3 Ways to Ensure Your B2B Channel Marketing Strategy Delivers Results
Channel partners and resellers can act as an extension of your marketing and sales teams, helping you grow your audience and increase sales — if your relationships are managed well. But what does a well-managed B2B channel marketing strategy look like?
The secret to channel marketing success is empowering your B2B partners to market and sell your product or service effectively. But while 88% of marketers agree that there is value in B2B partner marketing strategy, only 56% say their efforts have produced results in the last year. Clearly something isn’t working as it should.
Despite these concerns, consumption of B2B digital content has increased dramatically in recent years as more and more customers seek to educate themselves before engaging with sales teams. So there is a clear need for quality content, and marketers agree that B2B strategic partnerships can help minimize the cost and maximize the ROI of digital content. All you need to do is ensure your B2B channel marketing strategy is sound.
At TPM, we’ve found there are a few key ways to ensure the success of your partner marketing strategy — let’s dive in.
1. Give Channel Partners What They Want
Your B2B channel marketing strategy is only as good as your B2B partners make it. If they’re rejecting content you’re producing, you’re doing a whole lot of work for nothing. Remember: the partnership aspect of this strategy is vital. You must listen to your channel partners and provide the resources they need.
How to Deliver Content B2B Partners Need
1. Listen to your partners.
If they’re rejecting the partner marketing content you’re producing, ask why. Find out what they need and why what you’ve built isn’t cutting it.
2. Start with the basics.
End customers probably need data sheets, detailed product information, how-tos, and other resources to help move them along their buying journey. Your partners are the ones engaging with these customers, so make sure they’re educated about your offering and equipped with current marketing materials to answer customers’ questions.
3. Collaborate on lead generation content.
While your channel partners might not have the expertise and resources you as a vendor have at your disposal, their direct contact with end users means they may have knowledge or experience you don’t. Collaboration lets you deliver a well-rounded piece of content sure to engage prospects.
4. Get external assistance.
Executing a B2B channel marketing strategy isn’t easy. Don’t be afraid to bring in a third party marketing agency to navigate the creation and launch process in a way that satisfies all partners’ needs.
2. Build Programs That Align with Core Goals
Every B2B partner marketing strategy is slightly different, but there are some universal goals that can be applied across all types of B2B partnerships:
No matter what tactics are included in your B2B channel marketing strategy, make sure each aligns with at least one of your core goals. Be sure to set measurable KPIs so you can track performance across all your efforts.
Note: Establishing KPIs for partner campaigns isn’t easy, since tracking attribution across siloed CRM systems can be challenging.
Vendors that create Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) parameters for their digital partner marketing campaigns can ensure partner leads are given the correct attribution. Google offers a free URL builder to help create UTM links, but UTMs can still be tricky and time-consuming to manage. A digital agency can help if your team is overwhelmed.
3. Make It Easy for B2B Partners to Work with You
Don’t forget: your partners are your customers too. They likely have a lot of options and can choose between selling your offering or that of your competitors. Partners often work with many brands, products, and services, so it can be hard to get their attention — especially if your marketing processes are difficult to navigate or not channel-friendly.
Here are just a few ways to help increase the likelihood of channel partners choosing your marketing efforts:
Bonus: Revisit Strategies Often
Treating any type of B2B partner marketing as a one-and-done effort is a guaranteed way to fail. Review channel marketing strategy often to see what’s working and what needs work. Remember that partner marketing involves some unique processes that call for specialized skills — if you’re not seeing results from your initiatives, you might need expert assistance.
At TPM, we live and breathe B2B and partner marketing, and we understand the nuances and challenges involved. Contact us today to discuss your needs.