ad1. Offer the Right Campaigns and Services — The long-term success of a managed marketing services program depends primarily on the effectiveness and value of the campaigns and services the program provides. When determining what campaigns and services to offer, channel vendors will obviously rely on their knowledge and experience regarding what marketing programs are effective for their products or services. In addition, however, channel vendors should talk to their partners to learn what kinds of marketing campaigns, services, and materials will be most valuable. Most importantly, channel vendors should monitor the results produced by all of the campaigns included in their managed services offering and adjust the mix of campaigns and services based on actual results.
2. Make It Easy To Use — Ease of use is second only to campaign effectiveness in determining the success of a managed marketing services program. Channel vendors must remember that most of their channel partners are probably working with five or six channel vendors.7 Most channel partners have only a limited amount of time to spend on marketing, and they will naturally gravitate to those channel vendors whose marketing programs are easier to use. Therefore, it’s essential for channel vendors to make it simple and easy for channel partners to access and utilize the resources provided in their marketing enablement system.
Managed marketing services include pre- packaged marketing campaigns, as well as campaign execution services. With managed marketing services, channel vendors give their partners access to complete, ready-to-execute marketing programs.
3. Don’t Neglect Non-Campaign Content — When a channel vendor launches a managed services program, there is a natural tendency to give less attention to other aspects of marketing enablement. It’s important to remember, however, that high- performing marketing enablement systems will provide support for the marketing and sales efforts of channel partners across the entire revenue cycle. Therefore, channel vendors should also make “non-campaign” content resources available via their partner portal. Non-campaign content obviously includes marketing collateral documents, but it should also include sales enablement content such as presentation slide decks, presentation scripts, and proposal templates.
4. Include Marketing Concierge Services — A robust and well-designed managed marketing services program will greatly simplify the marketing function for channel partners. However, many channel partners, particularly smaller Tier 2 and Tier 3 partners, may need additional support to run effective marketing programs on a frequent basis. Therefore, channel vendors should seriously consider including “marketing concierge” services in their marketing enablement system. Concierge services give channel partners access to marketing experts who can provide partners one-on-one advice and support regarding how to choose the most effective marketing campaigns and materials for their business.
5. Educate Your Partners — Even a robust marketing enablement system will be of little value if channel partners don’t use it. One key to increasing usage is to make sure that channel partners fully understand what marketing resources and services are available and how to access and effectively use those resources. Therefore, a comprehensive “partner onboarding” program should be an integral component of a marketing enablement system.
In conclusion, effective marketing enablement is critical to driving increased revenues from indirect sales channels. Many channel partners don’t have the time, resources, or expertise to run effective marketing programs on a regular and frequent basis. Today, a growing number of channel vendors are combining financial incentives, marketing automation technologies, and managed marketing services to create high-performing marketing enablement systems that equip their channel partners with the resources, tools, and education they need to develop and execute successful marketing programs.
The right combination of technology and consulting services will help you transform the way you support your channel partners. Can you imagine if each one of your partners sold just one more of your product or service? For free advice, download our White Paper covering this topic.