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Power of Data in Driving Meaningful Channel Partner Engagement

Jun 18, 2021

If utilised effectively, data increases the likelihood of building a memorable partner experience.

Keeping channel partners at the core of loyalty programs

What makes a channel loyalty program successful? Inspiring and measurable goals, effective communication, and strong partner connect - are some of the key levers of an effective channel loyalty program. Yet for most brands, channel partners' engagement is just about offering rewards and points. Too often brands don’t take time to understand partners' perspectives or set measurable goals to track program success. As a result, most channel loyalty programs become ineffective and fail to drive engagement. 

This is where the power of data comes in. Leveraging channel partner sales and engagement data can impact the success of a loyalty program significantly. According to McKinsey, predictive analytics help brands better understand what behaviours drive high-value customers. If utilised effectively, data increases the likelihood of building a memorable partner experience. The effect on long-term brand advocacy is even greater as it helps partners see greater value in your engagement strategy. 

So, let’s find out how can right data insights drive a great partner experience and enhance engagement.

Put Partners’ Heart at Core of Program Design

Any channel partner loyalty program should be approached by developing an understanding of channel partners, their personas, and behaviours. It is critical to engage in empathy-based interactions with your partners and keep the dialogue going. This helps align the program with partners’ goals and motivation. For brands, this data can be used to understand what works and what doesn’t and enhance features or benefits based on the partners' unique preferences.

For example, brands can consider building a program that spans a mobile application, online store, and physical shops. What really works for the partners can be entirely different, by looking into the data and heart of your partners’ behaviour brands can not only make the right investment but also deliver an experience that translates into engagement, loyalty, and advocacy. The outcome: increased partner attention, continuous engagement and improved sales pipeline. 

Provide Unique Advantage Leveraging Promotion Design

Another key to optimise partner commitment is by customising promotion design that makes them believe they have a unique advantage over others to be successful and rewards are worth the effort. Leading brands are working with their agencies to address this by gaining granular behavioural insight into what drives the partners’ performance, suggesting finding the idiosyncratic fit for the partners, and providing hedonic rewards that are worth chasing.

By gaining insight from sales performance data and behavioural patterns, a brand can encourage channel partners to perform better by providing the right idiosyncrasies. Be it a new product launch, festival booster, a push for an existing product, or improving sales volume partner, behavioural trends can help brands segment effectively and come up with customised promotion plans.

Make Every Moment Count for Program Sustenance

Leverage channel partners' behavioural and sales data to help them make every moment count. Starting from when they join your channel loyalty program, make them feel special with welcome points and take them near to their dream rewards. In behavioural economics goal gradient principles, we call it illusionary progress towards goal. Post onboarding, design triggers or booster basis their initial performance to help them achieve their sales targets, elevate the experience through hedonic rewards.

Celebrate their wins, involve their families and social circles, and make them a performer or a hero in their own community to enhance the bond further. If you put checkpoints at all the critical milestones in a partners’ journey, you can elevate the channel partner business and ensure that they are engaged at every step of the way.  

Meaningful Rewards to Hit the Right Chords 

One of the success factors of any channel loyalty program is having a meaningful rewards structure. Many brands have this challenge of members not redeeming points. Why? Simply as they fail to see a personalised benefit or fail to see an idiosyncratic fit. Redemption data of any channel loyalty program is a true indicator of engagement levels demonstrated by channel partners. This also helps segment the partners into various categories such as dormant, active, partially active, and so on.

According to a Mastercard Reward Study, when cardholders receive personalised offers, issuers see up to 18% spend lift from those who redeem and a 75% reduction in churn. They see a unique advantage in the personalised offers. To hit the right chords, look at your rewards structure efficacy, does it have all that your partners’ need or believe worth chasing. To drive redemptions, look at the affinity data, draft personalised rewards communication, and the timing of such rollouts. All these data points help in putting the right mix of rewards and communication to motivate the channel partners both intrinsically and extrinsically.

The data can also help in defining strategies at the micro level for the segmented partners. For instance, if the process of redemption is complex, chances are partners will not engage. Use data inferences, to simplify redemption processes and make it easier for partners to redeem awards.

Raise the Bar for Partner Experience

Digital trends have raised the bar for partner experience and how brands build engaging experiences. However, brands need to understand that it is not only technology that counts, it’s what you do with it specifically by combining data and insights to it. So, whatever industry you are in, your brand must see data as a strategic enabler to help build a channel loyalty program that meets partner need and solve pain-points. That is when you will see customer information as a means for fuelling partner engagement, earning loyalty, increasing sales, and cultivating advocacy. 

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