Alright, I admit it: I’m a millennial. An avocado-on-toast, phone-toting, hashtag-using millennial. (#JustMillennialThings) I’ll likely never fully understand the joy of flipping a record onto the player and letting the needle drop, not when Spotify and my phone’s music library are so convenient. But one of my fondest memories is going through a collection of my dad’s old college records with him and talking about the music he listened to back in the day. We had a surprising amount in common — The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Elton John were both in his collection and on my phone. Some artists are classics, and their messages carry on.
So when our Essential Channel Visions eBook came out, I was reminded of that big cardboard box of classics. Just like those musicians, our channel stars — or, I could say, channel rock stars — have some seriously useful messages that can be applied no matter where you are in your channel lifecycle. Whether you’ve got a small partner base and a scrappy program just getting started or a huge, complex program with tons of bells and whistles, you’ll find a message worth remembering and adding to your own collection of channel knowledge.
Let’s go through a few highlights from the eBook. It’ll be like listening to a new album and recognizing that the song you’re listening to is going to be one of your favorites.
Catchy Chorus: Allowing for Different Avenues for Success
Jonathan White, veteran Channel Marketing expert, has seen a lot of change in his years in the channel. Today, there’s a much more symbiotic relationship between suppliers and their partners, as well as a more proactive, level playing field through the use of technology.
Jonathan gives a key piece of advice that’s useful for suppliers and partners: There isn’t one “silver bullet” for success. Different partners will excel at different marketing activities. Successful partners are usually comfortable with multiple marketing tactics, and they’re the ones driving engagement. Keeping multiple marketing components in play for different partners and a solid strategy that unites every asset involved can help drive success.
Sweet Guitar Solo: Marketing To and Through Partners
Marketing to partners is just as important as marketing through them. Partner adoption can cause snags for even the most prepared platforms, but suppliers can tackle this head-on by “prescriptively working with partners to really show them what’s in it for them to market to them as much as through them.”
This is why, channel analyst and Zift’s own Chief Strategy Officer Laz Gonzalez argues, concierge programs are a good solution. Marketing concierge reaches out to partners and keeps marketing activities going prescriptively. Laz also drops this rocking statistic: programs with a marketing concierge “perform 80% higher than programs that don’t.”
Bridge: Best Practices for Successful Partners
Let’s finish on a crowd pleaser: Best practices from Channel Maven Consulting CEO Heather K. Margolis. Make sure your partner communications are beneficial to you both: if it doesn’t include something that helps partners build their business, rephrase or scrap it.
Social media is a tool that can’t be counted out for partners, either. Partners making themselves available online for end users to find before reaching out is crucial. Building up a presence makes a difference. “In order to be successful, it’s really important for partners to have a presence online specifically to nurture connections.”
Let us know your thoughts — what do you think of our channel rock stars? Keep the beat going in the comments below, and go check out the eBook itself.