Why Indirect Channels Provide a Direct Route to Brand Success

In 2019, Jay McBain, then Principal Analyst at Forrester, revealed a striking statistic that propelled a paradigm shift in the way brands market their products: 75% of global trade flows through indirect channels.

McBain cited World Trade Organization data that unveiled, $60 trillion of the $80 trillion goods traded are purchased through an intermediary yearly. This means that consumers are buying 3 out of every 4 products from a company that did not directly produce them. For marketers, this dynamic creates a competitive battle on the shelf and in search results. This battle extends to driving preference over competitors in cases where a retailer chooses to offer more than one brand to its consumers.

Every local business partner, such as channel partners, agents, franchisees, dealers, or distributors, can serve as invaluable conduits to link consumers from national and regional brand awareness to specific points of purchase.

Channel Opportunity

Savvy brand marketers continue to seek ways to capitalize on their channel relationships. According to a recent CMO Council report, 95% of CMOs recognize that increasing revenue through local channels holds strategic importance in the upcoming year. 54% deemed it very important, if not critical.

Moreover, Demand Gen reports that brands are boosting investments in channel programs by a substantial 70%.

Through-channel marketing has emerged as a viable solution to enable brands and their local business partners to collaborate in marketing and advertising. This collaboration drives brand preference, improves the consistency of messaging throughout the consumer journey, and facilitates a tighter, more loyal connection between brands and their local business partners.

However, collaborative efforts to date have focused more on traditional forms of marketing and media, such as direct mail, out-of-home advertising, local television and radio commercials, in-store signage, etc., and have been slow to embrace more targeted and effective forms of digital advertising. Social media, one of the largest, infinitely targetable digital audiences available, is all but absent when brands look to collaborate with their partners.

Local Business Partners Want Local Social Advertising Support

In fact, less than one out of 5 channel partners surveyed receive brand support for social advertising. This statistic stands in stark contrast to the reality that 2 out of 3 local business partners use and rely on social ads to drive traffic to their stores.

Most local business partners want to leverage social advertising but lack the knowledge and tools to execute it easily and effectively. Brands that fail to support this crucial tactic convey a lack of commitment to their partners’ success. Consider this, according to BrandMuscle’s State of Local Marketing Report:

  • Satisfied local business partners generate 55% more revenue than their unsatisfied
  • counterparts.
  • When local business partners perceive brands as fully dedicated to their local marketing program, the satisfaction rate skyrockets from 12% to a remarkable 81% compared to those who see brands as less committed.
  • Merely 30% of local business partners who face significant program challenges believe brands to be truly dedicated. however, a remarkable 71% of partners who find their programs “easy-to-use“ perceive the providing brands as “deeply committed.” This reflects an astonishing 136% surge in perception!

Offer Social Advertising. Make it Simple.

Clever brand marketing teams are seizing the opportunity and bridging these critical gaps. They’re adding social advertising to their channel programs and making it easy to execute. They provide strategies, access to best-in-class tools, first-party data, top-notch ad creative, and, sometimes, financial support. Brands that offer collaborative solutions for social advertising to their network of local business partners will significantly boost product sales while enhancing the strength and depth of their local business partnerships.

Tiger Pistol supports local social ads that drive consumers to action across the purchase ecosystem including brick-and-mortar, delivery apps, brand apps, ecommerce sites, kiosks, and even vending machines.


Tiger Pistol is a collaborative advertising platform that enables our clients to deploy optimized and scalable campaigns within minutes. By simplifying high-performance collaborative advertising for our clients and their partners, we help you achieve your most ambitious goals in customer acquisition and sales growth.