Companies that sell through channel partners such as distributors, dealers, and value-added resellers face unique marketing challenges.  They can run advertising and marketing programs to raise brand awareness and create favorable brand preferences, but success in the marketplace often depends largely on the marketing efforts of channel partners.  And when channel partners don't market effectively, a company's revenues will suffer.

Direct mail and e-mail should be core components of most channel partners' marketing efforts.  Yet many partners underutilize these proven marketing tactics.  In most cases, the main problem is a lack of resources.  Running a direct mail or an e-mail campaign can be a complex and time-consuming undertaking, even if the channel vendor supplies most of the components of the campaign.  For example, to run a direct mail campaign, a channel partner will probably be required to hire a graphic designer or a marketing agency to complete the campaign materials, and the partner will need a printing company to produce and mail those materials.  Many channel partners are small businesses, and they simply don't have the internal resources to coordinate the work required to execute direct marketing programs on a regular basis.

Channel partners can also underutilize direct mail and e-mail because they believe that the marketing programs provided by the vendor's marketing department don't fit their specific needs or respond effectively to local market conditions.  Therefore, they aren't highly motivated to use those programs.

To overcome these barriers, companies that sell through channel partners need to:

  • Enable their partners to customize direct mail and e-mail marketing programs to fit their specific marketing needs

  • Make it simple for partners to create and run customized direct marketing programs

I've posted a new article at Scribd that explains how web-to-print solutions can enable channel partners to quickly and easily create and execute customized direct mail and e-mail programs - programs that will drive increased revenues for both channel vendors and their sales partners.  If you're a web-to-print solution provider, this should be a featured part of your marketing message.

You can access the article here.