Developing and releasing a new product is an exciting time for any business. Naturally, you’re eager to see your product in the hands of customers to start getting that enthusiasm back ten-fold. Of course, releasing a new product also means collecting and converting new leads. The audience for your latest release may not be exactly the same as those for your previous products. Not to mention your desire to grow your audience by expanding your offerings.
One of the best places to look for new lead generation for a new product is your channel marketing partners. Why? Because channel marketing is all about expansion. When you reach out to other businesses for whom you are part of their supply chain, you also potentially reach their network of customers and business partners. By using the creative outreach process of channel marketing, you can kick-start lead generation for a new product as well.
Let’s dive right into the five ways that channel marketing can put your new product lead generation into high-gear.
1) Channel Business Partners Have Their Own Clients With a Market for Your Products
Often, channel marketing involves selling to companies that either sell your product directly as retail partners or those who use your product as part of their production or packaging process. What makes it channel marketing is that you are selling to and partnering with other businesses instead of just trying to reach consumer-level buyers.
The primary benefit of channel marketing in this way is that you gain access not just to your direct buyers, but to the clients and audiences of your channel partners as well. In fact, your channel partners have every reason to hype your new product to their audience in order to promote how your product upgrades their own products.
Example: You sell bicycle accessories and have just released a new advanced safety bicycle light. Your channel partner sells assembled bicycles and will be proud to feature your new light as an upgrade to their products
2) Channel Partners Have a Unique Perspective on Marketing Your Products
Channel partners also have a completely different perspective on how to market your products and reach new demographics. Because they have their own client base and a completely different business model from your own, they have the advantage of a third-party viewpoint not only on your potential buyers, but on the value of the new product itself.
Consulting with your channel marketing partners is a great way to expand your campaigns and your targeting capabilities for the potential buyers of your new product. Your channel partners can point out that your new product is more versatile than you realize, or even point you toward new channel marketing leads who have a different use for your product than you initially imagined.
Example: Your bicycle-selling channel lead also sells scooters and mopeds. They point out that your light is equally ideal for these personal vehicles and then point out that the senior-scooter market would also be a great channel for your new bike light.
3) Channel Partners Want to Be on the Cutting-Edge of Their Industries
In fact, your channel partners are often your best allies when it comes to both developing and marketing new products because they want to be on the cutting edge. They have partnered with you for a reason and enjoy the value you add through your channel marketing campaigns. Each time you update your products and services, they benefit by staying on the cutting-edge, ahead of their competition.
Your channel partners not only want you to develop new products, but they want to be the ones to innovate the latest-and-greatest way to put those products to use. An enthusiastic channel marketing partner is one of your best possible lead-generating assets when they are as eager as you are to get the word out. The upgrade will have their customers clamoring for their new products that incorporate your products as well as creating interest for your stand-alone product for other uses.
Example: Your bicycle partner is not just offering new bikes and scooters with your light, they’re also offering to refit their own older products with a new light while simultaneously marketing your light as the cutting-edge of personal vehicle technology that they have special early access to.
4) Channel Partners May Refer Interested Partners of Their Own
Your channel partners may also be interested in introducing your new product to their own business partners. To do this without adding to their own logistical overhead, they may recommend you to their manufacturers, their retailers, or their shipping partners. These referrals are to streamline their own services while also, incidentally, expanding your channel marketing leads.
Channel partners may be primarily interested in boosting their own success, but the synergy you’ve already worked hard to create with value-added channel marketing can really pay off. Especially when you have a new product that your channel partners realize would be more efficient to send straight to their partners to streamline the production process.
Example: Your new bicycle light can be bolted to the handlebars with the wires threaded through a hollow bike frame rather than creating a catch-hazard by clipping to the outside. So your Bike-assembly channel partner hooks you up with their manufacturer to install the lights directly instead of threading the wires after the bikes are assembled.
5) Finding New Channels for New Products
Finally, there is the pure benefit of channel marketing, even without relying on existing partners. Perhaps your product is outside the purview of your previous channels, or you are just now getting into channel marketing for the first time. When you develop a new product, this opens doors to new potential channel partners.
Channel marketing is all about thinking creatively about the supply chain. Your new product might be better suited to restaurants where before you catered primarily to hotels. Or you have developed a new tool for small hands and thus open the door to partnering with children’s brands or brands that cater primarily to women. Every innovation and change in a new product can allow you to seek out new channel partners who, once connected, provide all the previous benefits in terms of generating leads and expanding your potential client base.
Example: Your new bicycle light includes a GPS feature that you market directly to parental safety brands and eco-travel brands in addition to your bicycle assembly partner.
When it comes to generating whole new audiences of leads for both existing products and your brand new releases, channel marketing cannot be beat. Once you forge relationships with other businesses that sell, manufacture, or package with your products, their customers become your customers and their partners potentially become your partners. Contact us today to find out more about how to expand your channel marketing network and your buyer audience in one graceful lead-generating campaign effort.
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