The question of how best to support the channel with marketing has always been a thorny one.
Part of the problem has been the difficulty in producing effective materials for resellers to promote themselves without incurring the potentially large costs that such an effort could run up.
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The result is often a template-based approach that allows a certain degree of customisation but is designed to reduce the amount of innovation that is often the expensive element of any marketing activity.
From a reseller point of view, all that really matters is if the marketing support leads to sales and that is where the problem resides.
When it doesn’t seem to be effective, resellers understandably go to the vendor and ask for a degree of freedom in choosing how to spend the money marketing themselves. But there is a hangover from the recent years of vendors demanding tight control over any money they might spend in the channel.
There can be little argument that there were abuses of marketing development funds in the past and there needed to be some correction in the way they were dispersed and spent by the channel.
But there is now a danger that we are in a position where rules that could be relaxed won’t be because a system has been built up in vendor marketing departments that has become stuck working to the current pattern.
As a result there is the potential to express emotions ranging from frustration and anger when resellers start to talk about the failure of the current system.
The wisest thing to do would be to listen and show a willingness to take on suggestions. The market is constantly evolving and those claiming that the approach currently on offer is no longer the best that could be available need to be given a chance to explain why.
If the marketing support that vendors gave to resellers needed correcting in the past surely it could do again?