Role of WhatsApp and SMS in Channel Partner Marketing

An effective channel partner marketing is a high-impact solution to boost sales and enhance brand recognition. WhatsApp/SMS platform if rightly used, it can serve as a better alternative to direct sales where organizations seek effective mediation from a third party mainly known as authorized dealers and distributors selling on their behalf by promoting the company’s products in the marketplace. This approach expands the brand’s market reach and enhances its presence in existing markets.
There are many categories of channel partners and each of them has different modes and methods of marketing. The types of channel partners include value-added resellers (VARs), whole-sellers, systems integrators, consultants, managed service providers (MSPs), original equipment manufacturers, distributors, and independent software vendors. You need to select the right marketing channels depending on the type of channel partners and your marketing goals.
The four broad channels of marketing used by them are paid, free, digital, and traditional. With the rapid growth in cell phone use and cheap internet packages available across the globe, SMS (Short Messenger Service) and WhatsApp are fast becoming effective channel partner marketing tools.

Role of WhatsApp & SMS

In today’s day and age, customer reach, proximity, and relationship management have taken center stage for both growing and established organizations. As channel partners have a significant say in convincing the end users making it is critical for brands to reach out to them. SMS or WhatsApp helps in reaching them in a personalized and direct way.

Let us look at some benefits of using WhatsApp and SMS in channel partner marketing.

  • Direct Communication: SMS or WhatsApp is sent directly with the desired information and the channel partner does not have to follow any additional steps to receive the information. For example, they do not need to click on links or websites and search for any information on their own.
  • Wider Reach & Higher Access Rate: SMS and WhatsApp are read faster than emails and hence the speed of reach and open rates are more favorable. Therefore, these channels ensure that the reach is wide and the desired results are achieved.
  • High Priority: Whether we accept it or not, most of us have our phones close to us and check the phones multiple times a day. The communication that is received on the phone has better priority over other forms of communication. WhatsApp has one of the highest priorities even among apps used on the phone.
  • Reinforcement: These tools play an important role in reinforcing and reminding customers about product details, offers, deals & discounts. This increases brand recall and ensures channel partners are more likely to recommend your product over your competitors.
  • Building Loyalty Programs – WhatsApp offers additional functionality such as message broadcasting, groups, etc. which can be leveraged to improve the success of loyalty programs. Brands can also create a loyalty program using these modes of communication.
  • Getting Customer Feedback – WhatsApp Business can be effectively used for seeking channel partner feedback. It is also an inexpensive and quick way to do some research based on customer feedback.
  • Reviews, Ratings & Testimonials – WhatsApp being the most convenient platform for communication can tactically motivate customers to give more accurate feedback by generating ratings on a click or enabling reviews and testimonials which will help channel partners to build their credibility.
  • Reminders – The channel partners can be reminded of the active offers, and pending targets, and can be made aware of the latest promotions being run by the brand.
  • Creativity & Branding – Since WhatsApp enables and supports video files, gifs, and creatives, this tool is advantageous for communicating creatively and making brand communication more engaging.
In the digital era, consumers are more than willing to interact and engage with brands. The rise of messaging apps, chatbots, etc. are great examples of this phenomenon. Both SMS & WhatsApp are powerful modes of communication and have become popular due to their simplicity. Although WhatsApp or SMS was introduced for faster and more convenient communications with friends and family, it has quickly become critical for business communication.
SMS & WhatsApp can be used to reach the channel partners, build a connection, promote the given brand and/or product and service, and communicate in real-time. This form of communication is also cost-effective, easy to initiate, and personally engaging leading to more opportunities to do and gain business.

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