Picking the Right Partner
Picking the Right Partner

The channel partnership landscape is changing fast. This was highlighted in a blog post I stumbled upon the other day that talked about the latest IDC report on channel marketing trends.

IDC predicts that there will be a turnover of 25,000 to 50,000 infrastructure partners by the end of 2013. That represents a great sea change in the marketplace – where there will be some big winners and some big losers over the course of the next 18 months.

This can be attributed to the emergence of social media, the cloud, mobile devices, and big data – all things that were not much of a concern just two or three years ago. What this means is that your business landscape, and how you deal with channel partners, is going to change drastically over the next couple of years.

But, which companies will survive? How can a company prepare for this huge change in channel marketing relationships? The answer is that the companies with the best and most accurate analytics will be the ones that thrive. Those that don’t have access to insightful analytics will have problems in the marketplace.

As the new trends emerge, companies will have to be able to provide accurate data that shows a strong positive ROI coming out of the channel partnership. This cannot be done without analytics.

Companies will also have to reposition their goals to be more in line with the changing landscape, so that they deliver greater value to their channel partners. The best way to accomplish this is to use analytics to figure out which programs are delivering value – and focus on them – and which programs are not performing, and move away from them.

With the right analytics, in other words, you can create and modify programs so that they directly meet your channel partner’s goals.

Finally, you need analytics that provide data on customer touch points. As the blog post says: “The importance of this cannot be overstated – it closes the loop on the lead qualification, distribution, nurturing and sales cycles enabling continuous improvement to be applied to all of those critical functions.”

Once you have access to real world analytics, you can become a much more valuable channel partner while at the same time having the data you need in order to reposition your company to adapt to the changing landscape.

Without the right analytics, you are just guessing at what you need to do and may become lost along the way.