Distributor Advocacy Plan
to Increase Engagement
The distribution network has evolved to become a unique third-party that is closely connected to a company, represents it in some manner, and also provides an unbiased opinion. For most B2C companies, distributors become an important touchpoint and stakeholder. How they perceive the brand is how they communicate about it. Their views become a trusted source of information for customers, even over the company’s owned media channels. Thus, it becomes important for companies to maintain a healthy and engaged relationship with their distribution partners. In fact, it is not just a KRA for the Channel Management or marketing teams, but an important factor that defines a company’s reputation.
A leading mutual fund house wanted to understand how its distribution network perceived it and further strengthen its engagement. In industries like investments and mutual funds, distributors play a key role in educating customers about a product and guiding them to choose the best according to their portfolio.
Eminence adopted an approach that focused on highlighting the top distributors, gauging their perception by studying the views they made in public and accordingly providing recommendations to increase engagement.
≫ Studying Distributors’ Public Opinions
We identified the top 50 distributors in the country and the platforms they chose for voicing their opinions. We then looked at various media like television shows, YouTube videos, social media, and blogs to gauge these distributors’ views. The tonality was observed, and points of concern were noted. This exercise was carried out month-on-month to understand perspectives based on recent scenarios. The distributors were then divided into various categories depending on positive, negative, or neutral perspectives.
≫ Identifying Gaps
After categorising the distributors, we studied the content and worked with the client to identify the gaps. These could range from half-baked information about the products or a previous bad experience with the company. Identifying these gaps helped us understand the common problem areas. As distributors are often the first point of contact for customers, their challenges and problems might get reflected in their communication as well.
≫ Recommending Corrective Measures
Once we took a stock of the problems, we then looked at possible solutions. To strengthen relationships with specific distributors, we outlined a personalised course of action, ranging from educating distributors who were unaware of certain aspects of a product to mending partnerships that went sour. We worked with the client to look at the feasible measures and then put together a thorough plan.
Eminence’s insights and recommendations are used by the mutual fund house to create and strengthen their key stakeholder partnerships. When it comes to Distributor Advocacy, we recommend an approach that focuses on engagement and understanding over simple hard-selling.
The distribution network is a powerful tool in brand advocacy. It is not just a cog in the wheel of a customer’s purchase journey, but an important touchpoint. Distributors build long-term relationships with companies that they can trust. The benefits of their trust are naturally extended to the company’s customers when they interact with the distributor. They act as referral points to spread relevant information, get customers, and even collect valuable feedback. Effective distribution network management hence translates into reliability and good reputation for the brand.