As we’ve said before, effective co-marketing requires collaboration between the brand and the retailer. To forge a strong relationship with your retailers, you must engage them in the marketing process and get them excited about your brand. There are many strategies you can use to get retailers involved, but some things you choose to do (or choose not to do) can make it nearly impossible for your retailers to actively promote your products. Here’s where you can go wrong:
Before retailers will agree to participate in a co-marketing campaign, they need to understand the benefits of participation. In other words, what’s in it for the retailer? Why is it worth their time? If your brand doesn’t provide the retailer with a clear picture of a campaign’s incentives, retailer engagement will ultimately suffer.
Retailers also need to understand the campaign’s purpose. What are your end goals? What do you hope to accomplish during each stage of the campaign? Providing this information to retailers shows that you value them as collaborative partners and leads to greater transparency in communication. Conversely, when you keep retailers in the dark, they may feel underestimated or even “used” by the brand.
When your campaign includes a less-than-desirable offer for the end consumer, retailers tend to run the other way. We’ve all seen campaigns with offers that fail to inspire consumers. Whether it’s a complicated registration process, a useless prize or an impossible chance of winning, campaigns with unappealing offers won’t engage retailers. Make sure that your offers are easy to understand and value to the end consumer.
One of the most effective strategies for strengthening the brand-to-retailer relationship is regular communication. When you introduce a new campaign to your retailers, make sure you follow up. Contact them regularly, and address any concerns or questions they may have about the campaign. If you fail to provide this guidance, however, retailers will ignore your current campaign, and it will be much more difficult to engage them in the future.
While it’s true that social media is one of the most effective marketing tools at your disposal, ignoring your other channels can cause a loss of support from retailers. Retailers are already comfortable with your existing strategies and marketing channels, so they may not see the point in participating in an unrelated campaign. However, if a new social media promotion complements your other marketing efforts, retailers will actively embrace the campaign.
Regardless of the type of campaign you are promoting, engaging your retailers is essential. By developing clear objectives, paying attention to your retailers’ concerns and encouraging regular, two-way communication, you can increase retailer engagement and improve the results of your marketing efforts.