How to Get the Idle 80% of Partners to Ignite Your Channel Marketing Strategy

With today’s advancing TCMA tools, the simple answer is that you have to market for your partners. This may sound like bad news. But there’s good news here too if you rely on partners—like resellers, VARS, or even ISVs—to send your channel marketing strategy downstream and into the hands of end users. Statistically speaking, there’s a 75% chance that this is the case for you. Because, according to Forrester, 75% of the world’s commerce is transacted indirectly, meaning goods are sold through distribution channels.

If you fall into this 75%, then that’s the good news. You’re in a huge marketplace! Now back to the bad news…

Forrester and other channel experts have also reported that channel sales falls prey to the 80/20 Pareto principle. This means 80% of your indirect sales are coming from approximately 20% of your channel partners. The other 80% of partners just aren’t participating that much. So that means, in this huge marketplace, your business is missing out on 80% of the opportunity. Why is this happening? And more importantly—how do you fix it??

Forrester quote-marketing for channel partners

Why partners don’t redistribute your channel marketing content

Your distribution channels aren’t pumping out co-branded content because you most likely haven’t equipped them in a way that makes it fast and easy for them to do so. You may have a partner portal or PRM set up where you deposit the most up-to-date marketing collateral, let your channel partners know it’s there, and leave the rest up to them. After that…

Channel partners have these 8 steps to redistribute your content:

1)    Log in to your portal.

2)    Extract the content you’ve provided.

3)    Get their design team to add their logo so it’s co-branded.

4)    Load the co-branded content into their own email automation platform (if they have one).

5)    Build an email template around this content.

6)    Set up any auto-sequencing necessary.

7)    Choose which lists to send it to.

8)    Hope to get credit for any leads they capture in the event of channel conflict.

**And amid these eight steps are any number of emails, meetings, and tasks delegated to various team members.

why your distribution channels aren't cranking

That’s a pretty tall order considering your channel partners have their own internal marketing initiatives to handle. For 80% of them, it’s too labor intensive and time consuming, they simply don’t have the headcount to get it done, they aren’t incentivized enough, and/or a combination of all of these.

This 80% of long-tail partners are also known as DIFM (do-it-for-me) partners.

Nailing down your DIFM partners with true TCMA

We’re hearing more and more about TCMA, or through-channel marketing automation, sweeping the tech world. In fact, a small number of SaaS companies have already begun to offer varying solutions. For both you and your distributors, resellers, VARs, or ISVs, having a simple outbound automation platform that can get the job done at scale, with AI to enhance personalization, is no longer a pipe(line) dream. It’s not even the “future” of channel marketing anymore. It’s the present.

With xAmplify, partners can redistribute your automatically co-branded marketing content at scale in a few clicks. Additionally, your dashboard reveals both partner and end-user metrics you’ve never had access to before (since redistributing emails via the platform is compulsory for partners, who each have their own instance and login). It’ll be even easier to identify your highly active priority partners, whom you can then incentivise with SPIFs and MDF—and you’ll know where these funds are going and why.

Despite the emerging software designed to solve the issue at hand, a shocking number of brands continue to do things the same old way. In fact, only half of brands that need a TCMA solution have adopted one, and among them, only 17% are satisfied with the solution they’ve chosen.

So, here’s the math: Out of 100 brands that rely on indirect sales, only 8.5 are using a TCMA software they’re happy with. The rest are still letting that 80% of DIFM partners forfeit those channel sales opportunities. Is your company among them?

It’s not too late to level up your channel marketing game.

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