Announcing the Channel Scorecard, a Tool to Benchmark Programs

Best Practices, Channel Strategy

One of the themes we discuss in Marketing Multiplied: A real-world guide to Channel Marketing for beginners, practitioners, and executives is that many of us in the channel are somewhat unsure of whether we’re performing well. After all, like many careers, there’s no manual that comes with the job.

In discussing this challenge with some channel peers, we came up with the idea for a scorecard tool that channel professionals could use to self-assess their efforts across a series of categories. The premise is simple enough: answer a few questions, figure out where you stand, and get some advice about how to get to the next level.

3 Quick Tips for Segmenting Channel Partners

Best Practices, Marketing Segmentation

Channel partners are easily segmented by partner program tier, geography, and specialty. This is very common in partner programs, but it's not as useful for channel marketers who are trying to plan a new program, tackle a product launch, or drive demand for another big initiative.

When it comes to marketing, there are some non-traditional segments that I've found to be quite useful.

Here are three quick tips to help you segment your channel partners as you plan new channel marketing programs or platforms.

A Simple Formula for Measuring Channel Engagement

Best Practices, Channel Metrics

I’ve written previously about various ways to measure channel marketing programs:

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.

Top 3 Videos that will Captivate Your Channel Partners

Best Practices, Partner Communication

According to Smart Insights, simply stating that a piece of content is a video appears to increase engagement across all channels.

Think about that for a moment. Just “stating” in the subject line that a piece of content is a video increases engagement. It’s no mystery then why 71% of companies with successful video marketing strategies plan to increase their video marketing budgets.

Videos lead to engagement – and ultimately sales - more than 50% of the time.

Video can be used in customer marketing, to-partner communications, and through-partner marketing, too.

The Simple Formula for Blogging in the Channel

Channel Marketing, Best Practices

Whether you are creating blog content for your to-partner communications or for your partners to customize and use in their own blogs, it can be challenging to come up with relevant topics to write about.

When faced with the challenge of developing ideas and storylines, it's easy to push blogging to the back burner. I've been there, too, but along the way I found a method that made blogging easier, and even a bit enjoyable.

Having spent the last year and a half blogging for Averetek, I’ve developed a very simple formula for generating ideas for blog content that I think can be applied to to-partner and through-partner channel marketing scenarios.

What Risks Will You Take?

Best Practices, Marketing Planning

As you map out your plans for this year, you’re making decisions about allocating the time and resources of your team. You’re taking the time to connect your tactical plan to your company’s goals to ensure there’s alignment and you’re doing your part to drive measurable results. You want to be dependable and accountable, someone that the company can count on to deliver.

There’s probably one question you’re not asking yourself – What risks will I take?

As you make your plans, you’re constantly assessing the risk associated with your tactics. Will this work? Will it produce the anticipated results? How can I mitigate the risk and guarantee success?

Dealing with Post-Partner Conference Anxiety

Best Practices, Partner Communication

Another year, another partner conference. Your executives delivered compelling keynote presentations. They emphasized how important channel partners are to the success of your company and how their teams are going to work tirelessly to make sure you’re all successful together. You and your team shared details on the new marketing programs and initiatives you’re rolling out for your partners, and the information was well received.

And now you’re back in the office. And the anxiety sets in.

Will the energy that your channel partners displayed at your partner conference carry over now that they are back in their offices? Will they be chomping at the bit to get going on your new marketing programs?

Data Analysis Tips from the State of Inbound Channel Marketing

Channel Marketing, Best Practices, Channel Metrics

When I joined Averetek in 2014, it was around the same time that Marketo announced the Marketo Institute, their initiative to take the data from all of the global users of the Marketo marketing automation platform and share it with the world to enable marketers to gain insights and understand best practices.

The move by Marketo inspired the Averetek team to develop our report, the State of Channel Marketing 2015. Our report analyzed the performance of more than 43,000 channel partner organizations and more than 158,000 users executing a variety of marketing tactics on our marketing automation platform in more than 150 countries.

This year, we’ve continued our work by developing the State of Inbound Channel Marketing 2016. The latest dataset was even bigger than last year with more than 59,000 channel partner organizations with 239,000 users utilizing the Averetek platform in 164 countries.

The process of going from tens of thousands of rows of data to a report with fourteen charts and a list of insights is time-consuming and complicated, but some tricks to pulling the data together can be used in your day to day work.