Vendors need them, customers know them, and they play an essential role in the sales ecosystem lifecycle. It’s indirect partners and without them, vendors wouldn’t have the reach and relationships they need in order to grow their sales ecosystems.
But in order to maximize partners success, vendors need to have the right partner mindset and marketing strategy in place. When we say “mindset,” we mean that vendors need to start thinking like their partners. What do they need from us to breakthrough with customers? Which solutions would make their jobs easier? How can we connect with partners better (in a way and at a time that resonates with them) to motivate them and create loyalty?
While we’ve explored the effectiveness of StructuredWeb’s “5 C’s of Channel Marketing” before, we’re rebooting the series in the perspective of the partner – the most critical link in the sales chain. The 5 C’s is a strategic framework developed by StructuredWeb’s founder & CEO, Daniel Nissan, to clearly outline the five critical stages of partner engagement and marketing across all types of partners, which include Create, Connect, Communicate, Convert and Calculate.
#1C – Create
For partner engagement, it’s imperative that vendors not only provide partners with content which clearly communicates their solutions to end customers, but also that partners find the content relevant and valuable. From a partners POV, relevance often requires that content can be adapted to the native language of local markets, so translation capability is key. Value requires that content also represent the partner business, so the ability to co-brand assets is crucial. Scalability is also key. Without scalable solutions to content deployment, the time and resources required to provide relevant content to each channel partner marginalizes ROI.
Channelized content creation
However, not all partners are the same and not all partner-focused content creation is equal. indirect channel partner experience is affected by the content created by vendors, depending on whether the content is channelized by the vendor or created for the direct channel.
Channelized content is the content created by the vendor specifically for the indirect channel partner – to meet their specific needs and expectations of the indirect channel partner, which is very different from the needs of the direct channel.
When the vendor uses channelized content for their indirect channel partners, it creates a positive experience for the partners in the following ways:
- Channelized content is created keeping in mind the specific needs of the partner.
- The content is more relevant and effective in engaging the end consumer.
- It also helps in establishing a better relationship between the vendor and the partner.
- When the partner receives quality content, it reflects on the vendor’s commitment towards the success of the partner.
Channelized content can take many forms, including whitepapers, case studies, video content, social media posts, email marketing campaigns, and more. The key is that the content is designed to be used by partners in their marketing and sales efforts and is optimized for maximum impact.
5 things that channel partners don’t like about vendor created content
Despite the importance of creating channelized content that considers the perspective of indirect channel partners, there are still some common mistakes that vendors make when creating this type of content. Here are 5 things that channel partners don’t like about vendor created content:
- Lack of customization: Channel partners want content that is tailored to their specific needs and challenges. When vendors create one-size-fits-all content that doesn’t consider the unique requirements of each partner, it can be difficult for partners to use and see the value in the content.
- Overly promotional: Channel partners want content that is educational and informative, not just promotional. When vendors create content that is too focused on touting the features and benefits of their products, it can come across as pushy and salesy, which can turn partners off.
- Poor quality: Channel partners expect high-quality content that is well-written, visually appealing, and easy to consume. When vendors create content that is poorly written, unprofessional-looking, or difficult to navigate, it can reflect poorly on both the vendor and the partner.
- Lack of relevance: Channel partners want content that is relevant to their market and their customers. When vendors create content that is too generic or doesn’t consider the specific challenges and opportunities of a partner’s market, it can be difficult for partners to see the value in the content.
- Difficulty of use: Channel partners want content that is easy to use and access. When vendors create content that is difficult to find, access, or use, it can be frustrating for partners who are trying to use the content to drive sales.
Partners want vendors to consider the different stages of their unique sales cycles, and the different personas involved in the buying process. They also need vendors to carefully consider the unique value proposition of their products and services, and how best to communicate that value proposition to them.
Understand the partner perspective and “create” around it
By focusing on the channel partner’s perspective and business solution, vendors can create content that is more relevant, more engaging, and more effective in driving sales. Taking this approach has several benefits, including establishing better relationships, growing sales and create differentiation in an extremely competitive and complex ecosystem.