While discussing plans for the year ahead with a channel-focused tech company, their global channel marketing leader talked about how their team was incredibly focused on using their channel marketing platform as the destination for all their programs and initiatives. That’s not an uncommon goal that I hear when talking to channel marketing leaders. What was uncommon is that this leader referred to their company’s use of the platform as a key piece of their noise-reduction strategy.
As we prepare to end the year, it’s always interesting to look at the year in review and see what content on our website was most popular with channel marketers like you. Our most popular blog posts, eBooks, and webcasts of 2018 appear below.
The way brands and channel partners think about marketing together is changing. The change is being led by the modern digitally-driven buyer who does much of their research online rather than through sales engagement, as has been the case previously. Brands continue to get a ton of traffic on their websites through their own marketing as well as receiving contributions from their channel partners' efforts.. Brands collect leads but generally don't share them with channel partners as many sell direct as well as through-partners.
With mainstream awareness of blockchain-based products and services increasing thanks to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, there’s a lot of buzz about the decentralized technology but very little understanding of what it is and its potential as a disruptive force.
I have been spending some time thinking about what blockchain-based channel tools could mean for brands and their channel partners. All relationships require trust to be successful. And transactions of any kind between two parties require trust, but it’s not always easy, especially given the ups and downs of typical business relationships.
According to Mike Orcutt writing for the MIT Technology Review, “the whole point of using a blockchain is to let people—in particular, people who don’t trust one another—share valuable data in a secure, tamper proof way.”
Blockchain-based systems are potential game-changers for indirect channels. They offer the potential for transparent, trusted and accountable partnerships. But they don’t exist yet, so for now, it’s interesting to consider the possibilities.
In a recent LinkedIn post, Larry Walsh, CEO and Chief Analyst of The 2112 Group shared his perspective that brands aren’t responsible for transforming their partners’ businesses. As the tech industry shifts its delivery of solutions to the cloud, and as customers shift their buying preferences from purchases (capital expenses) to subscriptions (operating expenses) channel partners must evolve their sales processes, compensation, and solution delivery models to suit the needs of modern buyers. Not making these changes will cause partners to lose relevance in the market and they’re likely to shrink rather than grow their customer base.
Walsh suggests that there is a role for brands to play, but it’s different than taking responsibility.
After more than a year of writing and editing, we’re excited to announce that our book, Marketing Multiplied: A real-world guide to Channel Marketing for beginners, practitioners, and executives, will be available in early 2018.
At Averetek, we believe in a marketing approach centered on teaching. We try to share what we know with our clients, prospects, and partners every day. We do this through conversations, emails, blog articles, and eBooks. But all that teaching content comes in small parts. No single piece of content laid out a complete framework for how best to deliver channel marketing, not one that we had created, and nothing from other sources.
We searched Amazon to see what books already exist on the topic of channel marketing and there were none. Knowing that no one goes to school for channel marketing (and we have yet to find a college course that contains this subject) and seeing how hard channel professionals work to figure out how to be successful, we saw an opportunity.
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.
Life is much simpler (at least in some ways) when you’re on the making money side of the business (sales) rather than the spending money side of the business (marketing). The word that sends a shiver down the spine of every marketer is “forecast”, as in “Did you enter your marketing expense forecast? Did you hit your forecast? Why did you miss your forecast?”
Like others, I’ve lost sleep over whether I was going to make my forecast or not.