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Ko de Ruyter, Paul Patterson and Ting Yu

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Debbie Isobel Keeling, Ko de Ruyter and David Cox

Many firms rely on distribution networks to market their products to end-customers, cognizant of the strategic role that channel partners or re-sellers play. Considerable investments are made in building and maintaining engaging relationships through Channel Partner Programs (CPPs). However, partner engagement levels vary widely within CPPs and a one-size-fits all approach to incentive structures for partner engagement may not yield the optimal value. There is a need for in-depth understanding of charting and managing different levels of engagement and examining how these translate into value. We develop a multi-step framework to assist vendors in proactively managing their Engagement-to-Value (E2V) conversion by triangulating different types of readily available empirical data. Within this empirical case study, we conceptualize the notion of E2V and introduce four areas of enquiry pertinent to our framework. First, we assess the value of the CPP in terms of sales and revenue. Second, a more granular analysis takes into account different segments of channel partners in the program. Third, we review these segments in terms of three manifestations of behavioral engagement; recency, frequency and breadth of sales of the product portfolio. Finally, we develop E2V strategies on the basis of the propensity for behavioral engagement at the individual firm level. We conclude with recommendations for customer engagement research and the management of CPPs.

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Adam Lindgreen, C. Anthony Di Benedetto, In Collaboration with Ko de Ruyter, Lisa Ellram, Christian Grönroos, Michael Hutt, Douglas M. Lambert, Ajay Kohli, Selma Kadić Maglajlić, Matthew Robson and Michel van der Borgh

Leading academics in business-to-business marketing were asked to reflect on their careers and to provide advice for doctoral students and early-career academics. Contributors responded to four broad, open-ended questions on this subject: what worked for them in their careers, what did not work, what were the dilemmas they encountered, and what overall advice would they give to junior researchers starting their academic career. This chapter distills the comments and reflections of the contributors into a collective wisdom, organized around the four interview questions, which combine to form a rich set of guidelines for early-career academics.