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Activating True Loyalty in Your Channel Partner Program

What is true loyalty?

Through a marketing lens, we see True Loyalty as one of four types of loyalty every program needs to support for secure channel partner relationships and reliable program results.  

While other loyalty strategies may seek to support a sense of community for channel partners, act on barriers to exit, or encourage transactional elements of the relationships, True Loyalty has a different purpose. 

At its core, the presence of True Loyalty relies on quality interactions with partners over their quantifiable transactions. When True Loyalty initiatives are successfully set in motion, partners’ commitment to your brand is strengthened through empowering and positive experiences within your program.

How do i support true loyalty objectives?

We understand that driving intentional, meaningful moments for partners is essential to help them perceive themselves in a close-knit relationship with your brand.  

However, we also understand it isn’t always easy to know what program elements you can strengthen, or which techniques will be most helpful to compel action and loyalty from partners.  

That’s why the Maritz approach to channel programs is rooted in behavioral science, and why our program designs are built around critical touchpoints and experiences your partners need to feel connected to your brand and advance mutual goals.  

If you’re ready to bring True Loyalty tactics to life in your program, discover how Maritz helps activate and streamline solutions that empower your channel partners – and your entire strategy.


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Most individuals, including channel partners, are more likely to engage and commit to objectives that feel personal to them. That’s why we help brands tap into opportunities to customize the experience, including: 

  • SEGMENTATION ANALYSIS Through our expert services in Decision Sciences, we can initiate a deep dive into your engagement data to understand how partners’ varied characteristics impact their activity and performance; we also provide options for segmented rules, communications, promotions, and more to engage your distinct audiences.

  • RULE STRUCTURES Our program experts can work with you to design and implement learning rules and promotions to optimize experiences and effectively engage your variety of partner types.

  • PERSONAL PROGRESS TRACKERS With our platform’s role-based dashboards, your partners gain individualized data related to their ongoing objectives, achievements, and goals – which boosts engagement and motivation to continue efforts toward them.

  • FEEDBACK & SURVEYS Our portal also streamlines efforts to create and target structured surveys and solicit insightful partner feedback related to your brand, products, or incentive program; these surveys can be triggered by specific partner behaviors on the site, delivered by email, or sent directly on the platform.

  • PARTICIPANT & STAKEHOLDER RESEARCH Before launching or redesigning your program, we can initiate research to know what factors best motivate and forge relationships with your program’s participants and stakeholders; through qualitative interviews and focus groups, in combination with our developed Insights Study, we can translate the information at scale to optimize your solutions accordingly.

Triggered communications

Timeliness and relevancy are always a priority when communicating with partners, which is why we offer steps like automation to help you keep partners engaged through quality experiences and interactions:

  • MESSAGING & COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES Based on the unique attributes of your program and segments of channel partners, our creative and communication experts can help you develop a tailored communication strategy that effectively engages your audiences.

  • BEST PRACTICES LIFECYCLE COMMUNICATION PACKAGE We can help customize and set up triggered communications for initiatives that engage partners, like:
    • Invitations, enrollments, reminders, welcome and onboarding messages. 
    • Monthly statements (triggered by calendar).  
    • Behavior-triggered emails related to tier advancement or nearing a milestone. 
    • Promotions-based emails for partners who are eligible.  
    • Nurture emails to re-engage partners showing signs of disengagement or a lack of activity, like no site visits.  

meaningful rewards

Using rewards and incentivization tactics is effective for motivating partners when they feel their personal effort is proportionate to the benefits of the potential outcome.  

With that in mind, we design points-based programs that allow channel partners to earn based on incentivized behavior. Clients can opt into our rewards marketplace (our online store) and use their accrued points to shop for products or experiences that are personally meaningful to them.  

Our extensive reward and incentive options include:

  • MERCHANDISE Professionally curated to include your (and partners’) favorite brands, our marketplace offerings for merchandise are vast. From the latest Apple products and tech to new fashion accessories, like Ray-Ban or Nike, to outdoor recreational gear, luxury products, wellness items, gifts, and more, our selection can speak to any of your partners’ personalities.

  • GIFT CARDS Our marketplace also gives partners the option to redeem points for gift cards, a financial benefit that allows them to choose between items, experiences, or both. Whether it’s eating at fine dining or fast-casual restaurants, fashion or retail shopping, entertainment opportunities, or travel vouchers, your partners can choose the reward that speaks to them.

  • TRAVEL Memorable experiences will often stay with your partner longer than tangible items, which is why our reward marketplace also presents options for partners to redeem points for travel. With easy access to our self-book travel site, partners can seamlessly schedule airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, or local experiences all from a centralized hub.

Mdf programs

When you streamline your Market Development Fund Program, partners gain a simplified and enhanced experience within your platform, which strengthens your connection. However, the quality of their user experience relies on an important factor: your platform technology.   

Our advanced tech supports the optimization of your MDF program by:

  • Establishing a user-friendly platform for partners to upload marketing plans, see claims, and view their statuses. 
  • Creating communication or email journeys when MDF statuses change.  
  • Launching tools to manage the program, review claims, and process MDF rebates. 
  • Providing flexibility for partners to receive payouts in the form of cash or points.  


Another reliable method to initiate True Loyalty is to gamify aspects of your program by presenting partners with clear metrics related to their efforts and achievements. We make it easy to implement gamification, so your focus can be on promoting friendly competition, accountability, and sustained engagement.  

Drive participation using our platform’s dedicated gamification features, which include:

  • PROGRESS TRACKERS Utilizing our visual progress bars gives partners an interactive way to track milestones and view their proximity to certain goals, prompting motivation to keep pace or ramp up efforts.

  • LEADERBOARDS Partners who have access to leaderboards gain a real-time view of their performance compared to their peers, which spurs friendly competition and drives collective effort.

Make true loyalty work for you

Your strides to support these objectives in your program may be well-intended, but loyalty will only ever be as strong and actionable as the tools, platforms, features, and insights you rely on to deepen your partner relationships.  

The good news is you can have channel program design experts in your corner who understand what it takes to craft genuine connections with channel partners.  

Our channel programs are built to support a multi-dimensional approach to loyalty and do more than just benefit your bottom line. They deliver wins for your program through increasingly meaningful interactions and fortified connections with your most valuable partnerships.

Read about the other dimensions of Channel Loyalty:

Ready to start leveraging True Loyalty tactics in your channel program? Contact us to learn more about gaining solutions that empower you to deepen your partner relationships and secure loyalty for the long-haul.