Investing in multi-channel marketing can mean the difference between thriving and leading versus following. In markets where multi-channel marketing is already the norm, aggressive and skilled use of multi-channel marketing is necessary for survival, according to Jonathan Bein in The Distributor Marketing Imperative.
In a survey of MDM readers, there was a significant difference between use of multiple sales channels between the largest and smallest distributors – with some notable exceptions. Most distributors have solid capabilities with outside sales and inbound telephone sales. But capabilities for in-store marketing, outbound telephone sales and e-commerce vary widely.
Of all the channels in the survey, Outbound Telephone Sales was the most highly underutilized. Other channels analyzed included Outside Sales, Inbound Telephone Sales and In-Store Programs.
Bein writes in the two-part series that distributors of all sizes have broadly embraced various operational improvements, including warehouse automation, process standardization and transportation management systems. He believes the next major frontier for distributors is to build more significant marketing capabilities.