Why Flexibility is Essential With Your Incentive Program
Traditionally, an enterprise might run a single incentive program on a national level, using data from large geographical landscapes to influence an entire campaign. Although using this data might be beneficial to some locations, it can actually harm a vast majority of other locations and you should consider more flexibility.
Today, the way brands have the ability to interact with their customers has changed drastically. Brands now have access to first class technology, and have increased availability of granular analytical data. This means that manufacturers are able to consider and customize their programs based on market conditions; social graphs, environment differences, competitive differences, product mix etc.
With metrics like this, a manufacturer who might have traditionally run 1 or 2 national campaigns can now run over multiple concurrent and tailor made programs for distributors and dealers.
Why Flexibility is Essential
It’s simple: programs that consider the needs of the end user work better.
With the utilization of a channel management platform that provides data, sales managers can create custom programs for each dealer based on what is most beneficial to that retailer each month. The benefits that channel marketers gain is strengthening the brand by making the dealers feel appreciated, solidifying the consumer-brand bond and increasing the likely-hood of the dealer selling more of your brands product.
In addition, flexible programs can help sales managers control their spend based on volume in a local marketplace. For instance, lets say you are trying to break into a footholded area: it may be valuable to run a customized program for that particular territory that you are really trying to get into. Conversely, if you are dominating a territory, you may be able to scale back your marketing incentives to a level that helps you maintain your great position, while also allocating more time on locations that are struggling.
Lastly, flexibility allows you to create programs around product launches. Perhaps you are launching in a particular territory and seek to build strong connections between dealer sales associates and your brand. Having that tailor made program gives them that incentive to push your product and gives them more leverage on the sales floor.
There are about six keys to properly building this connection and one of these is training. Why not use your channel management platform to customize a program where sales associates of a particular channel partner are rewarded for taking training to build their product knowledge?
Having a program that is flexible to the dealer and sales associates needs pushes your product to do well and increases the likelihood of your incentive program succeeding. It all comes down to building that life-time value we talk about quite frequently on this blog, because programs that consider the needs of the end user work better.