How Mergers Changed Channel Programs
How Mergers Changed Channel Programs

Innovation and adaptation are the two true keywords you need to focus on when it comes to B2B channel marketing. If you can innovate, you can continue to get maximum value from your channels; if you can adapt, you can make sure that your company is positioned to benefit from new technological advances.

This was made clear recently when Channel Partners created a conference for the leaders of the companies involved in the largest megamergers of the last 18 months.

They took the time to ask the people who spearheaded the the $22 billion merger of Qwest Communications and CenturyLink, the Level 3 Communications acquisition of Global Crossing Ltd., the Windstream Corp. purchase of PAETEC, and MegaPath’s merger with Covad Communications about how they handled their new channel marketing initiatives.

All agreed that post-merger, they had to change the way their channels interacted with each other and make sure they were as streamlined and cost effective as possible.

They all agreed that the core problems they encountered were that the people in the organizations did not understand the importance of indirect channels, and that there was an over-reliance on outdated channel marketing tactics.

What’s interesting is that all of these organizations ended up making the same basic changes to their channel marketing efforts:

  • They got their teams together, stressed the importance of the indirect channels, and created advisory boards to work with existing employees to educate them about how to take advantage of the revenue potential of the indirect channels.
  • They created smart phone apps that allowed them to communicate directly and securely with their channel partners. The apps allowed them to move away from traditional email efforts and instead created a direct way for the channels to exchange information, process and place orders, and co-ordinate marketing strategies.
  • They began to move much of their channel marketing efforts away from their servers and into the cloud. Doing so not only saved money by eliminating the cost of the servers; it allowed their channel partners to exchange information with each other more efficiently in one location and allowed their channel partners to access the information they needed more quickly.

These three changes provided the companies with increased growth and a much stronger ROI on their channel marketing efforts than was occurring before the merger. More importantly, none of them were merger-specific changes. Any B2B company could make the same changes to their channel marketing efforts and reap the same types of results.