Here’s something new for you to consider – Partner Marketing Services.
It is something that has become more and more popular recently and is a much better alternative than the unsuccessful co-branding efforts described in my last blog.
So what exactly do I mean? Well basically it’s like providing partners with a concierge service, either direct from the vendor or via vendor funds through distributors.
Partners and resellers are typically poor at marketing. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but in our experience that’s just how it is. And that is not a criticism, because there are many core reasons for this – the main one being that partners/resellers typically concentrate on the activity that brings in the cash – selling! Other contributing factors are budget, time, resource, knowledge etc. Only the biggest partners tend to have 1 or 2 people dedicated to marketing, if they are lucky. So, giving partners a load of co-brandable assets is always going to fail.
Providing a dedicated Partner Marketing Service will mean that not only do you get your partners actively engaged in marketing (alongside their selling) your business/brand, but it will also dramatically improve ROI on ‘go to market’ spend.
So does it actually work?
Well it’s not without challenge – of course – but the reality is that it works much better than co-branding. Why? Because someone actually does it!
We have seen a dramatic increase in these services over the last 12 months. We regularly act as an outsourced marketing department for partners, carrying out the marketing activity that they would ordinarily be required to do, but actually never get round to. We also act on behalf of the vendor or distributor and ensure that marketing efforts are carried all the way through. It’s that simple.
So who wins? Well everyone actually.
What can it include?
Anything and everything. We have been engaged to provide everything from telemarketing and copy writing to brochure design, emails, web design and video.
Are there any downsides?
Expectations need to be managed appropriately from the outset. More so than normal in fact, as there are quite often three or more different sets of people to co-ordinate.. Partners too might not be familiar with working with an agency and so they may need help understanding ‘how it all works’. Oh and brand guidelines… really, what are they?!
It works. For vendors wanting to maximise their marketing spend through their partners, putting in place a structure that supports partner marketing services means better, more consistent, regular and co-ordinated marketing. Offering these services to partners (either direct or through distribution) and through partners to the end users, means that not only do vendors look great offering this added partner benefit but they also have a better chance of gaining tangible results through accountable activity – as it’s all co-ordinated by an experienced, knowledgeable agency.
It works. Try it. And if your agency can’t cater, give us a call on 01424 774925 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Channel Vendors need to mature from being the selfish lover and commit to this relationship. Read more