1. Reevaluate your reimbursement percentages
First, reevaluate your reimbursement percentages. Know the tactics with the highest ROI and potentially reimburse at a higher percentage than normal. This will help lower the amount of out of pocket costs to your partners while still ensuring the shared investments lead to shared rewards. Our 2019 SOLM study shows “shared-spend co-op programs between the marketer and partner attain 20% better growth.”
2. Help channel partners stay in business
Next, consider assisting your partners who have accrued channel funds temporarily this quarter in areas such as their office rent and payroll. The last thing any of us want to see as business revs up again is a decrease in channel partners because they were unable to survive the downturn. While these areas might not have a direct impact on your brand now, they will undoubtedly have a positive impact in the coming months.
Your helping hand will be remembered, and your channel partners will have a stronger loyalty to you than before. By no means do we recommend allowing your partners to request reimbursement for operational activities without marketing first. These two should go hand-in-hand. Identify marketing thresholds that will help move the needle before operational activities are even available.
3. Allow co-op funds to be used for PPEFinally, everyone is thinking about personal protective equipment (PPE), especially if they have a store, office, or dealership that consumers will be visiting. Consumers may not consider visiting these local businesses if they are not offered proper protective gear such as face masks or hand sanitizer. Allowing your channel partners to apply co-op funds to these types of items through preferred vendors is key, but like aforementioned operational activities, you want to ensure they are marrying this with marketing activities too. You can ensure the preferred vendors are utilizing your correct logo on face masks and hand sanitizer, or you can kit the items with branded flooring for safe distancing. Consider the changes in customer experience (CX) impacting your partners when reevaluating your channel fund programs.
Contact the BrandMuscle to tearn about our fund management software and personalized marketing services.