Guest Blog: Jacqui Sasserath is the founder of Channeliser, a matching service for IT companies looking for IT partners. In this blog, Jacqui describes the 3 key actions to create a strong and successful marketing partnership.
We @channeliser are frequently asked what is the most effective use of marketing spend?
1. Should we focus on partner enablement and building understanding of our proposition so that they can, in turn take the message to their customers?
2. Or should we be generating demand with direct prospecting and customer marketing?
3. Or perhaps a hybrid of the two – operating a marketing campaign to customers but doing it “through” my partners?
And the answer is simple – know your partners!
Capture the “to partner” value proposition
You know the value of your product to the customer, so now is the time to re-evaluate what is the value to the partner?
It will be something quite different. Try and list the 5 things that could turn a partner’s head and capture their attention about your offering – it may be as simple as incentives, it may be the lack of complexity and ease of doing business with you and it may delve into the technical functionality.
Remember most good resellers have many other vendors vying for their attention and resources so you need to standout and really have an engaging message as to why a partnership is of benefit to all.
Profile your partners
Now turn your attention to the complex matrix that is your partner community. Individual profiling should help you see if they target a specific vertical, do they operate in a niche sector, or focus on small businesses, or only deploy in the cloud and what other vendor products make up their portfolio and proposition.
This vital exercise is something frequently forgotten but is absolutely essential to ensure you are getting the most from the market opportunity. Having partners that sell into different market segments will not only keep them happy as they will not compete too heavily with other partners but will also ensure you are spreading your marketing messages across the widest possible market opportunity.
If you discover you have gaps in your market coverage try Channeliser to find new partners.
If you are truly partner centric – ask the partners!
You are now ready to target your partners with the right questions to the right people with the right messaging.
Ask marketing if they would like to run a joint campaign with a carefully thought through messages? Ask sales and pre-sales what they need to help sell your solutions. Ask the CEO how satisfied they are with your overall performance as a vendor and what you can do to improve?
Embedded in each of these “asks” are the key messages that relate to that target audience and based on your “understanding” of the partner.
This isn’t a blanket email to your whole partner community, this is a well-thought out strategic plan with tailored individual messages and an open format for discussion with each partner.
Their level of engagement will guide you as to who is going to be “with” you over time
And their answers will guide you as to the decision and make up of your marketing budget; to customers and to partners and the mix of through partner marketing.
– Jacqui Sasserath, Founder of Channeliser