Marketing with Channel Partners—Creating a Plan

The following is a condensed version of Tom Serani’s excellent article on leveraging the full power of your partner network for marketing—benefits all around for you, your partners and your customers.

One of the easiest ways to scale your business—and earn more revenue with less effort —is to work with your existing channel partners. The benefits of partner marketing include:

  • Broader reach and wider networks

  • Building brand trust and credibility through a trusted and well-known partner in the industry

  • Low-risk testing—it's a quick way to experiment with marketing campaigns and associated activities in a less risky environment.

  • More revenue—there may be additional revenue in the offering itself, but when there is MDF money involved, the partner may be funding a portion of the marketing campaign also.

  • Accountability—involving a channel partner in your marketing efforts will keep both of you on track.


The trick to making these types of partnerships work is to build a solid channel partner marketing plan that details how two or more companies will collaborate. To improve the chances of your channel partnership marketing plan's success, Tom suggests taking the following six actions.


1. Obtain useful data on company products and services

You need to know your partner's business—what's performing well already and how to integrate it into your messaging and marketing. The information your channel partner provides should also include their unique vision of the marketing and selling process. Who are their target customers? How do they position their brand and products to meet customer needs?


2. Stick to brand guidelines

You need to maintain your own brand, while taking your partner’s branding guidelines into account. Map out how to best include your channel partner's most successful marketing strategies without compromising your own brand.


3. Get clarification on how product marketing will work

Your channel partner needs to know how you are selling their products and services. Transparency is important. Seek out partner feedback and be clear on what they expect from your company.


4. Receive training and tools

Good channel partners will give you the training and tools you need to have the best chance of success. If they have a means of collecting marketing performance analytics and a better way to deploy marketing assets, ask for guidance.


5. Leave room to customize

Your partnership marketing strategy and plan should not be too rigid. You will need to adapt to the market, making changes as needed to ensure more sales.


6. Assess your progress

The most important part of a solid channel partner marketing plan is the ongoing progress assessment. Set goals, measure results and make course corrections. Use these metrics to make a case for future collaborations.


Channel partnerships can be rewarding. They have the potential to drive additional revenue and also cement relationships with valuable partners. Read Tom Serani’s full article here: https://bit.ly/3z0Nc1g


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