Problem 2: Your partners lack the skill set and/or desire to implement marketing campaigns. Most partners do not have a full-time or even a part-time marketing person in-house. So what happens the first time they hit a snag trying to work with your materials? They get frustrated. They disengage, and your campaign goes to the bottom of their priority list, never to be seen again.
To you and me, things like managing email platforms, uploading lists and creating landing pages may be second nature. But these activities force your partners into a totally foreign world. So even if you provide a simple, step-by-step process on how to do it, they feel overwhelmed.
Solution: Provide implementation help. This can be from your internal team, or you can refer partners to a preferred provider list of agencies or contractors that you’ve vetted, because there are some bad marketers out there angling for your partners’ business.
Some companies offer concierge marketing services based on reaching various achievement levels, which I think is an excellent idea. You can also allow partners to apply MDF to campaign execution. Tired of market development funds (MDF) going to alcohol-laden events with little ROI? Add “marketing campaign execution” to the list of pre-approved MDF activities. Take it one step further, and give preference to this option.
No matter what the solution, make sure you have a done-for-you plan available. This will vastly reduce the friction of getting your marketing campaigns executed.
Problem 3: Your portals are clunky and difficult to navigate. As you know, most channel partners are sales people at heart, which usually means they have exactly zero patience. This is especially true when it comes to learning new platforms or systems. If your portal isn’t super user friendly and easy to navigate, your partners will immediately disengage. You have to make this process as simple and frictionless as possible.
Solution: Invest in through-channel marketing software. Platforms like MindMatrix, SproutLoud and Aprimo are changing the execution of through-channel marketing campaigns. When using a platform like this, the carrier uploads all the content, and even creates a cadence for the campaigns.
The partner simply creates a profile – including logo and social media accounts – and uploads a target list. The platform then:
There are some downsides to these platforms. They can be costly, and sometimes partners don’t want to upload their prospect lists for fear customers will be poached. But I think these platforms represent the future of through-channel marketing because they make it so easy for the partner to engage.
I do want to applaud the many carriers who have embraced the idea of providing through-channel marketing support to partners. You are on the forefront of this industry, and your vision is spot on.
Those companies who take these ideas to heart and implement truly frictionless, hands-free, through-channel marketing campaigns will build the most loyal partner bases, and in turn, enjoy the most robust sales results in the channel.
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December 14 2018 @ 18:50:05 UTC