New Sales & Marketing Channel Startup

In today’s ever changing competitive landscape, having a diverse sales and marketing channel portfolio is not only advantageous, but also necessary.

There are a few key factors to take into consideration when determining what new channel you should create to help you achieve your desired growth.

  1. Knowing your target customer demographic
  2. What is your competition doing and not doing
  3. What type of skill set will you need to run this new channel
  4. What are the estimated costs
  5. What is the projected timeframe for productivity to show (part of ROI, but more basic)
  6. Making sure you have buy-in and support from any internal stakeholders to support and nurture channel building phase

In this segment, we will cover “Knowing your target customer demographic”.

This is probably the most crucial activity to start with when exploring new channels to implement.

The example we’ll use is our launch of prepaid energy in Texas for an energy client.

We were charged with helping our client find a new way to get this new energy product out in the market as it was determined that the current sales and marketing channels might not do so well with this particular energy product.

So what was our first step? There were so many factors to think through and time was in short supply.

Knowing Your Target Customer Demographic

We took a step back and began to do research on the prepaid industry to better understand those customers, specifically their buying behaviors and psyche.

Understanding this is fundamental for sales and marketing.

We took a simplistic approach to understand our prepaid demographic:

  1. Looked at how this particular demographic currently paid for their monthly energy bills (nonprepaid)
  2. Looked at where they paid their energy bills
  3. What messages do they respond well to

What we learned:

  1. They paid in cash
  2. They paid at check cashing stores or ethnic grocery stores
  3. They respond well to in-person sales, they want to have a conversation and ask questions

Now we had a much better view of how to reach this particular demographic and this allowed us to identify new sales channels that our client did not currently have in their portfolio.

We created a Retail sales channel and targeted check cashing stores and ethnic grocery stores to acquire as channel partners.

The Bottom Line

Understanding your target demographic is fundamental.

Had we not took the time to get to know the prepaid customer better, our client would have more likely just stayed with their current channels and miss the mark on acquiring prepaid customers effectively.

When looking at developing new sales and marketing channels, take a step back and learn as much as you can about your target demographic. This is the first step to take and everything else will much easier with your launch.