We welcome Mark Dancer’s first contribution to the Market Edge Advisor. Dancer founded the Network for Business Innovation (N4BI) to drive awareness, advocacy, and excellence around the theory and practice of B2B innovation. See below for more information.
The fundamentals of channel strategy are changing at light speed, often without notice. Manufacturers, producers, service providers, intermediaries, and customers are adopting digital technologies, becoming confident, and boldly acting in their interest to achieve new and better business results. New startups and platforms, including marketplaces, fintech startups, and data aggregators, are shaking up the value chain and seeking to disrupt or enable established businesses and customer relationships.
Business models are evolving, evidenced by new capabilities, performance standards, revenue streams, and cost structures. Most companies are stumbling forward without a plan to revisit what channel strategy has been and explore what it will become. Opportunities and threats abound, and leaders that act intentionally will reap the rewards. B2B innovation and the future of distribution is where the action is. The old rules of channel strategy still apply, and acceptable results are achieved by optimizing channel coverage, compensation, programs, and policies. Managing conflict is essential, and building win/win partnerships remain the ultimate goal. But the most effective channel strategies have always been about the future and today’s future is up for grabs.
In the digital age, channel strategy is a make-or-break competency because more and more companies go to market within an evolving ecosystem of partners, enablers, and competitors. Channel strategy is the art and science of building win/win partnerships for serving mutual customers and creating breakthrough competitive advantage through those partnerships. The most powerful channel strategies are a blend of traditional and emerging fundamentals.
Two examples stand out:
Dancer founded the Network for Business Innovation (N4BI) to drive awareness, advocacy, and excellence around the theory and practice of B2B innovation. Dancer’s work draws on more than 25 years of experience working with leading companies to achieve channel and go-to-market excellence. Dancer draws on his work and newsletter around B2B innovation and the future of distribution. He hopes to help Market Edge members apply the fundamentals of channel strategy for improved business performance and explore the unfolding future of value chains and markets for foresight and competitive advantage. Dancer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on LinkedIn.
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