Sometimes the stars align – and they did so last week at Zift. We brought together some serious channel rock stars to discuss Automation Fusion: Blending Platforms to Drive Direct and Indirect Channel Revenue.

Zift’s Chief Strategy Officer Laz Gonzalez served as our host, welcoming and pulling insights from powerhouse panelists:

  • Maria Chien, Service Director, Channel Marketing Strategies, SiriusDecisions
  • Kevin Espinosa, Digital Experience Manager, Caterpillar, Inc.
  • David Johnson, Director of Product Marketing, Oracle/Oracle Marketing Cloud

The group quickly keyed in on the fact that having easy, organized access to prospects and customers via modern marketing automation platforms has really transformed channel marketing – but serious gaps remain. They noted that new, unique and, sometimes, blended technology is required to overcome current challenges and empower the full potential of marketing through a network of channel patterns.

Addressing Adoption Challenges

Panelists dug into the reasons why portal and program adoption remains such an ongoing problem within the channel. They shared perspectives on the critical importance of the partner experience along with best practices for mitigating adoption challenges.

While today’s technology streamlines adoption, the burden ultimately falls to people and processes to create a personalized partner experience that extols the benefits of channel programs overall. Laz emphasized that, to capture mindshare and loyalty, partners really need to be treated like leads. The group also encouraged channel marketers to deliver prescriptive guidance and be proactive with concierge services to help partners drive higher performance.

Today’s Tech Moves Marketing Forward

Leading-edge marketing automation platforms lend themselves well to solving key channel challenges. During the second half of their discussion, our panelists dove into the transformative power of today’s technology, including the power of cloud-based open platforms that integrate well with established infrastructure and systems.

Regardless of the level of user experience, new applications, software and technology solutions should work within or in tandem with the systems and tools sales teams and partners are already using, be it in an enterprise or SMB environment. Of course, new technology should be accompanied by built-in support, partner services and training to get them up and running quickly, demonstrate benefits to end users – and keep them moving forward with new solutions.

A Must-Watch

This panel provides a great opportunity to map the steps and tech you can use to address the needs of high and low-touch partners with varying marketing resources and capabilities. With real-world industry examples and best practices applicable to both the channel and the direct-side, this is a must-watch webcast for marketers.