Demystifying channel partner marketing programs


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Demystifying channel partner marketing programs

  1. 1. Demystifying Channel Partner Marketing Programs A Blueprint for Scalability and Success
  2. 2. ??? ? ? ? ?? ? ? How do you select the partners to participate? What types of marketing campaigns do the partners need and want? How will I track the ROI and key performance indicators (KPIs)? What marketing tactics will generate the greatest quality and quantity of marketing qualified leads (MQLs)? What software platforms will facilitate the program? Demystifying Channel Partner Marketing Programs Where to Begin Channel partner marketing programs are designed to enable channel partners to create demand and ultimately drive revenue for your products and solutions. If modeled correctly, a channel marketing program is a scalable way to meet the needs of multi- ple partner types throughout your channel regionally, nation- ally and even globally. Where do you begin with the concept of a channel partner marketing program? Begin with asking yourself the right ques- tions. The answers will help dictate later decisions around which partners you’ll offer marketing programs to and what you’ll offer for tactics including how you will deliver the marketing services to your channel. 2
  3. 3. Demystifying Channel Partner Marketing Programs Define Your Partners Let’s start with defining the current profile of your partners. Regardless of the products or solutions sold through your channel, your partners have common characteristics that will help you plan your program. 1. Who is your partner audience? If you are hi-tech, this could mean ISVs, Cloud Partners, Retailer Partners, System Integrators (SIs), Distributors, VARs, Solution Providers, etc. 2. What is the current state of marketing in your channel? Do your partners have few internal resources? Do they have lim- ited marketing expertise? Is their approach to marketing tactical verses strategic? 3. Do your partners want to use the assets you’ve created? Partners have been known to avoid your content. Also, selective on lead follow through and reporting. 4. Can your partners execute a marketing campaign? In terms of scalability, your partners may not be prepared to execute on marketing initiatives. They may not have the tools to use, track and leverage those programs. They may be strapped for time, staff and/or financial resources. 5. Do the stakeholders have the same goals? There could be many stakeholders in the program: PAMs, CAMs, PSMs, PMMs, the partner and his team. All with their individual agendas and MBOs they are working towards. 3
  4. 4. Demystifying Channel Partner Marketing Programs Your Partner Support System How are you supporting the partners as a supplier? How are you modifying an existing program or creating a new one? The competition for partner mindshare exists even in the use of marketing programs provided by suppliers like you. Some com- mon reality checks include: • Partners might not be held accountable for ROI reporting. • Partners often want to spend their MDF in familiar ways. • Partners are asked to use multiple partner portals. • You have been following the path of least resistance – approving promotional items or events lacking strategy. • Partners may not be incented to participate with existing programs. • Marketing assets have canned offers and messages not attractive to partners. 4 Ease of Use ROI Reporting Strategy Incentives Customization
  5. 5. Demystifying Channel Partner Marketing Programs Scalability of Partner Services When we look to understand the landscape of scaling your part- ner services, we already know partners have limited time as well as lack the resources and/or skills in marketing. How are you going to facilitate execution, enabling partners to drive revenue? Whether you as the supplier provide support yourself through your partner marketing team or hire a vendor, the bottom line is someone has to do it. Do you have the resources? Concierge Service Concierge service is a consultative tool that can scale your part- ner marketing programs, providing hands on strategic market- ing expertise including: • Identifying strengths and weaknesses of the partners’ sales and marketing capacity. • Closing knowledge gaps around sales and marketing by gaining best practices from marketing experts. • Aiding in developing a long term strategy versus short term campaigns for your partner. • Serving as the senior advisor who monitors execution, progress and reporting. Concierge becomes all about moving away from self-service and includes elements of onboarding, driving increased participa- tion, reporting of metrics by tactic and reporting of KPIs. The desired state then becomes one in which: • Partners are using supplier assets. • Partners are driving demand generation programs rather than waiting for leads. • Partners are easily and frequently navigating the portal and program you’ve established. • Partners are mapping partner deal registrations to the contributing marketing initiatives. 5
  6. 6. Demystifying Channel Partner Marketing Programs Building A Program Framework After identifying the skill gaps at the partner level and assem- bling the marketing team to scale your program, now it’s time to put the framework together. Gain further understanding of your partner community by surveying your partners, tier part- ners by revenue or other chosen categorization, and consider the software platform options available which are required to run a modern partner marketing program. Why All the Pre-work? This is all necessary best practice, as partner programs are often later leveraged in a Marketing Demand Center at a global level. Your pre-work will serve as footings for you to determine the marketing tactics to offer via the program. The answers frame your vision. You can then anchor the program with concierge experience that incorporates the ability to onboard partners, generate leads, report metrics and tie to KPIs. 6 Survey Tier Platform
