6 June 2018
Got a great new product or service that you need to get to the market as quickly as possible?
There are a number of different strategies and ways that you can market your product to your intended customer. There’s always traditional advertising and collaboration with a PR company, which will arguably cost quite a lot. Or, you might decide take the road often less travelled and get the channel inspired to support you.
Getting buy-in from channel partners
Whether your sales activities are extended through distributors, channel partners, trade partners, alliance partners or any other variation – they will need marketing support. A key to ensuring a successful buy-in from your partners will depend largely on your ability to make the product or service more compelling than the competition.
So here’s a clue – investigate and reverse-engineer those big players who dominate the market. Have a look to see what they are doing, and decide how you are going to be different, how you can add real value, how you can do it better.
See also: Identifying the right channel partner
3 ways to stand out in a channel based ecosystem
# Inspire with service and support
Identify who your key accounts and targets are and bring their needs right into your marketing strategy. Supporting your channel partners can include:
- Providing them with training opportunities so they become advocates of your products.
- Arming them with sales tools like explainer videos and webinars.
- Assisting with executive events and activations.
- Support with telemarketing.
- Developing cobranded marketing materials such as whitepapers, case studies, social media posts and email marketing content that dually targets the needs of their direct customers and makes them look great.
Be sure you highlight the benefits of partnering with your business. Finally, respond to feedback and constantly think about how you can help channel partners to generate new revenue streams.
# Bring them opportunities to service
Just as with customer acquisition, the recruitment of channel partners is a process that requires careful consideration and targeted marketing activity. Vendors are going to showcase your product/service if they can see that in doing so there is opportunity and reward.
The strategy here is to thoroughly research different personas within their client base. How can these specifically be targeted so that your channel partner stands out as knowledgeable, trustworthy and at the cutting edge? By identifying specific ways channel partners can bring value to their own customers, you identify real sales opportunities and a successful interaction is likely to occur. You want to build brand awareness for your product or service and strengthen the relationship between your channel partner and their customers at the same time.
# Create demand and help them sell
How else are you going to generate demand and help them sell? Create clarity for both the direct consumers and the channel side. Make sure that your marketing strategy and messages are going to effectively target the needs of their customers and well as their own.
How else is your brand getting cut-through? You will also need to consider other ways of promotion that will compliment your channel and create demand. Are there industry magazines or websites that you can target? Have you created a comprehensive social and content marketing campaign? Is your website updated with case studies and product pages (and would it build trust in your brand as a market leader)? Have you considered SEM and SEO to ensure that your own product/services pages are easily found to help with the decision-making process?
Another option is to consider a referral system, whereby contacts refer associates for you to consider as channel partners. Or a competition that makes the idea of purchasing your particular brand more attractive to the decision maker.
Need help targeting your channel?
As a channel marketing agency we improve partnership communications; because if your communications aren’t strong, your relationship won’t deliver the exponential results you desire. Talk to the team and ask about our wins for our client