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The Impact of Partner Marketing on Customer Acquisition: A Harsh Reality

Through-partner marketing. There are many out there in B2B-land who claim to have mastered it. To enjoy an engaged and empowered channel able to routinely boost their business’ overall revenue targets. But then there are people who believe the earth is flat and that unicorns are real, so you never really know what’s the truth anymore…

Through Partner Marketing

Turn to statistics, and they paint a worrying picture by suggesting that:

  • Fewer than 15% of partners engage in the marketing programmes their vendors deliver

  • 53% of partners view existing content provided by vendors as mediocre at best

  • 72% of partners aren’t able to connect vendor assets to buyer needs and challenges

Look at the situation from the partner’s perspective, and the situation doesn't get much better. Questions aimed at understanding why the lack of interest in vendor-led marketing will typically generate one of four responses:

1. A congested marketplace

The majority of partners are specialists in a discipline (e.g. supply chain optimisation) and offer a portfolio of products and services that include those of rival providers. Any proposed marketing activity that doesn’t stand out, or lacks the right incentives, is often doomed to failure.

2. Few hands to man (or woman) the pumps

For channels comprised of mostly small to medium resellers in particular, the simple truth is that marketing resources are as rare as rocking horse poop (according to Sirius Decisions 84% of partners don’t have a dedicated marketing resource). As a result, any campaign deemed complex or difficult to run will quickly find itself gathering dust.

3. Conflicts of interest

Partner sales teams can often see themselves in direct competition with a vendor. This can certainly be the case if target accounts are not clearly defined, separated out, and ring-fenced. Running vendor marketing could, therefore, be viewed as ‘aiding the enemy’ – or helping a friend despite outstanding trust issues.

4.A lack of realistic enablement

Throwing an email template, social post, or sales sheet ‘over the fence’ is not going to cut it anymore. Instead, partners want to understand the what, how, when, and (especially) the how. If no marketing resource exists then exploring the connection between an activity and best practice is obviously going to help.

That’s enough of the problem. Let’s turn our attention now to finding a fix, and identifying those areas to focus your time and effort on.


The Hands-On Guide to Through Partner Marketing

The Hands-On Guide to Through Partner Marketing

In this ebook, We’ll be discussing full spectrum channel programmes that include multiple touchpoints and we’ll also look to detail a standard bill of materials that can be used as a starting point or checklist for future campaigns. With that in mind, it’s time to go exploring.


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