76: Cause and Effect Channel Management With Bill Johannesen

“The biggest threat I see is manufacturers that don’t understand the gravity of the requirement to fundamentally change how their operations execute and their go to market strategies, tactics, and processes.”

–  Bill Johannesen

EPISODE PREVIEW:

Today’s episode is for brands and manufacturers seeking solutions around channel management. It’s one of the biggest challenges facing the specialty markets today, so big that it can be hard to know where to begin. So if you’re looking for a “plug and play” solution, sorry: not gonna happen.

But if you’re looking for a place to start, keep listening.

Obviously, every brand is different, which means every solution needs to be different. My guest, Bill Johannesen is a consultant who specializes in channel management, especially around distribution and pricing management for omnichannel brands. We talk about the process of channel management: where to begin, how to move forward, and how to stay focused on the North Star (your consumer, naturally!).

One of the most powerful takeaways from this episode is about mindset: Unlearning can be just as powerful as learning. We think of channel management as this outward focused strategy, but it needs to begin within our own organizations to be effective. If internal processes—especially between marketing, sales and ecommerce departments—are siloed, any attempts to be enforce the external systems of distribution and pricing will just be a band-aid.

GUEST PROFILES:

Bill Johannesen

Bill Johannesen is the founder of Vision Werks Consulting and lifelong, specialty consumer analyst. He is an expert with MAP/UP retail price maintenance execution, Internet and channel management, and retail partnerships and new sales roles. Vision Werks uses data and market intelligence to generate customized, predictable revenue growth and stabilized margins from aligned online and omnichannel distribution.

TOPICS COVERED:

Channel management and conflict, how to stabilize prices across channels, implementing effective MAP policies, distribution management, unilateral pricing policies, dealer agreements for omnichannel sales, per store productivity over gross purchase orders, lifting the marketing message through integrated communications, smallest viable market

SELECT QUOTES:

“The biggest threat I see is manufacturers that don’t understand the gravity of the requirement to fundamentally change how their operations execute and their go to market strategies, tactics, and processes.” 

“Much like every brand that I saw at the Snow Show or I look at in outdoors, there’s something where there was a passion for the end user—a passion for the product—that they wrap their organization around and go out to the marketplace. [Yet what I see with] most manufacturers, is that [passion has] just kind of gone away. The accountants have taken over and you have to hit your numbers and it becomes transactional. They’ve lost that original vibe, and we need to get that original vibe back.”

“What it comes down to is just a conversation about cause and effect.”

[On why brands should be selective around what technology they apply in channel management] “You need to work with humans that have systems and processes, so you can understand what you need and see the technology that’s out there, as it applies to your business, instead of the [IT salesman] guy that’s most tenacious, loudest screamer, trying to sell you to get you into the 21st century.”

CONNECT:

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Have questions or ideas for Kristin and the Channel Mastery podcast? Email: podcast@channelmastery.com

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