Channel Enablement Channel Partner Marketing Data + Insights

The Latest Thinking on Partner Marketing and How to Enable Partners for Success

As a leading channel technology company and services provider, Ansira has a unique method for driving B2B and B2C incentives, motivation, and loyalty. Our approach is to help clients realize a connected marketplace by uniting their distributed ecosystem, and ultimately driving increased demand and sales for their business.

For more than 20 years I have served partner ecosystems in a variety of capacities and roles from operations to product tech to sales, and recently joined a partner marketing panel at Baptie’s Channel Focus Virtual to share my expertise. Below, I’ll delve into some of the key areas of focus within partner marketing today and offer perspectives and best practices to support the marketing efforts of your partners.

Training and Enablement

Ensuring proper training is typically a major point of emphasis during the partner onboarding process. However, it’s surprising how many vendors lack focus when it comes to ongoing enablement as part of their partner programs.

To address this issue, start by making sure you are evaluating the enablement journey across your partner ecosystem and have the appropriate tools and resources in place. There are many partner relationship management (PRM) solutions that do a great job of digitally facilitating training during the onboarding process but fail to support ongoing enablement for partners. To bridge the gap, we recommend using one of several learning management system (LMS) solutions available in the market that can easily integrate with your existing PRM solution to support the continuation of partner enablement following the onboarding stage.

Once a system is in place, you can seamlessly provide training modules around effective marketing campaigns. Modules could include training on things like product features, value propositions, target audience identification, marketing best practices, and use of marketing automation platforms.

Digital Health Assessment

Another valuable partner tool is a digital marketing health assessment program. This type of program will help clarify how to best support your partners and can be enabled during the onboarding process or anytime thereafter.

Adopting this program allows you to assess the marketing maturity of your partner ecosystem by evaluating various aspects of their current marketing capabilities and performance. The outcome of the process will uncover the specific needs of your partners so your team can make appropriate recommendations and offer additional support in areas needing improvement. We also recommend reassessing partners on a regular basis to reinforce the implementation of recommendations that came out of the assessment.

Co-Marketing Campaigns and Content

Once partners are trained and you have a clear picture of how to support them, the next step is to create co-marketing opportunities and content. Develop co-marketing campaigns that enable partners to leverage your brand’s resources, assets, and expertise while also tailoring messaging and content to their specific audience segments.

From there, make it accessible and turnkey by offering a library of pre-approved marketing content, such as whitepapers, case studies, blog posts, and social media assets, that can easily be syndicated and customized for their own marketing efforts. Allowing customization by partners, or even internal stakeholders like partner account managers, will give them the freedom to develop their unique offerings and value propositions to best leverage your product or solution.

Allowing partners options in this area is also critical. The ability for partners to download and execute through a marketing automation solution or even purchase marketing services support through a marketplace to fill a resource gap, should be part of your partner marketing support capabilities.

Lead Generation Support

When it comes to lead generation, it’s important to support your partners with tools to capture, manage, and use leads. Some examples include co-branded demand generation campaigns, lead sharing programs, and access to qualified leads from centralized lead generation efforts.

Since lead generation support needs can vary from partner to partner or even campaign to campaign, it’s important to collaborate with partners to better understand their particular need state before making assumptions. Whether it’s building lists from scratch, list augmentation, or facilitating the lead qualification process in general, being aligned with and addressing partner needs individually is essential.

Regardless of the industry or types of partners you have, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to partner marketing. Establishing collaborative relationships based on achieving mutual profitability is what will best inform your partner marketing practices and ultimately drive growth. If you’d like to learn more about creating or improving your partner marketing program, reach out to our team of experts. To learn more about channel partner marketing in general, check out our recent channel partner marketing article or other related content.

By Karlyn Bentley

Karlyn Bentley has been supporting channel partner marketing clients at Ansira for over 20 years. In that time, she has served in different roles across the company including in channel program operations, channel partner marketing product development, and sales and client account management now as SVP, Client Partnership. These experiences give Karlyn a unique perspective to not only help our clients, but also peers serving clients with a distributed sales model and beyond.