15 March – Do your channel communication dreams turn into nightmares?

All too often the desire to have a flexible, low-touch and local channel can be over-shadowed by the slick back-end marketing processes that need to be put in place to guarantee its business success.


This is especially true for channel communications, whether you are talking ‘push’ emails/ eDMs or monthly e-newsletters. In an ideal world, your news or ground-breaking technology reveals should go out in real time and strike while the iron is hot, or at least while your competition snoozes!


Unfortunately more often than not, this is just not possible.


To begin with, for content that is produced centrally there is the consideration of translation.  A good translation agency is worth its weight in gold. It should know how you talk to your customers, it should understand your business, and speak your product jargon. It should forge good relationships with your regional marketing teams who are inevitably called upon to check all translations produced, prior to dispatch.


This inevitably takes time, and money.


And then, you need to physically design, create artwork, code and dispatch all of your emails or newsletters…


This is further complicated by the number of ‘versions’ you will need, which typically involves some type of segmentation: whether your partners are selling or not, active or not, or whether they are Gold, Silver, Platinum, etc.


As you know, every form of communication needs to be relevant to its audience and your channel partners are a key target audience. Your content needs to be pertinent (and interesting!) to have the maximum impact. Your channel needs to be able to digest your news quickly and decide if it is something they want to communicate out, themselves.


So, if you multiply the number of translations you need by the number of versions you would like, you could end-up with a nightmare…i.e. your news will never go out on time and will cost you a fortune!


How to fix this?


Today, to minimise their budget needs and communications timelines, vendors prefer to limit the number of translations and sub-versions required, hence delivering a ‘one-for-all’ message to all partners, in as fewer languages as possible. Not the ideal solution!


Social media TO your partners? Hrm… frankly, and this is a personal view (of course), I don’t think social media is the answer. There is simply too much ‘critical info’ you need to send to your partners…and social networks are not the best place to keep things quiet!


Emails and newsletters… yes, as long as they are timely, targeted, relevant, captivating and cost-effective (for you). To guarantee interest you need to work with good copy-writers. To guarantee the rest, you should look at the news subscription model, i.e. a model whereby partners decide what info they want and precisely when they want to receive it.


…and if you do not know where to look, check out our newsondemand; a simple concept but a very effective solution…well you would expect me to say that, wouldn’t you


By Olivier Choron, CEO and Founder, purechannelapps.