2012 Marketing Success Requires Leveraging New Developments
2012 Marketing Success Requires Leveraging New Developments

The statistics on the effectiveness of channel marketing efforts in 2011 have started to come in, and they are not encouraging. In fact, they demonstrate that companies are going to have to work harder to innovate with their co-marketers if they want to see growth in 2012.

Marketing Sherpa just released their 2012 B2B Benchmark Marketing Report and the statistics are, to say the least, troublesome.

They demonstrate that in 2011, there was a 50 percent decline in the overall effectiveness of three basic B2B marketing tactics – website design, search engine optimization, and email marketing.

This means that companies engaged in channel marketing may not be getting the same return on investment from these three marketing efforts. Much of this has to do with Google changing their search engine algorithm, which upended many marketers’ SEO efforts. Many companies saw their rank drop significantly.

But, that can’t explain the decline in overall marketing effectiveness on its own. After all, SEO is not a huge element of most co-marketing programs. The decline in the effectiveness of website design and email marketing are much more troublesome.
It suggests that not only are we still dealing with a struggling economy, but that the channel marketing marketplace has evolved and reliance on solely traditional tactics is no longer an option.

Instead, in 2012 channel marketing companies – vendors and channel partners – are going to have to work together to come up with new approaches and integrated for their B2B channel marketing efforts.

In 2012 I expect the use of social media solutions, including blog syndication and social media syndication, along with other next-generation marketing efforts such as ad re-targeting will become much more effective ways to promote your channel marketing efforts.

The challenge, of course, is to find ways to adapt your marketing culture to the new realities. You need to connect with your channel marketing partners and work with them to create new promotional efforts. Talk to them directly, and find out what is really important to them and how they want to interact with you. Then, make sure you tailor your efforts to their needs, instead of relying on what worked in the past, but is no longer effective in today’s B2B business climate.