While the lion’s share of pressure to generate sales typically falls to the channel partners, these businesses sometimes don’t have the right tools, time, and staffing to actively and effectively promote the supplier’s products. The typical channel partner manages between five and thirteen vendors at any given time, all fighting for the partner’s limited resources.
What steps should you be taking to help your partners when it comes to effectively marketing your products? You need to start by developing a stellar marketing campaign. Then you must work to get your channel partners on board with your great new campaign. But it doesn’t stop there! You have to continually improve the campaign over time, so that what you end up with is even better than what you started with.
Developing a Smart Marketing Campaign
Your primary goal as the supplier is to make it easier to close the deals. This means supporting your partners’ efforts when it comes to sales. Your resources can be invaluable for creating content, materials, and other elements of a strong campaign that your channel partners can use to sell your products and services. There are many things you can create to do this:
- A well-designed website with solid content
- Special offers and promotions
Notice that all of these can be distributed across various channels: both online and in physical representation. It’s essential to employ a digital marketing strategy to work in concert with your other promotions (such as brochures and live events). Long-term success depends on marketing across these channels. The silos that exist in your sales and marketing departments need to be merged. No longer is it acceptable to have one team working on printed materials, another focusing on TV advertisements, and a separate team working on your digital or online marketing. The barriers must come down. Merge this data and allow your teams to work together in support of your partners.
Getting Partners to Buy Into Your Campaigns
This really means that you have to start marketing your marketing! It’s a marketing process to get channel partners to embrace the campaign you’ve developed so that in turn they can market your wares to the public. The closer you can align your marketing strategies with their marketing and sales strategies, the better. Make it as easy as possible for them to use your campaign, and be prepared to actively embrace and promote their campaigns, as well. This involves making it easy to adapt your campaigns by delivering simple, straightforward strategies.
Improving Your Campaigns Over Time
Here’s where good metrics come in. As trends build and wane, suppliers have to be able to collect and accurately analyze the data. Partners should be given access to all of the metrics that are relevant to the campaigns they’re working on. Track how your campaigns are being used, as well as how those campaigns are delivering value, both to your partner and to your own business. Make adjustments where necessary — if one metric or another isn’t performing as well as it should, address the issues promptly so that your partners know they can depend on you for support. It is, after all, a partnership and partnerships are dependent on trust that the other party will do their best.