Revitalize Channel Rebates as Part of Your Channel Marketing Strategy
Rebate programs as part of your channel marketing strategy are an effective tactic to encourage, incent and reward specific behaviors, especially in the thick of an economic storm.
Revitalizing your channel rebates can restore, optimize and give new vigor to your channel programs. In doing so you can strengthen channel partner engagement, secure partner mindshare and ensure your programs deliver the desired business benefit.
Revitalize your channel rebate programs
A revitalized channel rebate program allows you to adjust to market needs while imparting new life and restoring the program to a condition of good health. In order to do so, the first step is to review and assess your channel rebate programs against success criteria such as the following:
- Behavior - Is your channel rebate program designed to encourage specific behaviors?
- Offer - Is the rebate offer clearly stated?
- Achievement - How does your program reward achievement?
- Ease-of-use - Is your rebate program partner-friendly, encourage participation and easy to use?
- Reward - Is your channel rebate program designed in such a manner as to provide meaningful value to all parties?
- Audience - Does your rebate program properly identify and differentiate between different audiences?
Package the rebate offer
A rebate program can be “packaged” in a number of ways depending on your strategy (e.g., push vs. pull) and target audience (e.g., channel partner segments, sales people, system engineers, end-user customers). Some examples included:
- Buy One, Get One Free (BOGOF or BOGO)
- Mail-in Rebate (MIR)
- Deal Registration
- Special Bids
- Price protection
- Quota-based Rebate
Successful rebate programs are investments
Channel rebate programs are a valuable promotional tool that can provide real benefits to both partners and vendors. As with all channel incentives, however, rebate offers should be designed, promoted and managed carefully. Instead of broad brush rebate programs, focus the intent on specific goals and objectives. For example:
- Work together with channel partners to identify "white space" in the market where you may lack coverage and the partner can add value.
- Jointly establish mutual sales and marketing objectives, which will yield a rebate if met or exceeded.
- Combine rewards with additional achievements such as accreditation and certification.
Investing in this manner creates a long-term foundation for your partners to succeed.
Key learnings from the retail sector
Retail rebates tend to work best with durable goods and high ticket items. It is commonly known that bigger rebate values will lead to greater redemption rates. For example, a rebate that is worth five dollars is easily forgotten or deemed not worthy of the time it takes to send it in, but a large rebate - $75 or $100 - will incent a consumer to take action and redeem it.
These redemption rates are influenced by how difficult the manufacturer makes it to redeem the rebate. This is also known as slippage, the difference between estimated redemption and actual. For example, a consumer purchases a product with the intention of sending in the rebate, and then fails to take advantage of the offer because it is too difficult to assemble paperwork, proofs-of-purchase, mail it in, and wait six to eight weeks for the rebate check. While this is ultimately the idea behind retail rebate marketing programs, this procedure can leave the consumer with a feeling of having been fooled.
For more information about how Birch Worldwide can help restore vitality or breathe new life back into your download our Channel Rebate Whitepaper.