The partners you work with are all different: different sizes, with different capabilities and different objectives. If you communicate with them using blanket messaging or a one-size-fits-all approach, they may switch off, particularly if your communications to them contain unachievable goals. Treating them all as if they were one and the same may be a waste of your time and effort.
Vendors cause huge frustration to partners when they fail to understand the needs and potential of a smaller, inexperienced partner, compared to a large and experienced company with significant resources. Every partner is unique and they should be treated as such to really make them tick.
Know your partners’ marketing capability
Gaining a good understanding of how partners generate their leads and supporting them to be better is vital. It’s also important to know how they prioritise leads; from referrals, from existing customers, through their website, or from physical or online events. There may be misalignment between a partner’s business objectives to seek out net new customers versus what you are asking them to do: drive instant revenue from your MDF.
Campaign planning can also be a challenge for partners as the B2B buying journey is now more complex than ever before. The ideal for a large company with access to significant resources is multi-touch, multi-persona and multi-channel marketing (as illustrated here by Gartner).
It’s hardly surprising that this leaves partners with less marketing expertise overwhelmed and unsure where to start. Understanding where partners are on their marketing journey and providing them the relevant support is key for any vendor wanting to maximize its indirect revenue.
Our approach adapts to the partner’s marketing capabilities. Picture your ideal partner: they’re great at digital marketing, they create and close their own leads, they get your solution messaging correct and they generate a decent ROI for you. All you need to feed their marketing engine and you will easily reap the reward.
In reality, many partner companies just aren’t there yet. Some do not have the marketing foundations in place to proactively uncover new opportunities. For these partners, your effort should be first on their value proposition and go-to-market messaging to create a real connection with their customers. This will also help them to create clear content, the backbone of the any marketing campaign, yet often a gap for smaller partners who struggle with time and resource. By supporting the creation of foundational elements of a partner’s marketing efforts – from product pages, solution briefs, landing pages, trial offers, case studies and more you will help a partner develop its capability and drive further revenue in the future.
bChannels help vendors understand a partner’s Marketing Capability so you can align your campaign effort with the partner’s digital skill to maximize campaign engagement, adoption , success and improve speed to revenue.
Encourage and nurture
Vendors must encourage partners’ marketing strengths and nurture them where gaps exist. If you work together and provide targeted support, you will create a partner base that truly reaps rewards. To bridge the gap between the ideal scenario and reality, and to understand how to improve partners’ marketing capabilities, many vendors turn to bChannels. This is why:
We embark on a Digital Partners programme to understand your partners’ marketing capabilities and behaviours. Our thorough assessment of their digital presence and expertise helps to understand which partners have well-developed digital marketing capabilities and which don’t. This means you can focus on the right campaign activities with the right partners - from driving mindshare to supporting their marketing expertise. We help you to create digital marketing journeys that partners can own, for a structured and scalable way to transform their online capabilities, helping to unleash the power of digital marketing across your partner base.
Our approach adapts to the partner’s marketing capabilities. bChannels helps you address what should be done with partners to drive growth at scale while supporting their digital marketing development. As a result you can build a clear strategy from supporting your future potential to your current growth drivers and building mindshare with partners focused on other offers.
We have the resources to support partners through the next steps of their marketing journey. Our Virtual Marketing Managers act as an extension to your channel marketing team supporting partner enablement, planning and execution.
Digital Partners from bChannels
Digital Partners is the programme we use to carry out the above activities as part of our portfolio of services for technology vendors. It provides a structured and scalable way to understand and transform your partners’ digital marketing capabilities. It means that partners who have the potential to work well with you will be able to run effective campaigns and amplify awareness of your brand – generating measurable ROI from your marketing investment. It’s a well-respected and popular approach used by many high-profile vendors: our customers include Veritas, SAP, Xerox, NetApp and Atos.