Business-to-business (B2B) organizations have been investing in channel marketing programs for some time. Whether they are responding to the call from channel partners or simply recognizing the need for new technology and new solutions to drive channel sales, channel-based businesses are giving their time, energy and money to partner marketing. This includes an array of channel programs and advanced technology to support partners across the channels sales lifecycle.

Now, the time has come to demonstrate return on these investments.

Of course, this is much easier said than done, which is why Zift has always been focused on enhancing visibility and analytics to our customers and end-users. We know that measurement is essential. You must have the ability to see and share what’s working – and recognize what’s not to make adjustments and avoid wasting valuable resources.

Digging Into Partner Data to Determine ROCI

Most channel professionals can calculate Return on Channel Investment (ROCI) at a high level, such as their annual channel revenue. However, digging through the mountain of available partner data to determine ROCI at the more granular channel program level is another story entirely. But that’s what leadership is demanding. They want to see exactly how investments in their channel partners and supporting channel programs are panning out.

B2B channel marketing professionals are going to have to step up and articulate exactly how their partner investments are paying off in order to get buy-in to purchase new solutions, launch new campaigns or continue investing in specific partners and channel programs. Forrester Analyst Tim Harmon dives into the ROCI conundrum and lays out a clear plan for determining and articulating ROCI in his report, Realizing Return on Channel Investments: Create a System of Insight to Unravel Program Dependency Chains. (Zift is currently offering the report as a complimentary download.)

Key points Tim discusses in the report include:

  • The corporate progression of accountability (the call to justify, better gauge and allocated investments) on the channel’s function
  • Why calculating gross ROCI is no longer enough
  • The ROCI “black box” – a collection of channel programs that constitute the channel engine, including certification, incentive programs, through-channel marketing, opportunity management and more
  • How channel programs are linked as dependency chains and develop a system of insight to unravel them

I encourage you to get the report, and then let us know in the comments section if you’re feeling under the gun to measure and report on ROCI – and what you’re doing to justify channel investments.