Dec. 20, 2017  I  Gage team

Chris is a channel marketing and indirect sales director at a major international cruise line. While working closely on marketing plans with a fleet of travel agents from throughout Europe and the United States, a work backlog began to grow, requiring either additional staff or cuts in service.

With so much to produce based on lines of service and destinations — and too much to ship out to smaller agency shops — he also found that costs were growing with a duplication of effort from sending identical resources and becoming harder to scale. The calls for print on demand, banner ads, web page descriptions and emails were engulfing him and many of his staff.

To right the ship, he overhauled his channel program and launched a new technology solution to float the market resources to travel agency partners with a marketing automation platform. Now agents could localize as well as customize brochures, digital assets and content they needed to remain competitive without making direct service requests, leaving him time to act more strategically.

Creating marketing assets requires a disciplined approach and a thorough plan, but the time required both for delivery and management can be reduced by employing a consolidated resource/platform. Imagine marketing materials drop shipping to partners, served up as easily as online shopping.

Three tips for righting the ship:

  • Always be looking for ways to lower the barriers for your dealers, partners or agents, and reduce the workload for yourself at the same time. Resellers will sell what is easiest to sell.
  • If the partner thinks you’re making things too complicated, that can lead to some renegade marketing*.
  • Simplifying the process for retrieval of supporting marketing materials, for example, is one way a coherent technology platform can reduce the efforts your partners need to make.

* Renegade marketing: If resellers/agents/partners can’t find the marketing materials they are looking for, they’ll create what they need on their own with clip art, off branding and no adherence to brand voice or key messaging.