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Your marketing team has worked very hard to craft a brand image for the company. And great care has gone into creating the advertising collateral for your products, all geared towards garnering interest from the end-user. And product launches? The effort and coordination have been exhaustive, and yet somehow something appears to be disconnected when the customer ventures into the retail channels, whether they are bricks ‘n mortar or Internet stores.

The missing link may be a properly executed channel marketing strategy. In some cases, the majority of effort seems to have gone into marketing to the end-user, without enough thought going into positioning your retail partners for success. After all, once you get the attention of the prospective buyer, don’t you want them to be totally blown away when they get to the store? Here are some basic guidelines to follow:

New Product Launches

Your retail partners need to be totally prepared and out front of a new product launch, if you expect to maximize sell-through. This means providing ample time for e-commerce outfits to prepare landing pages and coordinated promotions, and for stores to determine the proper positioning on the retail store. This may involve physical as well as virtual P.O.P, keeping in mind that the look and feel of your retailer’s presentation should directly echo the sentiments of your brand website and national advertising. Providing a succinct and understandable selling message, complete with an “elevator pitch” for salespeople to latch on to is fundamental to success. The last thing you want is to have an underinformed or misinformed salesperson contradict the value proposition of your new product.

  • Compelling Product Copy for Websites, supplied well in advance of the release date

  • Banners and Graphics that are web-friendly, in the common sizes your dealers use

  • In-store signage, training material and product P.O.P. that is available before launch

  • Consider providing incentive programs to catch the attention of salespeople

Existing Inventory

It’s never a bad time to be sure your current offerings are merchandised correctly in stores and on websites. There’s the likelihood that you’ll eventually be boosting sales with rebates, value-added bundles and price changes as a product gets long in the tooth. Making sure that your retail partners are in sync with updates will ensure a cohesive message to consumers, and desired sales results will follow.

  • Maintenance of P.O.P., updating signage as required

  • Refresh banners and website product pages as required

  • Web audits of existing product pages to ensure accuracy

  • Effective communication to buyers and marketers of price changes & promotions

There’s a ton more you can do to ensure your channel marketing is effective. Key to all of this is communicating the message to the right people within the retailer’s organization. Providing quality information in a timely fashion will ensure you get proper attention from your dealers.

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