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How-To Guide: Channel Marketing Automation
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How-To Guide: Channel Marketing Automation

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Executive Summary ...

Executive Summary

Companies that sell their products and services through resellers, dealers, distributors and other channel partnerships know that the lifeblood of their sales and profits rests on the quality of their channel relationships. Yet, due in large part to the complexity of their distributor networks, traditional marketing automation software has not provided these companies with the benefits enjoyed by other marketing and sales organizations. Until now.

A new breed of marketing automation software that combines the best features of asset management, marketing automation functionality and Sales Enablement capabilities is emerging, specifically to address the challenges of channel partnerships. We call it Channel Marketing Automation.

This How-To Guide is designed to help companies with reseller, dealer and distributor networks to empower their channel partners with the tools, information and technology they need for revenue growth and profitability by using Channel Marketing Automation.

This 6-page guide includes the following sections:

What is Channel Marketing Automation?
Channel Marketing Automation Benefits
Best Practices for Channel Marketing Automation
Vendor Selection Criteria


To read the full guide, join us as a member at http://www.demandmetric.com/user/register

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How-To Guide: Channel Marketing Automation How-To Guide: Channel Marketing Automation Document Transcript

  • How-To Guide Channel Marketing Automation: Empowering Your Channel Partners for Profitability and Purpose By Clare Price, VP of Research February 2014 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Companies that sell their products and services through resellers, dealers, distributors and other channel partnerships know that the lifeblood of their sales and profits rests on the quality of their channel relationships. Yet, due in large part to the complexity of their distributor networks, traditional marketing automation software has not provided these companies with the benefits enjoyed by other marketing and sales organizations. Until now. A new breed of marketing automation software that combines the best features of asset management, marketing automation functionality and Sales Enablement capabilities is emerging, specifically to address the challenges of channel partnerships. We call it Channel Marketing Automation. This How-To Guide is designed to help companies with reseller, dealer and distributor networks to empower their channel partners with the tools, information and technology they need for revenue growth and profitability by using Channel Marketing Automation. © 2014 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • How-To Guide WHAT IS CHANNEL MARKETING AUTOMATION? At Demand Metric, we define Channel Marketing Automation as the strategies, technologies, tools and best practices used to optimize channel partnerships for better performance and profitability. Channel Marketing Automation goes beyond traditional marketing automation known for lead generation, nurturing and scoring to include asset management and Sales Enablement functions. This integrated asset, automation and enablement system approach allows companies to maintain control over their brand while providing maximum marketing and sales support and flexibility to their channel partners. CHANNEL MARKETING AUTOMATION BENEFITS Channel Marketing Automation offers the following benefits to your organization’s channel partners:  Improves partner engagement by automating marketing tasks, giving them the right marketing and sales materials to present your products and services to their customers.  Maintains corporate brand integrity across multiple channel partners while giving partners the flexibility to personalize their content and sales materials.  Accelerates content marketing and delivery with a fully automated asset management system.  Empowers channel sales teams by directly connecting them to the marketing materials they need, exactly when they need them.  Creates channel incentives through multi-tiered marketing and sales automation.  Increases channel demand generation by automating your partners’ lead generation, scoring and nurturing programs for them, giving them more time to sell for you.  Generates and tracks partner leads to avoid channel conflict and evaluate the strength of your channel. © 2014 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • How-To Guide  Enhances your channel partners social sharing and influence marketing with social media syndication tools.  Increases visibility and insight into channel partners’ performance.  Measures activity and results so you know what campaigns are working and why. BEST PRACTICES FOR CHANNEL MARKETING AUTOMATION Demand Metric recommends six best practices to ensure success in developing a Channel Marketing Automation program: 1. Profile. Create a profile or persona that represents each distinct type of channel partner. Focus on the business success criteria of your channel. Do you know what makes them successful? How do they run their business? What are their key challenges and obstacles? The better you know your channel partners and their business, the better your Channel Marketing Automation strategy will be. 2. Engage. We recommend two best practice steps for engaging channel partners here. The first is to invite some of your top channel partners, those who are already your best ambassadors and top performers, to help craft your channel marketing strategy. This assures that your strategy is developed with partner needs at the forefront. The second step is to engage your entire network with communication and connection. Share your Channel Marketing Automation plans, in detail, with all your partners as soon as possible, giving them time to prepare and setting the stage for the education phase. 