Self-service marketing platforms and through-channel marketing

Self-service marketing platforms and through-channel marketing

Alli Campofranco

Major IT channel partners are increasingly using a self-service model to develop sophisticated, integrated marketing campaigns on their own, without the help of IT brands. Platforms such as HubSpot and Marketo allow partners to accomplish much of what brands were doing for them via through-channel marketing platforms.

For brands, it’s natural to view this trend with alarm. The more marketing that partners are able to do on their own, the less valuable your marketing tools and assistance becomes. And the less that resellers depend on you for marketing, the less loyal they will be to your brand.

So is it time to give up on through-channel marketing? Of course not! On the contrary, there is still an enormous opportunity to use through-channel marketing to gain a foothold with mid-tier partners who are not going to be doing their own marketing anytime soon.

The Mid-Tier Partners Need You

The channel partners that are implementing their own marketing programs generally come from the largest 2% of resellers. They are the ones that have robust marketing experience and a dedicated marketing staff and budget to fund their own campaigns. While these partners account for the greatest share of your sales, they are also the ones who are least in need of your assistance. Additionally, they are the least likely to reward you with loyalty for providing them with a through-channel marketing campaign.

In contrast, mid-tier partners almost never have the resources necessary to conduct their own marketing. They do not have the time or staff needed to craft and execute digital marketing campaigns. Instead, their focus is on sales and providing existing customers with technical expertise.

For the great majority of channel partners, a high quality through-channel marketing platform is an asset that they will benefit from immensely and they’re never going to forfeit. As long as it produces for them, they don’t have much incentive to abandon it and invest the resources needed to set up their own marketing operation.

Investing in Mid-Tier Partners Pays Dividends

Mid-tier partners have the most to gain from a brand-funded through-channel marketing campaign. A brand that is able to provide them with high-quality content that helps them generate leads is likely to earn their loyalty.

Just as important, by providing a crucial hand up to mid-tier partners, you will reduce your dependence on large resellers. It therefore becomes easier for you to resist pressure from large partners to offer them lower prices and increased support.

The big partners like to play ‘hard to get.’ But rather than get caught up in that game, you’d be better off spending time with those who are looking for a committed companion. Through-channel marketing is the best way to strike up that relationship.

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.