How are IT & Telco vendors changing their approach to Partner Marketing Enablement? | DMA

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How are IT & Telco vendors changing their approach to Partner Marketing Enablement?

Successful partner marketing enablement programs can be measured in a variety of ways with vendors applying slight variations on the metrics that they collect, analyse and publish to determine the effectiveness of their channel partner relationships. The way that partners create those metrics has changed with the rise of social and digital marketing techniques and partners are now asking vendors to provide the necessary marketing enablement assets to enable them to create joint sales opportunities.

The relationship between vendor and partner goes far beyond whether or not they can create and execute a joint marketing campaign together. Revenues, customer satisfaction and retention still drive successful channel partnerships. Although, vendors need to tailor their partner programs to suit the growing needs of their partner community to drive growth. As a result of program investment, vendors like to regularly measure the success of their own partner engagement.

According to Sirius Decisions a global B2B research and advisory firm,” Measuring the success of partner marketing enables suppliers to identify and address competency and performance gaps” and “A formal effort to enable partner marketing must include metrics for gauging progress”. Vendors have recognised the need for a change in their approach and to listen to their partners to get traction within their partner programs. They also understand the need to make feedback and results much easier to follow up and track.

Vendors are reacting quickly to develop the ‘make it really easy for us to use’ Partner Marketing Program which includes the corporate marketing messaging, a variety of assets including video and social media posts supplied in a simple marketing communications package. Partners can use their Market Development Fund to pay 50% of the program and roll it out in a couple of weeks. With this model the vendor actively encourages their partners to take their channel-ready corporate campaigns to market. Supplier costs are agreed and partners know that most of the budget has been provided by the vendor to help them to grow their business.

This program model differs from the partner marketing platforms or partner concierge services. The partner communicates a world class campaign to their customers and prospects fully backed by the vendor. The vendor sees partners promoting their corporate messages (correctly) with all appropriate approvals to a growing audience on a daily basis while also increasing the utilisation rate of their MDF. Both vendor and partner have access to real time program results, it is a real win-win for marketing and sales.

But what is the measure of success? The number of partners involved, the number of campaigns, the number of leads created, the amount of budget spent or the actual revenue created by this program? Success is the change in business relationship with partners. Partner marketing enablement is just one of many elements of the vendor partner relationship but often an area of tension. However, if vendors provide partners with easy to access and use marketing programs which provide clear Return on Investment for both parties then this change of approach would be deemed a success.

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