3. Educate. Develop a detailed education and roll out plan for your entire channel. Channel partners will undoubtedly have varying degrees of technology skill and knowledge. A solid education plan that explains the new marketing automation system, showcases the benefits and provides step-by-step instruction on usage will ensure your Channel Marketing Automation investment provides a solid ROI. © 2014 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • How-To Guide 4. Empower. Make sure that your channel partners have the knowledge, skills and tools to use the Channel Marketing Automation system effectively. Provide exact details on the kinds of tools, people talent and business/technology infrastructure each partner-company needs to have in-house to make the most of the new system. 5. Incentivize. Provide incentives to use the system through rewards, rebates or cash incentives. If you want to go a step further, add Gamification features to your system to increase participation. 6. Measure. Make sure metrics are in place to track the success and/or potential challenges of your channel partners. Your Channel Marketing Automation vendor should have a set of metrics built into their solution. These may require customization for your channel. VENDOR SELECTION CRITERIA Look for the following features and functions when selecting a vendor for your Channel Marketing Automation solution:  Asset Management. Unlike traditional marketing automation, which focuses on demand generation, Channel Marketing Automation requires corporate brand integrity be protected and maintained as it is distributed through the channel. Asset management features like user-access controls, customizable template libraries, on-demand access to marketing and sales materials and flexible on and off-line printing options protect your brand and drive channel sales.  Lead Generation. Your vendor should support the primary features of a solid marketing automation system including lead generation, scoring and nurturing.  Lead Management. Your vendors’ solution should include features like lead distribution and registration to help avoid channel conflict and manage leads effectively. © 2014 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • How-To Guide  Campaign Management. Your Channel Marketing Automation system must enable partners to develop, schedule and send campaigns based on general interest as well as specific engagement behaviors. Integrating multi-tiered marketing and sales campaigns into your strategy will give your partners more options and flexibility.  Sales Enablement. Features such as mobile presentation apps, sales portals and sales playbooks will make your partners’ sales team more effective. Vendors that integrate Sales Enablement features into their Channel Marketing Automation solutions provide the best of both worlds – marketing and sales.  Analytics. Your vendor should provide a core set of metrics and measurements that provide you with insights into how your channel is performing against leads provided. Look for a vendor that offers an intuitive analytics dashboard for visibility, performance data capture for review and program refinement. Your vendor’s metrics should enable you to easily track your partners’ activities and level of engagement. Metrics that also track collateral effectiveness, which marketing and sales materials are working best for engagement and conversion, are key to effective asset management. ACTION PLAN 1. Evaluate and profile your channel partners to assess their level of preparedness for a Channel Marketing Automation Initiative. 2. Create a Partner Council of your strongest and highest performing channel partners to help develop your Channel Marketing Automation strategy and roll out plan. 3. Use the Vendor Selection Criteria listed above to evaluate potential Channel Marketing Automation Vendors. 4. Use our Marketing Channel Ranking Tool to help you evaluate marketing campaigns that will work best for your channel partners. © 2014 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • How-To Guide 5. Develop your plan with your Partner Council and vendor partner and use our best practice steps to launch your new Channel Marketing Automation initiative. BOTTOM LINE Your Channel and Distribution Partners are the lifeblood of your revenues and profits. A new breed of marketing automation software that combines the best features of asset management, marketing automation functionality and Sales Enablement capabilities is emerging; specifically to address the challenges of channel partnerships. Ensure the success of your channel by investing in a Channel Marketing Automation solution. ABOUT THE RESEARCH ANALYST Clare Price is a Research Director who covers marketing strategy, strategic communications, sales enablement and marketing technology. Clare is a former Research Director at Gartner Group and helped build their Internet Strategies Services with clients such as Microsoft, IBM, HP, Cisco, Proctor & Gamble and Wells Fargo. Her specialties include: brand strategy, brand development, customer acquisition and relationship development, content and digital marketing strategy and social media marketing. ABOUT THE SPONSOR Mindmatrix is a cutting-edge marketing automation and sales enablement company. Our platform incorporates all the functions and metrics essential to your sales and marketing departments into a single software package. Mindmatrix’s marketing automation platform will help you generate leads, cultivate interest and excitement about your organization, and ultimately… close sales. From the initial contact with a potential customer all the way through to their first purchase, and beyond, we have your sales and marketing teams covered. © 2014 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.