Channel Programs Need Launching
Channel Programs Need Launching

This is one of those eat your own dog food things. You know marketing works, which is why you create marketing programs for your channel partners to pick up. But getting adoption requires channel partners to get excited about your programs. You have to market your marketing.

But a more typical situation is that a company will put a lot of time and money into marketing programs that their partners can use, and then put little thought and/or budget into promoting the program.

This happens time and time again, and can be frustrating for any company trying to make the most out of their channel marketing relationship. After all, what’s the point in creating a great marketing program if it’s going to be dormant and not help drive sales?

The problem that most companies seem to have is that they don’t realize how much time and resources they need not only to make their partners aware of their marketing programs, but also to actively use them.

For the most part, companies underestimate the amount of work they are going to have to put into getting their partners to pick up their joint marketing programs. Because of this, they don’t allocate enough money to marketing the materials themselves.

In other words, their funding for joint marketing is out of whack.

At a recent conference, Sirius Decisions analyst Laz Gonzalez talked about their recommended allocation of partner support dollars being 28% going into marketing programs that partners can use, and 18% going into promotion to make the partners aware of the program.

That seems about right to me. This means that a full 46 percent of your budget to support your channel partnership should go into the creation of joint marketing materials and bringing awareness of the programs themselves.

Most companies at this point don’t put anywhere near that much money into their joint marketing programs, but that needs to change. Otherwise, the money you do invest in joint marketing will be wasted, because your channel partners will not be either aware of the joint marketing or motivated to use it.

Another consideration should be the amount of time you devote to getting your partners to get on board with the joint marketing effort. You take the time to train them about your product line – but do you also take the time to train them in how to implement your joint marketing programs?

Companies should have separate training sessions dedicated to teaching their partners how to use their joint marketing efforts. And, they should offer their partners incentives to actually put that training into practice.