For any company who markets to citizens of the European Union, GDPR compliance presents a new set of challenges.

The European Parliament adopted The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in April 2016. GDPR has provisions that require businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of European Union (EU) citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states.

GDPR is scheduled to take effect on May 25, 2018. The penalties for non-compliance are severe. Organizations can be fined up to 4% of annual global revenue for breaching GDPR or €20 Million, whichever is greater.

GRPR affects companies of all sizes, whether they have a presence in the EU or not.

Account-Based Marketing, ContactAI, Prospecting

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.


As I sat down to relax after the day’s labor, it struck me that my domestic situation and chores weren’t all that different from what companies experience with their prospecting database. You start with clean data but as the marketing and sales organizations go to work the data becomes a mess. Marketing teams are constantly bringing in data from outside sources and for the most part trusting that the data is accurate. Inside salespeople are doing research from a variety of sources and in some cases even guessing at information like email addresses and phone numbers. Salespeople are finding opportunities from customer referrals and referrals from their own personal network. They enter the barest amount of information required to create an opportunity and get on with the business of selling. This is likely the situation at your company and your channel partners, too.

Channel Management, Channel Incentives

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.

Content Creation, Content Marketing

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.

Channel Marketing Automation Software

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.

Channel Marketing Automation Software

You’ve put a lot of work into creating amazing marketing content that can be used by your partners to generate interest and leads. You’ve shared the content with them through a sophisticated channel marketing automation tool that helps them co-brand and promote the content. The landing pages are published and ready to collect hot, fresh leads for your partners.

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.

Marketing Planning, Channel Engagement

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:

Channel Partners

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.