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MOTIVATING THE CHANNEL MEMBERS
BY: Shwetanshu Gupta
Marketing channel/ trade channel/ distribution channel are
sets of independent organizations involved in the process of
making a product/service available for use or consumption.
They are a set of pathways a product/service follows after
production culminating in purchase and use by the final
Channel members are the people or intermediaries
through which goods and services go through before they
reach the consumer.
Intermediaries can be – wholesalers, retailers, brokers,
sales agent etc.
IMPORTANCE OF CHANNEL MEMBERS
Intermediaries can provide economies by reducing the
amount of work that must be done by both producers and
Intermediaries transforms the assortments of products made
by producers into assortments wanted by consumers.
In making products and services available to consumers ,
channel members add value by bridging the major time,
place and possession gaps that separate goods and services
from those who use them.
Intermediaries help producers complete transaction
Information: gathering and distributing marketing
research and intelligence information needed for planning
and aiding exchange.
Promotion: developing and spreading persuasive
communications about an offer.
Contact: finding and communicating with prospective buyer.
Matching: shaping and fitting the offer to the buyer’s needs
including activities such as manufacturing, assembling,
grading and packaging.
Negotiation: reaching an agreement on price.
Intermediaries help producers fulfill transaction by:
Physical distribution: transporting and storing goods.
Financing: acquiring and using funds to cover the costs of
the channel work.
Risk taking: assuming the risk of carrying out the channel
MOTIVATING THE CHANNEL MEMBERS
Company’s now a days view its intermediaries in the same
way it views its end users.
To be able to stimulate channel members to top
performance, it is necessary to understand their needs and
wants and for this purpose it is necessary to motivate the
Motivating the channel members means: taking such
actions that foster channel member cooperation in
implementing the manufacturer’s distribution objectives
beyond compliance active representation of products.
finding out needs and problems of channel
offering support to the channel members that
matches with their needs and problems.
Providing leadership through the effective use of
MEANS TO MOTIVATE CHANNEL MEMBERS*
Intermittent interactions between manufacturer
& channel members
Partnerships & Strategic Alliances
Continuing & mutually supportive relationship
Deals with virtually all aspects of the
- Focuses on channel member needs & problems
- Simple & straightforward
- Conveys a clear sense of mutual benefit
- It includes:
Cooperative advertising allowances
Payments for interior displays
Contests for buyers, salespeople, etc.
Allowances for warehousing functions
Payments for window display space
Detail men who check inventory
PARTNERSHIPS & STRATEGIC ALLIANCES*
-Focus on a continuing and mutually supportive relationship
between the manufacturer and its channel members.
Three basic phases
1. Manufacturer should make explicit statement of
policies in areas such as product availability,
technical support, pricing, etc.
2. Manufacturer should assess all existing distributors
as to their capabilities for fulfilling their roles
3. Manufacturer should continually appraise the
appropriateness of the policies guiding his
or her relationship with the channel members
A comprehensive set of policies for the promotion of a
product through the channel.
Developed as a joint effort between the manufacturer and
the channel members to incorporate the needs of both.
Steps for developing a program:
1. Analysis of marketing objectives & the kinds of levels of
support needed from channel members
• Ascertains channel members’ needs &
2. Formulate specific channel policies that offer:
• Price concessions to channel members
• Financial advice
• Some kind of protection for channel members
It is defined as the ability to alter channel member’s behavior
so that they take actions they would not have taken
Following type of power can be drawn by manufacturer to
A manufacturer threatens to withdraw a resource or
terminate a relationship if intermediaries fail to cooperate.
This power can be effective but its exercise produces
resentment and can generate conflict and can lead the
intermediaries to organize countervailing power.
The manufacturer offers intermediaries an extra benefit for
performing specific acts or functions.
It typically produces better results than coercive power , but
can be overrated.
Intermediaries may come to expect a reward every time the
manufacturer wants a certain behavior to occur.
The manufacturer requires a behavior that is warranted
under the contract.
As long as intermediaries view the manufacturer as a
legitimate leader, legitimate power works
The manufacturer has special knowledge that the
However when expertise pass on to intermediaries this power
The manufacturer is so highly respected that intermediaries
are proud to be associated with it.
Companies such as IBM, Caterpillar and HP(Hewlett-
Packard) have high referent power
IMPORTANCE OF MOTIVATING CHANNEL MEMBERS
Motivational tools helps to ensure that channel members
give preference to company’s product over competitor’s
Motivation plays an important role in winning channel
member’s mind share.
By winning mind share, channel member recommend or
actively promote company’s product over competitor’s
BUILD PREFERENCE FOR BRANDS
Motivating intermediaries is an important strategy for
influencing channel members behavior.
Offering training programs or marketing support to
members add value to the relationship between supplier
and channel by helping them to improve their
performance and grow their own business.
A strong relationship makes it easier to launch new
products or marketing campaigns through the channel,
helping to build revenue and profits.
ADD VALUE TO PRODUCT OFFER
Financial incentives are an important source of
motivation to channel members.
By offering discounts , on purchases above an agreed
level channel members can be encouraged to stock or sell
Financial incentives helps in launching new products,
increase sales of existing products and widen distribution
INCREASE SALES THROUGH THE CHANNEL
Motivation helps channel member to improve their
Offering them different bonus or discount levels,
marketing and training support, performance level can be