User feedback is in and the verdict is… Channel resellers want access to more brands and marketing content, in one place.
2017 is all about Reinventing Channel Marketing. As a demand generation Marketplace, a key driver of change is listening to our users. As a result, a significant part of our Customer Experience (CX) strategy is engaging in two-way conversations with our users – no matter which brands they access on Elastic Grid.
To that end, we’ve run a major feedback initiative over the past three months to gather actionable data directly from our users. The feedback focused on the four pillars of our CX offering:
The response came from 10% of our active user base from all regions (APAC, EMEA, LATAM, NAM) in over 25 countries. The feedback form itself was intentionally short and simple, requiring less than a minute to complete. The five questions leveraged a twist on standard bipolar scales to give us something more actionable than agree or disagree. In fact, we were only looking for feedback as applicable to our core software and services rather than focusing on feature requests. However, we did allow for additional comments, allowing users to elaborate on their feedback.
We had overwhelming positive feedback on the software’s ease of use (80% found executing campaigns easy) as well as our teams 1:1 support and service (76% happy with the service). Feedback about the quality of campaigns was also generally positive with a majority of users happy with either the campaigns or the lead generation they were getting (70%). However there was confusion around multi-vendor access with many not knowing they could leverage Elastic Grid for more than one brand (33%) – leading to many users requesting access to other brands.
Here’s a breakdown of each question and responses:
Have you run an email or social media campaign?
This question intended to ascertain whether users knew they could execute campaign automation and how easy (or difficult) they found it. As the Lead UX Designer, this comment in particular validated a lot of hard work done on the usability front.
“I use a couple different platforms from vendors of ours and Elastic Grid is by far the best and easiest to use.”
Have you leveraged your supplier’s collateral?
The purpose of this question was to understand how much users valued their supplier’s downloadable collateral and if they had any difficulty finding it, again validating our UX approach.
Are you happy with the campaigns and collateral available?
The question was asked to help understand how the content available was received. It also enabled us to open up conversations with brands through our campaign producers to raise awareness of these pain points.
“Not much material from my suppliers are in my language (Spanish) … this is keeping me from using the platform”
Are you happy with the level of Marketing Specialist support?
This question helped us understand how our Marketing Specialist teams were performing across all regions and how they compared to third party teams some brands utilize.
“[Elastic] Grid assistant always very helpful and in my experience has always exceeded my expectations with their results.”
Are you satisfied with the number of brands you are accessing?
The question was important because Elastic Grid has limited the view of other brands to resellers until they have access to more than one. It wasn’t a surprise that the majority of respondents (likely those onboarded by a single supplier) weren’t aware that other suppliers had content available on the platform. However, the interest in leveraging campaigns from other brands was overwhelming.
“Please provide steps on how to access the other brands” ; “We will be pleased if the brands are increased.”
1/There are many users who miss out on their other supplier’s campaigns. It wasn’t really a surprise to us as the old channel marketing model (see our Winners and Losers of Channel Marketing infographic) has left channel resellers used to working within isolated portals for each of their vendors. Therefore most respondents weren’t aware of Elastic Grid’s greatest feature: the aggregation of multiple brands in the Campaign Launcher application – and were very keen to find out how they could leverage it.
The takeaway for channel brands is to establish a more open relationship with partners who sell other brands to become more successful. In fact, resellers using Elastic Grid to leverage multiple brands are far more likely to adopt, engage and ultimately generate more leads. Aggregating user data from over 10 years of experience helping brands generate channel demand, allowed us to validate that the more brands partners are accessing, the more leads they generate.
2/ Most users found it easy to execute campaigns, find collateral and get assistance from Elastic Grid’s Marketing Specialists. What your partners really need in order to succeed is less focus on tools and features but more content – product campaigns, variations or specific regional tailoring (all which Elastic Grid supports). In particular, resellers from the rapidly growing EMEA and APAC regions called for more content tailored to their local markets.
The CX team has a philosophy of not asking questions or looking at data if they aren’t prepared to make changes. So we knew that by asking for this feedback, we had to be prepared to get our hands dirty and collaborate with other departments to resolve any pain points that came up.
The following actions took place either during or straight after the feedback initiative was completed:
Lead UX designer and Design Team Lead at Elastic Grid, responsible for the user experience of the platform and the products visual brand. Lorenzo has extensive experience designing simple digital solutions for large, complex commercial projects, including e-Commerce, marketing campaigns and content management platforms.