  7. 7. Demystifying Channel Partner Marketing Programs 7 Survey Partners To identify your program objectives in terms of meeting revenue and driving demand while closing skill gaps. To understand the stakeholders both at the partner level and within your own organization. These are the teams and individuals that are impacted by the program results. Their input is needed especially if you sit in a global role. To understand how to design a process where deal registration is easily tied to marketing funding or automated for the partner. To learn how to encourage program adoption. Then later establish the metrics. To listen and document partner readiness to then help you determine the best marketing mix and services to offer as part of the program. Tier Partners To identify the 80/20 split. Your top 20% of the partner community may receive a more customizable approach to the program where your trailing 80% may receive a flavor of concierge combined with turnkey marketing campaigns. Larger partners by design will have more resources while the smaller partners typically require a more turnkey approach, as we’ve seen through the years while applying prescriptive plays. Identify the opportunity to drive revenue growth through segments of your partner channel along with focusing on those upsell and cross-sell opportunities that lie dormant. Software Platforms To determine what existing software programs your partners already use. Yours? Other suppliers? The distributors? To determine if the software platforms provide a positive user experience for the partner. Can the partner easily find what they are looking for or does the portal require multiple clicks to get there? As Richard Branson says, “Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simple.” Purpose of Program Framework Preparation
  8. 8. Demystifying Channel Partner Marketing Programs Funding Your Program After the tools have been scoped which allow you to bring data, assets and experience together, now it’s time to financially fuel the program. Historically, these programs have used dollars from accrued marketing development funds (MDF) to market- ing subsidies or a combination of the two sources. The options vary from partially funding programs and campaigns to fully funding these initiatives. Your goal remains to drive revenue and reward behavior. And, if you are looking for software to automate this process, there are companies like Global Channel Management (CCI) for MDF management and TIE Kinetix for content syndication. Designing a menu of prescriptive marketing plays in a portal will not instantly drive behavior or drive revenue through the channel. Avoid the build it and they will come approach. Regardless of how simple it is for someone to choose and implement a marketing package, you will need some level of funding to incentivize the behavior. 8
  9. 9. Demystifying Channel Partner Marketing Programs Make Your Marketing Portal Appealing An effective approach to developing your marketing portal is to assemble the assets in an organized fashion that simplifies the view. The layout should reflect a menu-like display allowing partners to see all choices available where they can easily select what works best for them. Avoid over complicating the descriptions through excessive details that can drive their interest away. Starting with a smaller partner program? Over the years, eCoast has built microsites for those suppliers ramping up services slowly. This works well for those that have opted to move forward with- out implementing software platforms or technology specifically designed for portals and reporting. 9 Campaign Type AccuBuild95 List Natural SEO 3-Month Play Social Media 3-Month Play Tele-Prospecting 80-Hour Play Price $2,500 $4,500 $3,000 $5,100 Duration 3-4 weeks 3-months 3-months 80 hours What’s Included Premium list service that creates a highly targeted, custom contact list. Keyword analysis Initial website benchmark report Two net change website reports Content edits/ additions Improved organic search results Increased website traffic Set up or custom brand social media profiles including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook Content development editorial calendar Three 30-minute training sessions on techniques and best practices Monthly reporting 80 outbound calling hours resulting in 9-point lead/ appointment opportunities. Results 500 built and live verified records, guaranteed 95% accuracy. Improved search engine results. Increased audience interaction, brand awareness, and web traffic. Estimated 3-5 leads/ appointments. Campaign Sample Menu Set Up
  10. 10. Demystifying Channel Partner Marketing Programs What To Offer Most suppliers offer a variety of services that could include any of the following, depending on the scope of your program: Tele-Prospecting Services • Appointment Setting • Lead Generation • Account-Based Marketing (ABM) • Inbound Response Management • Event Attendance Generation Call Blitz Programs • Partner Led • Sales Enablement • Real Time Reporting Partner Marketing Services • Email Marketing • Google AdWords • Social Media • Collateral (Case Studies, White Papers, Brochures) • Content Marketing and Content Syndication • Search Engine Optimization • Web Development and Design List and Data Services • Guaranteed Accurate Lists • List Verification • List Building 10 CallBlitz Marketing ListsandData Tele-Prospecting
  11. 11. eCoast Marketing | | 1.877.766.7355 | Demystifying Channel Partner Marketing Programs Keep Your Program Up-To-Date Finally, consider the evolution of your program and portal as you bring your marketing program concept to life. Your initial design will need modification as the partner business model and sales compensation structures are altered year to year. Modes of reaching prospect audiences today are changing at a rapid rate. Many of the tactics we are presently using were never conceived of prior to adoption of the smart phone and mobile applications. Only now partners everywhere are learning how valuable search engine optimization (SEO) is to their business. Remain agile and embrace the changing marketing landscape. Want To Learn More? eCoast provides high quality demand generation services that helps businesses and their distribution channels drive demand by building sales pipelines to support business goals. From appointment setting and lead qualification campaigns to content marketing and search engine optimization strategies, we fuel demand to grow your business. To learn more about how eCoast can support your lead generation marketing plan, email us at or call us at 877.766.7355.