Posted By: Mike Moore, Averetek /
I’ve written previously about various ways to measure channel marketing programs:
- In the post The Challenge of Channel Metrics, part 2, I offered advice for establishing a single KPI for your channel marketing efforts.
- The post Video Answer: Channel Marketing Scorecard Metrics presents a scorecard with 28 suggested metrics.
In this post, I’ll offer yet another model, for those who have a need not satisfied by the other suggestions. There are three metrics in this model – Reach, Frequency, and Yield.
I first learned of the Reach, Frequency, and Yield model while at Microsoft, where we used these measures to scorecard reseller partners and their ability to sell volume licensing programs in the software business. The model was effective in helping to take a large group of partners, analyze their historical performance, segment them into groups, and then develop growth plans for each segment. All partners are not equal, and this model helps identify strengths, weaknesses, and specific areas of improvement.
To understand how Reach, Frequency, and Yield can be used to measure and improve channel partner engagement, I’ll start by defining each metric. For the sake of the explanation, let’s assume that you’ve launched a through-partner marketing program, and you’re putting together the scorecard that you’ll share with your regions and your executives.
- Reach refers to how many partners are participating in your program. Reach is always relative. If you have 100 partners participating in your program out of 100 total partners in your ecosystem, that’s quite an achievement. If you have 100 participants out of a universe of 10,000 partners, you have a lot of work to do.
- To calculate this metric, divide the number of participating partners by the number of partners who are eligible to participate in your program based on whatever program criteria you’ve established. The result of this calculation should be expressed as a percentage.
- Example: 234 out of 1,000 partner organizations are participating in the program. The reach is 23.4%.
- You can use this metric to set goals for your channel programs and to monitor your engagement during the lifespan of your program.
I’m often asked what percentage of partners brands should expect to see participating in a program. There’s no standard answer to this question. The expectations are unique to each channel. If there is no benchmark from a past program that you can use, I’d recommend setting an arbitrary goal that you can adjust later.
You may also set targets by program tier. For example, you might create a program and expect to see 100% of your top tier partners participate. You may even require their participation. For your tier two and tier three partners, you may choose a percentage of the population to target.
- Frequency indicates how often your partners are participating in your program, assuming there is a recurring component of your program.
- For example, if you’ve asked partners to send out a monthly email campaign to drive leads, how many partners have been active each month? With 12-months in a year, how many partners are active in 1 of 12 months, 2 of 12 months, 3 of 12 months, etc.?
- The data table for this metric would likely show what percentage of your partners sit in each bucket (# of months). Or perhaps you set your target by saying you want to have at least 50% of partners participating at least 6 out of every 12-months, or something to that effect.
- Once you know how many partners are active in how many months, you can use this measure to identify ways to get partners to become more active. What would it take for partners who are active in 2 months to become active in 4 months? You can build a specific plan to target this change and measure accordingly.
- Yield is defined as the output of the channel partner activities.
- If the intent of your program is lead generation, how many leads are being produced, per partner organization? This average yield metric can be used to set targets for the entire population, for specific segments, or for individual partners.
- Example: the average partner may be generating 25 leads per month in the program. If you have a group of partners who are only averaging 5 leads per month, what resources or programs can you offer them to help grow their yield?
Putting the Pieces Together
Reach, Frequency, and Yield are useful individually to evaluate program engagement, but they can become a comprehensive model when combined.
- Reach – get partners to participate in the program. The more partners involved, the better off things will be.
- Frequency – once they’re participating, get them to participate more often. Doing more of anything that’s productive can only net positive results.
- Yield – now that the partners are participating, focus on maximizing the output of their activities. Yield should focus on the quantity and quality of the output.
For your next channel program, or for your overall channel marketing plans this year, consider Reach, Frequency, and Yield as your scorecard metrics. This simple, yet effective model can help bring focus and clarity to measuring and improving your efforts.