Its late on Sunday afternoon and for most of the day my wife and I have been scrubbing, sweeping, mopping and washing trying to get our house somewhat clean. It’s a great feeling to have a clean house but we look around and know that by the weekend the place will be a wreck. With two young children, two shedding dogs and both of us having busy careers, house chores tend to slip down our daily priority list. It’s not mission critical in our daily lives.
While there are a lot of similarities in building partner channels around the world, there are some important regional differences to consider to achieve success. During a recent episode of Office Hours with Mike and Peter, we spoke with Marcelo Vidigal Monteiro de Barros, CEO of SalesImpact!, a marketing agency based in São Paulo, Brazil.
In my post, Channel Managers: What’s In It For Them?, I suggested using incentives to try and capture the interest and focus of channel managers to drive partner engagement in channel marketing programs. After all, many channel partners rely on their channel managers to help them figure out what to focus on. So, if you incentivize the channel manager to get the partner to focus on marketing you should see an improvement in partner engagement.
Based on several recent discussions with channel professionals, I’m changing my suggestion to a recommendation. Channel manager incentives are no longer optional for driving channel marketing success. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say it’s risky to start any kind of channel marketing program without including some sort of incentives for channel managers. Incentives can also be vital to stimulating activity during those times of year when it doesn’t come naturally.
Channel partners have long sales cycles, which often can stretch out as far as 18 months before a sale is consummated. Content marketing can be a powerful sales and conversion driver. Find out how this fast-growing area of digital marketing can rev up your partner sales engine.
What is custom content marketing?
Content marketing is a concept wherein a company publishes any form of content (whether it be a blog post, white paper, infographic, etc.) in order to engage with existing customers and to showcase expertise to new customers.
In our last post, I wrote about how the success of channel marketing programs relies heavily on your channel partners’ ability to successfully promote the great content and offers you put in their hands. Without a solid, well-maintained marketing database and strong social media presence and practices, your partners’ offers will generate no interest in the market.
You’ve put a lot of work into creating amazing marketing content that can be used by
Except no one fills out the landing page forms. No one downloads the eBook or whitepaper that you’ve put so much thought into. All that work, and little to show for it.
Unfortunately, this is an all too frequent occurrence in channel marketing. The success of a campaign hinges on each channel partners' ability to promote the content or offer to an interested audience. This is the single biggest risk in channel marketing.
Whether you have school-age children or not, there’s a school and holiday calendar that everyone follows that affects when people have their focus on work. This calendar impacts you, your channel partners, and customers. Rather than fight the calendar, I recommend being aware of the cycle we all follow so you can make the most of the time for you and your partners.
Here’s my take on when things happen and when they don’t:
Many companies who seek to increase the revenue contribution by channel partners think that adding new partners will bring new revenue. This may work in some situations, but before you rush out and recruit a new group of partners, consider whether you’re getting the most out of your current channel partner relationships.
We write something new about channel marketing every week. Like any blog, some posts and topics are more popular with readers than others.
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We’ve all been there. You dial into your phone, cable, credit card or other 800-number and you’re asked to enter your card or account number, presumably so that when you eventually speak to a human, they’ll know who you are and be able to quickly provide assistance.
But things rarely work out that way. The first questions that the customer service representative usually ask is who they’re speaking with and if you can provide your account number. As an existing customer of that company, it’s insulting.
Your channel partners have the same expectation when they interact with your staff and your partner tools.