Jeff Yowell

Sophisticated marketers have long recognized the importance of third-party influencers to consumer purchases. Companies that sell their products through distributors, dealers, channel partners or other businesses devote significant sales and marketing resources to influence these businesses because they drive consumer sales. It's called Business-to-Business-to-Consumer marketing, or B-to-B-to-C.

In the early days of 2008, when financial experts were just starting to argue about whether the U.S. was in a recession, Michelin North America rolled out a sales program that would provide exactly the kind of support its network of dealers and distributors would desperately need by year's end.

“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails,” goes the quote from leadership guru John C. Maxwell. It’s good advice to keep in mind at the present, when many of the usual challenges of marketing direct are becoming more and more difficult to tackle. With the cost of just about everything going up, businesses aren’t going to have any easy options for cutting back. Staying strong during a down economy and a rapidly shifting marketing environment requires not only efficiency from every member of the team, but also the exploration of new ideas and ways

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