Don’t Expect the Channel to Create Demand

Customer_Adoption• Your channel is an extension of your sales capability, not an extension of your marketing department

• The channel supports, services and fulfils customer demand

• Channels rely on the Vendor to invest in the brand, develop brand awareness, create demand, generate sales momentum and develop new market opportunities

• Building buzz, creating a Tipping Point and ‘Crossing the Chasm’ are all responsibilities of the Vendor, NOT the Channel

Customer Adoption is dependent on Technology Adoption. (see The Technology Adoption Curve) 

We want B, lots of B. That phase of sustained linear growth in revenue, units sold and market share.

Yesterday’s Conventional Wisdom: says build capacity to deliver B: The logic is, get ready they are coming. That means building out:

  • Direct sales force
  • Retail sales capacity
  • Demonstration centres
  • Value added resellers
  • Distribution network
  • Sales agents
  • Referral Partners
  • etc.


Tomorrow’s Conventional Wisdom: says build A to get to B. The logic here is the fastest and most effective way to get to B is via A, so go do A now and massively.

A is all about creating a tipping point through word-of-mouth: and viral word-of-mouth, getting innovators and early adopters to tell their friends, acquaintances, colleagues, business associates to tell their friends. Think: social media. Think: audience of my audience.

  • Trails and evaluations
  • Recommendation
  • Referral
  • Testimonials
  • Quotation
  • Success Stories


  • Tech savvy GenC
  • bloggers
  • Thought Leaders
  • Industry Analysts
  • Consultants
  • Journalists


The anatomy of content marketing - the heart of online success

Question: What are you going to do to accelerate Customer Adoption of your Products and Services?

Read blog post: Customer Adoption is the new ROI
View slideshare: Customer Adoption is the new ROI
Read Book: Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A Moore

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2 Responses to Don’t Expect the Channel to Create Demand

  1. James Dillon 29/01/2013 at 9:33 AM #

    Good reminder, David, of what we’re supposed to be doing… I’m finally getting some real content on my soon to be released blog. I’m more on the HR / coaching side of the change issue, as always. Been doing radio commentary in French for WIDOOBIZ.

    All my best!


  2. Julian Barrios 01/02/2013 at 3:07 PM #


    I enjoyed your article, however I disagree with the headline as a general statement. I’ve experienced situations where the majority of new business was organically developed by the channel.

    Although fulfillment is an important part of the channel I believe there are many opportunities to grow a business when the channel is in strategic alignment with the vendor and can add clear and material value and become the main engine for demand generation.

    Although I do agree that in most cases at an early stage of a vendor’s business the burden to create demand falls squarely on the vendor’s shoulders.

    Best regards,


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