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A First-Of-Its-Kind Channel Partner Engagement Research in India

The channel distribution network, covering distributors, dealers, retailers, and influencers, is a very critical sales channel for top trade marketing brands, contributing to as high as 70-80% of their annual sales.

Top trade marketing brands are ferociously competing to increase the share of wallet for both value (sales) and volume (market size) by constantly pushing multiple brands, products, sales schemes, post-sales services, promotions, rewards, and so on to the channel partners’ community.

The area where brands stumble is understanding what makes channel partners stick in terms of loyalty and engagement. There is a lot to be looked at from channel partners’ perspective to understand what drives engagement, what wins their trust and commitment, and their overall experience with brands to develop a strong association and drive profitability at the same time.

Understanding these challenges, BI WORLDWIDE and KANTAR conducted an in-depth study  on Channel Partners Engagement in India, focusing on what lies on the other side – channel partners’ perspectives, aspirations, and ambitions. The research endeavours to identify the gaps that exist in brand-channel partner relationships in India and comes up with unique solution frameworks that enable brands to measure and optimise channel partner engagement to address those gaps.

Key Research Highlights:

The research uncovers key statistics and insights that brands should consider when designing and implementing their channel loyalty and engagement programs to drive better ROI: 

  • A staggering 78% of channel partners in India are not engaged.
  • 8 key drivers of engagement influence a brand’s relationship with its channel partners – Operational Excellence, Rewards & Incentives, Recognition, Learning, Brand Affinity, Communication, Well-being, and Events.
  • Recognition and Learning are critical drivers of engagement across industries and partner profiles.
  • Brands can measure the strength of their channel partner relationships using BI WORLDWIDE-KANTAR’s unique solution framework – the Affection Matrix.
  • Channel partners can be placed in 4 different quadrants of engagement of the Affection Matrix – Engaged, Trapped, Unattached, and Vulnerable.
  • Only 22% of channel partners in India are ‘Engaged’and the rest fall under ‘Trapped’, ‘Vulnerable’, and ‘Unattached’ quadrants.
  • Brands can maximise channel partners engagement using BI WORLDWIDE-KANTAR’s IBC (Invest, Build and Consider) solution framework.
  • A brand’s best bet is to invest in a strategic mix of rewards that covers the entire efficacy scale – transactional, functional, and aspirational – to drive channel partners’ loyalty.
  • Voice, Messengers, and Apps are the mediums to consider while developing channel partners communication strategy.

The research empowers brands with models to optimise channel loyalty programs in a complex and layered market like India.

Learn what goes behind the scenes to inspire and engage channel partners across industries to drive business KPIs. Download e-book

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Channel partner engagement research - Industry perspective

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