Spread the love

I learned a new word this week: Infodemic. It’s officially defined as, “An excessive amount of information concerning a problem such that the solution is made more difficult.” If I were to put my own spin on it, I would say, “An infodemic is a widespread flow of information, some of it right, some of it not so right. And that glut of info can actually stand in the way of real, appropriate action.” How do we cut through all of the noise and effectively act? How do B2B channel organizations and programs do their best to keep business going as usual in such a tumultuous time? 

THE WHYS & HOWS OF PARTNER ENGAGEMENT DURING A CRISIS

Channel expert Laz Gonzalez’s recent blog, No Handshakes, Please! Coronavirus’ Impact on B2B Channel Leaders, did an excellent job explaining why now is the time to invest in the channel and partner engagement. As Director of Channel Enablement here at Zift, I want to take a few minutes to dig into how you can drive partner engagement at any time, but especially during any crisis that creates an infodemic. 

Laz made the point that it’s vital to avoid losing partner mindshare, especially now when it is so easy for channel partners to be distracted. To-Partner communications are a must-have. And B2B brands and suppliers should be segmenting their partners in order to optimize and strengthen those messages and connections. Once you have segmented partners, simply follow the 3 Cs of To-Partner Comms to grab and keep partner attention amidst the current media and communications chaos: Clear, Concise & Cadence. 

  • CLEAR: Partner communications must be targeted, relevant, and action-oriented to stand out in the midst of so much information. This is particularly important right now when partners are receiving tons of messaging around their business needs in the face of the coronavirus. Channel leaders need to talk to their partners about the things that matter most to the partner and their business. Everything else is just noise that gets ignored – and repeated noise leads to avoidance, even when the message IS relevant.
  • CONCISE: Keep your messages short and get to the point. Answer the partner questions of “Why should I care?” and “What’s in it for me?” quickly. And always provide a strong Call to Action (CTA). Tell partners exactly what you want them to do next, such as click on a link to their ZiftONE Partner Portal.
  • CADENCE: Ideally, channel brands and suppliers should communicate with their partners at least two times per month. Again, messages should be targeted, to the point, and relevant to the audience – think Partner Groups! Don’t just tell them what’s going on now (NEW Release Notes, Campaigns, Promotions, Training or Certification Courses). Tell them what’s coming up – well enough in advance that they can plan for it. Give them educational-based information and/or best practices to help them be more successful overall. Or, feature a partner as a Channel Spotlight/Success Story to get the other Partners motivated and engaged.

It’s not just partners that are easily distracted. Everyone is feeling a little overwhelmed and scattered. Stay organized by creating and sticking to a communications calendar. It doesn’t matter if you use a Google or Excel Sheet, Smartsheet, Trello Board, etc. Map it out and track it in the way that makes the most sense to you and your partners.

In summary, To-Partner communications should follow the 3 Cs and keep messages:

  1.       Clear and relevant
  2.       Concise with a strong call to action
  3.       In a regular Cadence

 

Let us know what you’re doing to connect with your partners in the comments section below.