campaigns, all from a user-friendly corporate-controlled marketing portal.

Controlled environment tools like Template Center isolate campaigns and control the bid landscape to prevent conflict; enhance brand message control with managed creative; and drive effectiveness by leveraging marketing expertise

Organizations can now bring the scale, relevancy and measur­ability of search to their channel partners worldwide.

Search and emerging marketing platforms give organizations new opportunities to support their channels and provide measur­able leads to their partners. It extends the digital reach of the brand while providing the “Holy Grail” of channel marketing — closed sales.

Steve Riegel is director of search at Faction Media. Reach him at stever@factionmedia.com.

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