Historically, the channel model mandates 80% of manufacturer revenue come from the top 20% of partners. It’s the old 80/20 rule.

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On the same note, channel marketing managers often focus their programs and marketing activities on those top 20% partners.  It only makes sense, because these partners drive the most revenue.

Logically, they will make the most out of the leads and branding that come with the programs… right?

That isn’t always the case.

As a manufacturer, you’ve come up with hundreds of marketing programs every year.

Those top 20% are there for a reason.  They’ve invested a lot in selling your products and technology, their sales people lead with your solutions, and (whether by volume or margins) make a lot of margin by doing so.  We’re not recommending leaving these partners high and dry, but what we are recommending is finding partners who are poised to grow and could benefit from an added marketing touch.  These types of partners also relish in manufacturer funded programs that help them drive co-branding and deliver some additional leads.

So, are scalable, traditional programs like telemarketing the answer?  No.

You need to re-invent co-marketing programs to include tactics that partners are craving:

  • Social Media
  • Content Syndication
  • Multi-touch Campaigns that include New Media

Social Media

Social matters in b2b. 53% of b2b buyers follow social discussions about vendors they are considering.

If you don’t have a sound program for social media, you’re doing a disservice to your partners.

A Social media is not just a bunch of canned Facebook and LinkedIn posts scheduled to go out everyday.

it’s crucial to have a program that includes a strategy for finding relevant conversations to participate in and to post helpful content.

Content Syndication

Content marketing works. 70% of marketers say that content marketing has increased their brand awareness; 59% believe it supports sales growth; and 45% say it has reduced their advertising costs.

Creating content is just only one piece of the puzzle. The more essential part is getting your content in front of the right audience. Or else, what’s the point of creating articles, videos, infographics, etc. if no one sees it?

Multi-touch Campaigns that include New Media

Have you heard of the old mantra

It takes 7 touches before a sale is made.

Jay Abraham, business executive, speaker, author, and direct response marketer, has also cited “7” as the magical number.

If you do a little googling, you’ll find the number of touches ranges from 5 to over 20.

Truth be told, the number of touches will go up. As people, we’re bombarded with advertising on TV, movies, on our computers, and on our phones! It’s tough to get people to remember your brand and message.

This same thing applies to helping your partners. Does your program have strategies that include multi-touch campaigns to help your partners reach their prospects?

Attracting the Right Partners

Once you have these new programs, it’s time to bring the right channel managers and  partners on board.

At the end of the day, are you choosing the right kinds of partners, and ultimately the right kinds of programs and marketing tactics?

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