Channel marketers are tasked with getting more eyeballs on their channel and increasing brand exposure. After that, it falls to sales and business development to close the deal and maintain and cultivate relationships to keep partners engaged and grow the program.
Historically, one of the main ways channel marketers drove awareness was by going to events. But since COVID-19 reared its ugly head, most in-person events have been put on pause indefinitely. In fact, some believe that in-person trade shows and conferences will never come back!
If events aren’t happening and may never return, what’s a channel marketer to do?
It’s simple: Double down on digital and help partners make the switch. Vendors that invest in helping partners make the switch will come out on top.
By putting together robust digital campaigns that combine all sorts of techniques—such as paid search advertising, content marketing, SEO, social media, and email marketing—you can raise awareness about your program and funnel more leads to your channel team to grow the number of partners in your ecosystem.
At the same time, you can produce a score of sales enablement and related marketing materials (e.g., white papers and case studies) to support your partners and make their jobs easier. For the best results, ask them what they feel like they are missing out on and produce content that fills in the gaps.
Channel Marketing Tips for Success
As a channel marketer, it’s safe to say your job has changed drastically over the last year. But by refocusing your energy on the digital world, you can increase the effectiveness of your outreach. Instead of being limited to attracting whoever happens to be at an event you’re attending, you can reach people all over the world—and without having to fork over tons of money to travel to conferences. Here are six tips for how to succeed as channel marketing continues to evolve.
1. Understand how the channel is changing and optimize accordingly.
Maybe in-person events will come back at some point in the future. Regardless, it’s unlikely at best that they will return to normal anytime soon. The sooner you accept that you need to take a digital-first approach, the faster you can start seeing real results from your efforts.
2. Develop your B2B marketing strategy for this new normal.
Understand that marketing your channel to partners isn’t the same as marketing your solutions directly to other companies. By creating channel program personas and gearing your efforts toward them, you can create an effective strategy that helps grow your program.
3. Invest in technology to expedite tasks.
Software companies don’t hesitate to give their engineering, marketing, and sales teams the tools they need to thrive. Why should the channel be any different? By investing in channel marketing tools, you can expedite your internal workflows while generating a ton of data that can inform your way forward.
4. Use data to your advantage.
According to a recent Forrester article, many channels lack visibility into performance metrics and KPIs because data is scattered across multiple silos. The right technology investments can help you overcome these challenges by giving you a single source of truth for all your data, accessible in one spot. By keeping track of engagement metrics, marketing development funds (MDF) ROI, leads shared with partners, and the cost and ROI of those leads, you can measure results and use data to continuously optimize your program.
5. Communicate regularly with your partners.
As a channel marketer, your job isn’t done when you route leads to your colleagues in sales and on the business development team. Communicate regularly with your partners to keep them informed of the latest developments in your program and train them to ensure they are conveying your value proposition effectively.
6. Incentivize partners as often as you can with MDF.
If you want to get partners to execute a marketing campaign or initiative, either with your company or own their own, incentivize them with MDF on a regular basis to get the results you’re looking for. Be sure to trace MDF disbursements and attribute them to deal regs within Salesforce so you know which behaviors are working and why.
It’s Time to Take Your Channel Marketing Program to the Next Level
If you’re looking for a proven channel marketing solution that enables you to measure the full impact of your marketing efforts, Vartopia can help. Request a demo today to learn more about how our trusted platform can help you get the results you’re looking for.