While marketing tactics continue to grow in sophistication, the channel’s ability to execute them is not. Channel partners are primarily sales organizations, and when it comes to daily activities, marketing is prioritized as a distant third to traditional sales tactics and customer support. Channel Partners also often lack the resources and subject matter experts formally trained in marketing strategy and execution. The combination of these forces creates challenges for the channel and is exactly why simplifying channel marketing is so important.
Creating and executing personalized videos, webinars, and even email drip campaigns can be intimidating for many channel partners, so they avoid them. The only thing driving them is the fear that their competition will adopt these techniques first and gain a competitive advantage.
Despite these fears, there are many reasons why channel partners should embrace advanced marketing techniques. These techniques reach new markets, help partners better understand their customers, and increase sales. Additionally, with the right Through-Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA) platform, many of these techniques are relatively simple to learn and can be executed quickly and easily – without those subject matter experts in tow. When used correctly, advanced marketing techniques can give channel partners a significant advantage over their competition.
A New Breed of Through-Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA)
The good news is a new breed of TCMA solutions have emerged with more advanced features and methods that simplify the user experience and guide the user through the adoption process.
Advanced Marketing Techniques Emerging
TCMA platforms emerged more than two decades ago and initially offered little more than co-branding of collaterals and one-off email blasts. The state of the technology remained relatively static for almost a decade, with vendors and platform providers focused on improving engagement and adoption.
As social solutions like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn began to mature, the pressure to leverage them in the channel introduced new competition. The new competition set off a feature race with existing platforms, and the market saw the platforms evolve their marketing automation techniques.
Mature platforms offer multi-touch/multi-channel campaigns, social and web content syndication, digital advertising, and more. Cutting-edge solutions are now personalizing video and offering webinar syndication.
Built with Adoption & Engagement in Mind
Investments in TCMA platform technology and infrastructure have paid off with regards to addressing adoption and engagement. Features such as smart workflows guide users through their initial platform experiences and provide hands-on tutorials which take the fear out of the platform. Certification programs encourage deeper engagement, and reward programs reinforce these behaviors.
The integration of Market Development Funds (MDF) is fueling engagement and adoption and, when combined with pre-packaged marketing programs, is producing better results than most vendors thought was possible.
TCMA Producing Results
Vendors are now seeing the engagement of TCMA moving well above 30%. More importantly, the 30% of the channel that is engaging are the ones that drive the most revenue. The new features and engagement methods have shaken the status quo to its foundation and accelerated partner demand for the platforms.
Vendor’s leveraging the new breed of TCMA are experiencing:
- Greater Partner Adoption
- Better Partner Engagement
- Enhanced Partner Enablement
- Improved Partner Execution
- Increased Visibility
- Revenue Growth
TCMA appears to be hitting its stride, which bodes well for channel marketing and revenue generation as we continue through the next decade. Vendors across industries are now evaluating their platform offerings and positioning themselves to take advantage of this new wave. The status quo has gone out the window, and a new arms race has begun.
Is your channel fully enabled?