To increase the frequency and boost the effectiveness of their partners’ marketing activities, a growing number of channel vendors are now adding managed marketing services to their marketing enablement systems. Managed marketing services typically include pre-packaged marketing campaigns, as well as campaign execution services (production, fulfillment, etc.). With managed marketing services, channel vendors give their partners access to a “storefront” of complete, ready-to-execute marketing programs.
To increase the frequency and the effectiveness of channel partner marketing, a growing number of channel vendors are adding managed marketing services to their marketing enablement systems.
When channel partners want to run a particular marketing campaign, they simply “order” it via an intuitive interface that mimics the shopping experience provided by consumer websites like Amazon.com. Once ordered, the channel vendor (or, more likely, the vendor’s marketing enablement solution partner) executes the campaign, making it completely turnkey for channel partners. The campaigns made available to channel partners are typically pre-approved for the channel vendor’s MDF program, so channel partners don’t need to pay for the campaign and then seek reimbursement. Instead, the channel vendor pays any external service providers directly.
Channel vendors that offer managed marketing services typically work with a marketing services firm that provides both the partner marketing automation technology platform and the marketing execution services. Most channel vendors find that outsourcing the day-to-day management and operation of a managed marketing services program is more effective and less costly than managing the program using internal resources. In some cases, the managed services offering will include marketing campaigns provided by several marketing services firms. Regardless of who actually provides the services, channel partners have access to what is essentially a “marketplace” of pre-approved, ready-to-execute marketing campaigns.
Providing managed marketing services to a network of channel partners adds a significant layer of complexity to a channel vendor’s marketing enablement efforts. When a channel vendor adds managed marketing services, it becomes an active participant in the marketing efforts of its channel partners, and this places new demands on the vendor’s channel management operations.
To develop a successful managed marketing services program, we recommend that channel vendors follow five core best practices.