Ko de Ruyter and Tom van Laer
Ko de Ruyter, Paul Patterson and Ting Yu
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.