B2B Partner Marketing Strategy That Works

TPM’s Partner Marketing Playbook will help you navigate the world of channel marketing and build content and campaigns that partners will love.

Business to business (B2B) partner marketing strategies can be complicated. But they don’t have to be. TPM has built an easy-to-follow partner marketing playbook to help you navigate the partner marketing world and accelerate partner-influenced revenue.

Learn how to create relevant, partner-centric campaigns; discover how to scale co-branded campaigns across your ecosystem; and identify novel ways to encourage partners to participate and reap the rewards.

Partner Marketing Playbook

Why is a Partner Marketing Strategy Important?

In the world of B2B, partners and resellers constitute the most lucrative distribution channel to help you reach new customers. When channel partner relationships are managed correctly, partners can act as an extension of your marketing team, helping to quickly expand and grow your audience. Partner marketing is a distinct function and should not be treated the same as marketing directly to customers. Unfortunately, many vendors don’t recognize this distinction and end up delivering partner marketing campaigns that fall flat.

TPM’s Partner Marketing Playbook is packed full of tips to amp up your partner marketing strategy and deliver content and campaigns that drive real, measurable results for your business.

The Partner Marketing Playbook Contents

See what’s covered:

Partner Marketing Strategy That Works

Enabling channel partners to market and sell your product is key to success in the channel. However, while accounting for 17% of high-performers’ marketing budgets, fewer than 15% of partners actually engage in the channel partner marketing programs their vendors deliver.

To address this, CMOs report partner enablement as the top channel marketing skill they intend to enhance within their marketing organization. Since it’s on the CMO’s agenda, it might be time to refresh your existing partner marketing initiatives. Here are three B2B partner marketing strategies that work:

Give partners what they want: collaborative thought leadership
Build programs that align with the three core partner marketing goals
Make it easy for partners to work with you

Co-Branded Partner Content

A recent study found that 53% of partners viewed existing content provided by vendors to be mediocre or worse. However, 75% of partners in the same study ranked content as important.

This means partners recognize the importance of content but aren’t happy with the quality they’re receiving from their vendors. Some reasons for missing the mark include lack of quality content, a lack of understanding of channel marketing models, a lack of resources for partner marketing from the corporate marketing team, and poor campaign execution.

For any co-branded partner content marketing project to be a success, it must be designed in a way that works for all partners. Here are three steps that partner marketing teams can follow to create a flexible (and successful) B2B partner marketing project:

Select the right content format
Co-author the content outline to set expectations
Allow for personalization

Partner Portal

If you don’t already have a partner portal for deal registration and partner relationship management (PRM), Salesforce PRM, Coveo, and Channeltivity are all great options that include partner marketing and campaign tracking features.

With a partner portal, your partners can keep in the loop on new, upcoming campaigns and always have self-service access to the latest content.

Partner portals can also help with sales enablement and training, if that’s part of the partner marketing team’s remit. So before setting off to build your own, be sure to design these 4 characteristics into your partner portal:

Provide seamless user experience across all touchpoints
Ensure analytics can help you demonstrate the value of your B2B marketing efforts
Make it easy for partners to find what they need with simple navigation
Balance form and function
Download TPM’s Partner Marketing Playbook

Partner Marketing Campaigns That Hit The Mark

Fewer than 15% of partners engage in the marketing programs their vendors deliver. This is often a result of poor execution, lack of trust, or inflexible content. After all, partner campaigns are often targeted at many partners — some of whom compete with one another.

There are many examples of competing partners working together for mutual benefits. Total Product Marketing delivers several partner marketing strategies and campaigns that run across multiple partner tiers in Adobe | Magento’s ecosystem:

Partner Marketing Measurement & Analytics

One of the biggest frustrations voiced by channel players is partnerships by handshake only, with no formal plan and no methods in place to track success. Perhaps as a result of this trend, an incredible 60% of market development funds (MDF) are not used on a quarterly basis. This is a huge waste of funding that could be used to generate leads through the channel. Tracking ROI for partner campaigns is not easy. With siloed customer relationship management (CRM) systems, vendors and partners struggle to track the attribution of pipeline and sales back to partner marketing activities. This is a tricky problem to solve — but it’s not impossible.

Unlike regular marketing campaigns where the top success factors might be customer engagement and conversion rates, the top success factors for measuring the ROI of B2B partner marketing programs are:

Partner engagement and satisfaction
Program effectiveness
Partner relationship management

Partner Marketing Agencies

Partner marketing isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it channel. It requires specialized skills and unique processes. Luckily there are marketing agencies that live and breathe channel marketing and understand all the benefits it has to offer. The services offered by channel-focused agencies range from sophisticated partner enablement programs to data analytics to partner campaign concept and execution.

Companies that have significant success with partner marketing typically invest in the right infrastructure and the right channel-proficient marketing agency. But how can you be sure you’re hiring an agency with partner marketing experience? The best way is to look for an agency that can demonstrate the following attributes:

Attribute #1: Creativity
Attribute #2: Diplomacy
Attribute #3: Problem Solving Abilities
Attribute #4: Data Oriented
No matter how big or small your organization or idea, TPM is here to help bring your go-to-market projects to life. Download TPM’s Partner Marketing Playbook today.