Best in Class
Organisations often find measurement of their channel marketing performance one of the most difficult areas of their overall marketing plans. As a result, opportunities for improving or changing their channel strategies are limited.
The Best-in-Class channel marketer is the organisation which implements the best channel marketing strategy in its industry and is the best manager of its channel partner relationships.
Benchmarking an organisationís channel marketing skills against the Best-in-Class in its industry can help focus management on the measurement criteria and the tasks required to improve channel performance.
After benchmarking an organisationís relative channel marketing performance, the organisation should be better placed to define the "prize" that can be gained from improving its channel marketing skills and the method by which the "prize" can be attained.
For example, a competitor may achieve greater stock commitment from channel members. A channel benchmarking exercise may identify that the competitorís expenditure on field staff development is the key contributor to its success.
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Benchmark elements may include:
Best-in-Class channel marketers generally have:
By striving to be Best-in-Class, an organisation can develop competitive advantage through its channel mix and channel optimisation.
The process starts with identification of the Best-in-Class Channel Marketer in the organisationís industry. Other organisation should also be assessed, as performance in different aspects of channel marketing will vary among them.
Having defined the state of a channel marketing program and identified what is possible, a two step development program takes an organisation through the process of identifying new channel mixes and relationships and methods for optimizing the management of existing channel relationships and "selling-in" new concepts to channel partners.