The single most important action a partner makes after an inbound inquiry is to get a quote from the brand. Every minute that the end-buyer goes without a quote increases the chance that they’ll take their business elsewhere.
But being able to turn a quote around quickly isn’t worth much if you’re not getting inquiries from end-buyers. And that’s not going to happen unless you’re helping your partners generate and register leads.
Getting partners to register leads
Acquiring a channel partner is an important step, but it often only signals buy-in from the partner’s management. Frontline sales are often hesitant to push new products and solutions, preferring to stick with products that have been driving their revenue in the past.
How do you get partners fully on board? You have to help them generate leads. You do that by providing them with the kind of marketing that they likely can’t craft on their own. Since most partners don’t have the time or resources to put together digital marketing campaigns, the most important way that you can add value as a brand is to craft and execute the marketing campaigns with and on behalf of your partners.
Only good marketing generates leads
Broadly speaking, there are three pillars to effective digital marketing: consistency, quality content, and engagement.
It takes a while for end-users to begin responding to a partner’s marketing efforts, so there’s not much use in providing channel partners with marketing unless it’s going to be part of a consistent, long-term campaign targeting end-users every month. The first priority is to target the end-users with whom partners already have strong relationships; they are the low-hanging fruit who are most likely to immediately respond to the marketing campaign. However, the longer a partner targets an end-user with marketing campaigns, the greater the impact. The 10th campaign an end-user receives from a partner is far more likely to prompt them to buy than the first.
And of course, marketing is only effective when it includes co-branded content that is customized to the partners’ specialty. It’s up to brands to provide partners with content that end-buyers will find interesting and useful as we’ve previously discussed. Rather than simply hitting them with a barrage of information about the brand’s (and therefore the partner’s) products and solutions, you need to mix in content that they will find useful even if they’re not interested in buying in the near future.
Each marketing campaign should include content that targets buyers at different stages of the buying cycle. For those at the top of the funnel (ToFu), your best bet is to offer content that has wide appeal and is likely to catch the attention of the largest number of buyers casually browsing through the email. For those in the middle of the funnel (MoFu), you need to provide content that offers a more explicit case for why your products are the answer, such as brand-sponsored case studies, infographics or e-books that delve more deeply into a specific subject-matter than those geared towards the ToFus.
Finally, a marketing campaign should invite end-buyers to interact with the content. When a user clicks on a link in the campaign or downloads an ebook, it provides valuable information about what they’re interested in. The sales team can use that information to follow up with the end-buyers directly and hopefully provide them with quotes.
Building a lasting relationship
The traditional model of channel marketing, where brands try to guide partners’ marketing efforts by providing them support, has proven woefully insufficient. Many SMB partners simply won’t get around to doing the marketing, no matter how many resources they’re provided.
Your goal is to make the process as easy as possible for partners. Your best bet is to take over the marketing and start generating demand for them. Once that happens, it’s their turn to hold up their end up of the bargain and start converting quotes to sales.
Limited resources? We’ve got you covered.
Don’t have the time or the marketing tech to create and send campaigns on your own? That’s okay – that’s what we’re here for. Extu offers you the opportunity to do long-term marketing at no cost to you, and no more than five minutes of your time a month.