With a heightened focus on the latest marketing trends, many organizations are neglecting the impact of fundamentals like Partner Marketing. Strengthen your marketing strategy with a best in class partner marketing program.

It’s 2018, and developing a world-class marketing organization requires marketing leaders to stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest trends.

 

Gone are the days of set-it and forget-it email campaigns. Omni-channel, multi-tactic, fully integrated marketing campaigns are now table stakes.

 

Are you still focused on leads? Leads are dead! Accounts are the new leads, and any best-in-class marketing organization must have an Account Based Marketing Strategy.  For more information on replacing leads with opportunities, watch Replace Leads with Opportunities  for the Sales Team through ABM

 

But with an industry focused on “the next best thing” many marketing fundamentals are falling by the way-side.  Even if you’re on-pace with the latest trends, you could be underserving key pieces of the marketing chain, and you’re only as strong as your weakest link.

 

 

With marketing teams focused on speaking directly to customers, much of the focus is placed on planning campaigns, developing content, and creating experiences. As a result, Partner (or Channel) Marketing is often deprioritized, under-utilized, or entirely forgotten. And while the concept may seem simple, neglecting this often overlooked strategy is quick way to miss your revenue target.

 

Is Partner Marketing the weak link in your marketing chain? Download the Partner Marketing Diagnostic to identify if it’s time to revisit your partner marketing approach. The fundamentals of a successful partner marketing program are broken into four key areas.

 

If your partner marketing is due for some much needed love, this is where you should start:

 

  1. Revisit Your Channel Strategy

     

    When’s the last time your organization took a good look at all your sales channels? If the answer isn’t “this year” you’ve got some work to do. Selling to customers directly when they want to buy from partners is a surefire way to miss the revenue goal. Selling to them through partners when they want a direct relationship is equally devastating. Assessing your channel strategy will help you select the right channels for your organization. Take the time to build a channel strategy to out-punch your weight class, this will lay the foundation and set your Partner Marketing team up for success.

     

  2. Define Your Ideal Partner Profile

     

    Now that you figured out the where, it’s time to nail down the who.  Paying attention to all channel partners will stretch your team and your budget, but signing up every channel partner to represent your products will not grow sales, it will more likely reduces them.

     

    The key is to hone in on the core characteristics of what would make up your “perfect partner.” These factors can range significantly from one company to another, but should include both quantitative and qualitative factors that capture the profile, behaviors, and needs of potential partners. Putting together this Ideal Partner Profile will help you narrow in on the most important Partners to spend your time on.

     

  3. Create The Right Content

     

    You may have a long list of potential Partners, but they’ve got options too. If you have been talking to one of your top partners recently, chances are so has your competition. Your mission now is to communicate two key messages: why they should sell your product, and what’s in it for them.

     

    The best way to do that is through your Partner Marketing campaigns, but you need to make sure you have the right content to support these programs. This unique content can take many forms, but one of the best ways to win over partners and drive your value proposition is through partner readiness content.

     

    Readiness content makes it easy for your partners to learn about your solutions and take them to market.. And with a marketing landscape that has become increasingly complex, many channel partners resort to focusing all their efforts on simple one-dimensional marketing campaigns.

     

    It’s your job to make it easy for them to deploy impactful marketing campaigns that utilize a modern marketing approach. Giving them the content to support a multi-tactic, multi-channel approach will make it easier for them to deploy programs that will fill the pipeline with leads and drive revenue.

     

  4. Use Tools & Technology

     

    The last piece of this puzzle is to set yourself up for success by deploying the right technology stack. Many of your existing MarTech tools can be leveraged in Partner Marketing, but you may need to invest in some additional tools.  Many organizations may need to consider a Partner Relationship Management (PRM) platform to manage these indirect channel relationships where the OEM is at least one step removed from the end customer. Putting the right tools in place will enable you to effectively plan, execute, and measure your partner marketing programs.

     

For a comprehensive guide on the best practices for Partner Marketing, leverage SBI’s How to Make Your Number in 2018 PDF Workbook  and turn to the Partner Marketing phase on pages 316 – 322.

 

 

Additional Resource

 

Learn more about how top companies use AI to win at the AI Growth Summit.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jason Telmos

Helping sales and marketing leaders make their revenue growth number.

Jason is a dynamic consultant that can come into an organization and fill a number of different roles. With a rich background in corporate marketing, advertising & design, and sales, Jason can provide strategic and tactical support across multiple functions of an organization. Most recently, Jason worked with a popular SaaS company in support of a new product launch. His contributions included product strategy and positioning, development and execution of several multi-channel marketing campaigns, driving cross-functional alignment, and actual content creation.

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