The days of marketing for marketing’s sake are long over. Today it’s about quantifying how well we’re investing our marketing dollars and quickly making adjustments to maximize that investment. So where does channel marketing fall within this new regime?
Too often, channel marketing efforts are overshadowed by content and direct marketing initiatives. One reason channel marketing sometimes takes a back seat is that it’s hard to prove ROI in a process that has so many variables and layers.
Let’s look at a typical approach.
Three specific problems:
All of this adds up to frustration for vendors and partners alike. We need a new strategy.
I advise a phased, agile method to implementing channel projects, instead of a conventional approach that demands a complete plan before partners can dig in. Let’s look at how an implementation might go using both approaches.
Agile implementations enable a program to kick-off swiftly — within just 60 or 90 days of signing a contract — based on the beginnings of a rudimentary plan, as opposed to waiting for the complete design of the entire project.
By executing the foundation of a plan while still working out the particulars of subsequent steps, you’re generating value faster and beginning to show ROI even before the plan is fully finalized.
The other advantage of launching this way is that tweaks and adjustments can be made as the plan evolves to optimize engagement. This responsive approach means a quick start to generating demand, value and data, with the probability of measurable results after just a few months. By proving the initiative’s worth quickly, partners and management teams become more invested in the outcome.
The Measuring Stick
The most important part of running a channel marketing campaign is, of course, measurement. To accurately capture ROI, channel pros should use brand control, lead generation, sales conversion and work as KPIs. What does that mean specifically? Here are some examples:
Each of these helps partner-marketing pros gain valuable visibility into what’s happening as a result of their efforts. As discussed, accomplishing winning channel marketing programs can be challenging, and a lack of engagement and commitment from the marketing and management teams doesn’t make it any easier. By quickly producing measureable results that demonstrate a real and steady return on investment, agile approaches to channel marketing make it possible to generate value and ROI in months instead of years.
Brian Tervo is president and chief executive officer of North American operations for TIE Kinetix, a leading provider of SaaS based e-commerce and channel marketing solutions.
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November 14 2019 @ 20:57:31 UTC