Most established technology vendors, especially B2B technology companies, depend on indirect channel — channel partners — for more than half their revenues. But are our marketing efforts aligned with the needs and requirements of these partners?
While enterprise technology marketing continues to directly target customers and prospects with regular marketing campaigns, we simply can’t hope to reach our entire target market with this strategy. We need partners to reach a majority of customers and prospects.
Eighty percent of chief sales officers (CSOs) state that channel partners contribute 50 percent or more to their companies’ yearly revenues. Source: Accenture
While channel partners such as value-added resellers or systems integrators may be the best at what they do, many aren’t trained marketers. For them — most of whom are small- to medium-sized firms — the single greatest challenge is that they don’t have the time, resources, or expertise to run effective marketing programs on a regular basis.
This creates a gap — a gap comprising hundreds of thousands of customers and prospects whom technology providers can’t reach directly and the partner is ill-equipped to do so.
To increase the effectiveness our of channel marketing initiatives, B2B technology marketers need to create and manage a partner marketing hub powered by rich and compelling content exclusively for partners.
To bridge this gap, technology marketers have traditionally implemented channel enablement programs for partners where they support the partner’s marketing initiatives through market development funds and other financial and non-financial incentives.
But this approach has its own limitations. For one, it doesn’t always equip the partners with relevant and up-to-date marketing assets and collaterals, which partners can use in their own campaigns. And where it does, it doesn’t help the partners customize these assets, co-brand them, or track the effectiveness of the campaigns.
Second, it doesn’t equip partners with the right set of tools, technologies, and know-how to set-up and run effective digital marketing campaigns. And partners sorely lack it and desperately need it.
What partners need is a tool, complete with the required resources to successfully promote a technology provider’s solution to their customers and prospects through digital campaigns that are easy to create, set-up, run, measure, and optimize.
From having direct access to the latest approved marketing assets to customization of the assets to setting up and running the campaign to tracking the effectiveness of a campaign, marketers need to empower, enable, and enrich a partner’s experience in this entire digital marketing journey.
B2B technology marketers need to ensure that they provide a frictionless experience to their partners that reduces time, energy, resources, frustration, and stress. The easier the process, the more likely partners will want to participate and more effective channel marketing will be.
To increase the effectiveness of channel marketing initiatives, B2B technology vendors need to create and manage a partner marketing hub powered by rich and compelling content exclusively for their partners that:
Empowers partners with a rich repository of assets that they can use for their marketing efforts. These assets comprising of eDMs, newsletters, whitepapers, research reports, blogs, videos, case studies, should cover the entire solution portfolio of the vendor.
Enables partners with self-service tools to set up and run marketing campaigns directly from the hub to target and nurture their customers and prospects with regular newsletters and updates, besides allowing them to track campaign performance.
Enriches partners’ user experience by allowing them to access this hub anytime, from anywhere, using any device, to easily search for a relevant asset, customize it for their needs, co-brand the assets with their logos, and customize the CTA.
Technology marketers need to ensure that we provide a frictionless experience to partners that reduces time, energy, resources, frustration, and stress. The easier the process, the more likely partners will want to participate and more effective channel marketing will be.
When vendors get all the 3Es right, they can greatly increase the effectiveness of their partners’ marketing campaigns, benefiting not only the partner, but also benefiting themselves.