It’s no secret: 2022 presented a rocky path for businesses. Many challenges to marketing and sales have cropped up — some expected, some surprising. But there’s good news: Those challenges make channel marketing more valuable than ever. Plus, channels are growing and ripe for business.

Let’s review the channel marketing trends from 2022 and set the scene for 2023.

Five Key Channel Marketing Trends From 2022

1. Hyper-personalization of the partner experience (PX)

In 2022, more companies invested in their PX by upgrading systems, providing channel partners with smoother, low-friction experiences. Everyone enjoys apps like Uber, Spotify, and Airbnb. They add value to our busy lives. And it doesn’t matter who’s using an app — vendor, distributor, or channel partner. Every channel user expects the same utility and ease-of-use from their channel tech-stack vendors.

Bringing the partner experience closer to the customer experience is a formula for success. Those who embrace and employ these improved core components, such as enhanced partner user personalization and interactive user-journey workflows that guide users through the entire sales and marketing process, will win in the marketplace and reach corporate objectives. A positive partner experience brings loyalty, retention, and growth to marketing channels.

2. Unleashing video marketing to partners

When it comes to marketing trends, 2022 was definitely the “year of the video.” TikTok captured the center stage in social media and content consumption — and influencer marketing skyrocketed as well. Video is becoming the most important communication tool available for brands and their channel partners. The year saw many more vendors adopting video tools to bring content marketing messages to partners. Vendors also shared personalized videos and began enabling partners with searchable video libraries for sales, marketing, and support.

New video syndication tools and access to personalized and co-branded video libraries empower partners with easily customized and shareable video content. Along with email marketing, sharing targeted videos with prospects is a channel marketing strategy sure to grow in the future.

3. “High touch” automation for strategic partners

Focused and extensive automation didn’t materialize in 2022 as much as we expected. For 2023, brands should give it a higher priority. Managing high-touch strategic partners through emails and one-on-one phone calls doesn’t provide the best digital experience. And these partners represent the lion’s share of vendor revenue. That kind of business potential deserves the latest and greatest technology and attention. With high-value process digitization, marketing spend is better focused to create substantially more value with strategic partners. No matter what shape the economy is in, providing a cost-effective way to reach customers makes good business sense.

4. Syndication goes beyond social and website

As video soared, video syndication, whether by single-email or through a complete video portal, became the fastest-growing partner marketing activity. Data syndication saw some progress as well, along with online ad syndication. But these two activities debuted in 2022, so they are still evolving. Amplifying content through syndication is a great SEO tactic that can generate high-quality links back to the vendor’s home site. We predict a much stronger adoption once partners embrace this way to drive awareness for vendors on partner sites. We consider this an aggressive stance, but not a risky one.

5. Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Even though ML is growing fast, there were fewer advances in channel AI usage. The majority of ML use was for extracting knowledge from big data and search engines. That resulted in additional advances in recommendations for leads and partner marketing activities. For 2023, ML will continue to help deliver the right marketing messages to the right user at the right time. Although ML and AI are still in their infancy, their future in personalization will certainly grow. Savvy marketing leaders should embrace these new ideas and technologies to drive strategic selling in today’s highly dynamic markets.

2022 is only part of the story. We will cover five key marketing trends for 2023 in part 2.

About the author: Daniel Nissan is Founder and CEO of StructuredWeb. The company adds exceptional value to channel marketing programs by providing a TCMA on an innovative platform, support for best practices, and intuitive training.