Many retail brands have started making a separate trade channel marketing team that takes care of marketing to the trade channel which has enough influencing power to affect the purchase of the end consumers. FMCG companies have retailers as their leading influencers, while consumer goods companies such as Paint, Cement, automobile parts, and House interiors companies have their influencers such as Masons, Plumbers, Painters, Mechanics, Electricians, Architects & contractors, etc.
It becomes extremely important for consumer goods companies to engage with these influencers – Retailers for FMCG companies, Influencers for consumer goods & manufacturing B2B companies. In this article, we will look at how consumer goods companies can leverage their influencer network and work towards creating a long-term loyal community out of this channel by organizing community events.
The main levers which the company has in order to grow demand from this network are re-engaging & activating the existing network and increasing network size by doing fresh onboarding. Fresh onboarding is often done by tapping the network of existing influencers already working with your brand & inviting them as well to the community event which is hosted.
SOP for these meetings normally is they can be organized either on Dealer/Market or Town level. The purpose is to create awareness on the Brand or product or influencer program level by targeting on both existing influencer networks and tapping new influencers through these meetups.
These meetups help set up a mutual relationship between both influencers and dealers as both parties contribute mutually to each other getting work & business. Normally dealer invites all influencers associated with him and tells them to invite people in their network as well who are not currently connected to the brand.
However, the core problems which are faced by companies in running Community Events are:
- Return on investment: Companies need to ensure that there is a process to ensure money is spent wisely. Everyone in sales has this mindset that putting money into marketing will push sales, hence they keep sharing the proposals for such meets with the HO. There needs to be a process to prioritize which proposals are worthy and with a clearly defined objective. Objectives can be fresh onboarding, the introduction of a new loyalty program, awareness of products or brands, fresh onboarding of influencers, or reactivation.
- Managing Governance at Territory Scale: Hundreds of territories are involved with constantly flowing proposals of various types of events from the territory teams. Without having a process of governance, things either stall or go out of control. Management needs to have an integrated view of the proposals being made and an easy approval workflow in place for the sales team to get feedback or approval from their reporting managers swiftly.
- Execution Tracking: Right from submission of the initial proposal to final execution reporting with feedback & event report, it needs to be a closed loop process. If the process is outlined it will look something like this –
Data Capturing → Clear Objective/Purpose Outlining → Expected no of Influencers → Sales Impact expected → Proposal Submission → TM/ASM Approval → Headquarter Approval → Execution Reporting with pictures → Influencer Feedback collection → Final event report with actual expenses → Impact Monitoring
Here is how BeatRoute with its workflow on Channel & Influencer Marketing helps in organizing these influencer meetups and getting a better ROI for the brand:
- Influencer paired onboarding: The sales team can manage influencer onboarding stages, create influencer profiles with configurable fields & track profile completion. Influencers can be associated with one or multiple outlets & track the demand generated by them. These influencers can be added to the beat plan/visit schedule of the sales team & can be tracked. Meetups act as a great channel to reactivate & fresh onboarding for onground sales team. All the profile completion & new onboarding as a result of these meetups can be tracked through BeatRoute’s workflow.
- Community Meet planning: The sales team can plan community meets and get their budgets approved with approval workflow. Workflow gives brand visibility on event execution, influencer feedback, attendance & other details which can be captured using configurable forms. This gives an integrated view to brands of physical & digital engagement history on an individual influencer level.
- Linking Sales to Influencers & Ensuring Authenticity of Sales: For project sales, BeatRoute workflow has an option of adding influencers from whom the lead came. For retail sales, coupon scanning as one of the solution is embedded with the BeatRoute customer app which uses WhatsApp bot as the user interface. It gives the influencer complete visibility of the total points collected & his performance. This transparency ensures the authenticity of the loyalty reward which is being passed on.
How to Get Started?
- As a stand-alone component – You can deploy the BeatRoute WhatsApp channel on influencers or retailers as a stand-alone component by integrating it with your existing data management software. BeatRoute enables 200+ integrations by using the BeatRoute matrix as a low code API playground.
- With BeatRoute’s CRM SFA application – If you are looking for a complete solution around your field force or already working with BeatRoute’s other solutions – this can be deployed as an additional solution layer.
- With existing loyalty application – If you are already using an in-house or 3rd party app for managing loyalty programs, the BeatRoute WhatsApp/Viber/Facebook channel can be deployed on a select group of customers to run specific campaigns alongside your existing loyalty application.
To know more about how BeatRoute can help your brand with channel influencer engagement, please book a free demo from here.