BI WORLDWIDE India and KANTAR Unveil a First-of-Its-Kind Channel Partners Engagement Research in India

Business Wire India

  • A staggering 78% of channel partners in India are not engaged
  • The groundbreaking research analyses factors that help foster and sustain engagement and provides insights on how to build measurable and profitable brand-channel partner relationships
​BI WORLDWIDE, a global leader in loyalty and engagement solutions, conducted the first-of-its-kind research, in association with KANTAR, the world’s leading marketing data and analytics company, to analyse what inspires, engages, and motivates channel partners in India. The aim was to leverage insights from the research to create robust and reliable tools for brands to understand, measure, and strengthen their channel partner relationships. 
BI WORLDWIDE and KANTAR are excited to unveil this unique and in-depth research at a virtual launch recently, along with inspiring loyalty and engagement domain leaders, market research consultants, and industry stalwarts. The research focuses on channel partners’ perspective, to highlight key drivers of channel partner engagement, impact of rewards on channel partners, research-based framework to measure engagement, and new-age channel partner communication preferences.
Speaking about the research, Mr. Siddharth Reddy, Managing Director, BI WORLDWIDE India stated, “BI WORLDWIDE India commissioned KANTAR to pioneer a first-ever, in-depth research in the loyalty marketing industry, conducted at this scale. The research brings focus on a holistic relationship between brands and channel partners. Together, we endeavoured to identify the factors that affect channel partner engagement and developed a framework that enables brands to measure and optimise engagement.”
Likewise, Mr. Biswapriya Bhattacharjee, Director, B2B & Technology, Insights Division, KANTAR India stated, “The research is truly one-of-its-kind and delves deep into channel partners’ mindset to understand what inspires and motivates them to give their best. Brands can design results-oriented channel loyalty programs when informed by insights from a methodical and scientific research. KANTAR is delighted to have partnered with BI WORLDWIDE India to bring together a plethora of such data-backed insights and perspectives on secrets to win over channel partners.”
Research Approach
Through in-depth interactions and scientific processes, the research analysed the behavioural patterns of 700+ channel partners across six prominent industries in India – Agriculture, Pharmaceuticals, Automotive, FMCG, Oil & Gas, and Building & Construction. Around 69% of these channel partners were distributors and retailers, while 31% were influencers, including skilled workers, such as electricians, plumbers, painters, mechanics, and daily wagers.
Commenting on the distinctive research, Mr. Sukesh Jain, CEO, BI WORLDWIDE India stated, “We manage channel loyalty programs for some of the leading global and Indian multi-national trade brands and provide them with proven and results oriented solutions. BI WORLDWIDE’s channel partners engagement research not only provides insights on strengthening brands and channel partners relationship but also helps clients and other brands to measure engagement through research-based model and solution framework. We believe in turning inspiration into real business results, and the outcomes of this in-depth research help cultivate meaningful, profitable and lasting channel partner relationships, driving larger market share and in turn consistent revenue growth for brands.”
Key Research Takeaways
The research uncovers key statistics and insights that brands should consider when designing and implementing their channel loyalty and engagement programs to drive better ROI:
  • A staggering 78% of channel partners in India are not engaged.
  • 8 key drivers of engagement influence a brand’s relationship with its channel partners – Operational Excellence, Rewards & Incentives, Recognition, Learning, Brand Affinity, Communication, Well-being, and Events.
  • Focusing holistically on all the 8 drivers helps brands foster strong and profitable channel partner relationships.
  • Brands can measure the strength of channel partner engagement, leveraging BI WORLDWIDE’s unique model, developed in consultation with KANTAR, called the Affection Matrix.
  • Basis performance and preference, channel partners can be placed in 4 different quadrants of engagement of the Affection MatrixEngaged, Trapped, Unattached and Vulnerable.
  • A whopping 49% of channel partners feelTrapped’ with the brands they work for i.e. they prefer the brand even though they are not satisfied with it.
  • Brands can maximise channel partner engagement using BI WORLDWIDE and KANTAR’s jointly-developed, IBC (Invest, Build, and Consider) solution framework.
  • 68% of channel partners are extremely satisfied with travel-based rewards, followed closely by luxury rewards at 66%, and business infrastructure-related rewards at 64%.
  • A brand’s best bet is to invest in a strategic mix of rewards that covers the entire efficacy scale – transactional, functional, and aspirational – to amplify channel partners’ loyalty.
  • 50% of channel partners prefer receiving business communication through app-based messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp and 50% use social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, etc.
  • Voice, Messengers, and Apps are the mediums to consider while developing channel partners’ communication strategies.
The research is a deep dive into channel partners’ expectations and equips brands with models to optimise their channel loyalty programs in a complex and layered market like India.