Whether you’re new to the channel or a seasoned vet, one thing has become undeniably clear: visibility on marketing performance throughout your channel is an absolute must-have for B2B Channel Marketers.
Insights gained from concrete data enable time-sensitive decisions to be made quickly (and with confidence), campaigns to be optimized to performance, and strategies adjusted to increase partner engagement- all ultimately driving marketing ROI (pretty obvious why it’s a must-have, right?). But there are literally hundreds of metrics you could track…so where does one
begin? Well, for starters, here:
1. Active Partner Engagement Active partner engagement is the cornerstone of Channel Marketing, so it’s good place to start. Active partner engagement poses the question, “What percent of your partners are actually using the marketing content you provide to them, and how often are they using it?” If the answer to either part of this question is, “I don’t know!” you have a clear task at hand (once you finish reading this blog, of course). Partners are busy, and partners represent many brands, so knowing how many of your channel partners are actively marketing your brand with the content you actually want them to use is arguably the most important metric a channel marketer should know. If your current portal or marketing library doesn’t offer clear partner usage metrics, like number of executions per campaign by partner, tactic, region, etc. (not just number of partner sign-ons), you are blind to a crucial data pool of information and you need to implement a system which does have this capability, STAT.
2. Partner Reach What’s the objective of marketing through partners? To reach an exponentially larger audience by leveraging partners’ email contacts, website visitors, social media following, and local presence, so it’s important to quantify and understand the reach you gain through partners. You can have 100% channel engagement but if your partners only have an average of 50 email contacts or 100 monthly website visitors, then your marketing will fall on deaf ears and blind eyes. Having a handle on this metric provides clarity on the potential impact of your marketing campaigns and helps to ensure that marketing and sales goals are achievable. If they aren’t, you need to help your partners expand their reach through database building, contact purchases, and social media blitzes.
3. Marketing Content Effectiveness In short, how effective is your marketing content at generating clicks and form submissions. Granted, not all marketing is meant to generate leads, so separating your marketing content by intent is a good practice, but you need to have benchmarks against which to measure the effectiveness of marketing collateral- whatever its intent. When it comes to content, some major KPI’s to keep in mind are: open rate, click rate, and lead rate for your partner executed email campaigns; traffic to your partners’ websites and interactions with that content (clicks, form submissions, live chat conversations); shares/favorites/likes from your partners’ social media posts, to name a few. If it isn’t already clear, there are A LOT of KPI’s you could work with here. Almost every organization defines their own blend of weighted KPI’s which point to how effective their content is, based on their goals. Define yours, and if you’re not happy with the numbers you’re seeing, don’t be afraid to change up the content! A word of advice: in general, partner marketing collateral that is simple and clear tends to perform better than marketing that is overly fancy or complex. Focus on short email subject lines and content that is full of relevant industry keywords.
4. Lead Conversion Rate Assuming you have defined lead stages, this metric will tell you the percent of your leads that convert to active sales opportunity for your partners (both supplier generated leads and partner generated leads). If your marketing content generates clicks but not leads, investigate further. There may be an issue with the landing page content or the call to action on that page may not be compelling enough. Partners are quick to label leads as good or bad, so tracking this crucial stage in the lead waterfall will help you to optimize future campaigns as well as to show your partners that your marketing content generates GOOD leads.
5. Recurring Revenue from Partners How much revenue can you count on your partners to bring in quarter over quarter, and year over year? Is it stable? Is it growing? These are important questions your channel sales counterparts will want to know, and you should be able to provide the answers. Partners know how to sell; it’s what they’re good at. Scary as it may be, many partners find a way to sell even without actively engaging in marketing you provide them (or marketing at all). However to build long term, stable (and growing) channel revenue, it’s crucial to ensure that partners create repeat business and future revenue for your solutions and that their business is constantly in front of prospects and customers. In the world of the cloud, and recurring SaaS revenue, this metric becomes even more important, not just to the health of the partner’s business but also to the valuation of your company.
If you don’t have a channel marketing platform in place which has the ability to capture these metrics, you need to! Not having clear visibility on these critical channel metrics limits the potential of success of your channel, so make the change today.
Need help measuring any of these data points, or have questions about effective marketing tactics in the channel and though your channel partners? Contact StructuredWeb to speak with a channel marketing expert.