Channel Chatter welcomes Channel Marketing Expert, Mike Gallagher as a guest contributor. 

The marketing teams inside of partner organizations do it all.  From creating the brand strategy to getting the “chicken or fish” plate count correct for the next customer event.  The small-but-mighty marketing teams in partner organizations aren’t measured on how productive they are each day. They need to get-it-done every hour.  Minutes count.

The marketing teams in partner organizations justifiably earn their reputations for wearing “big shoes” – it takes a special person who can juggle so much.  The CEO wants to post a new opinion piece to his social media network this afternoon, not next week. The VP of Sales’ numbers are soft for the quarter, so she is pushing on marketing for more leads.  One venPartner Marketing Big Shoesdor just changed their MDF claims process leading to every submission being rejected.   Speaking of vendors, multiply keeping up with the MDF rules by five vendors.  Maybe more.  Yep, those are big shoes indeed.

In most partner organizations, there aren’t many marketing employees wearing those big shoes. In a recent survey, 60% of partners had 5 or fewer marketing employees.   Stepping back further, 75% had 10 or fewer marketing employees.  These teams need to support their own partner organization, and at the same time, engaged with 5, 10, even 20 different vendors.

Vendors need to take heed.  Sitting in a typical vendor organization, it is natural to design marketing programs centered on driving your brand.   You are measured on driving your marketing KPIs and growing partner leads and pipeline for your products or services.  But when designing those marketing programs or writing those MDF policies, it is wise for the vendor to spend some meaningful time standing inside of those mighty big shoes of their partners.  The world suddenly looks very different.

Join me for a short video for more lessons learned. Who knows, maybe a few partners will entertain a “bring your vendor to work day.”   And vendors can try their partner’s shoes on for size.

Watch more episodes of Channel Visions at