How much of a role does engaging your channel play in the success of your brand? Are there still unexplored blue oceans that you have been missing? This Harvard Business Review article revealed “companies who hired a dedicated channel manager to manage their third-party distribution relationships within the last five years reported a 11.1% average increase in top-line revenue growth as a result of that hire.” Status based incentive programs also play a key role in keeping distribution relationships engaged. If your brand is already sold on the value of dedicating resources toward marketing to the channel, you may want to consider the oft-overlooked sales managers at the distributor level and status based incentive programs to keep them engaged. The problem is one of competing incentives. At the distributor level, sales managers have internal targets they are responsible for delivering and as with other areas of the channel, brands need to carefully consider their strategy in this war for attention.