Mike Kelly, co-founder of TSL Marketing, recently wrote an article on one of the biggest challenges that Channel Marketing Directors face today: a channel partners reluctance to engage. Through this article Mike goes on to talk about some of the top reasons why partners are not willing to engage in channel programs. Some of them include:
- "We have already committed our marketing budget for the quarter or year"
- "We just don't have the time and resources"
- "The minimum project size is too large"
- "We don't get enough support from the vendor"
- "The amount of co-funding is too small/other Vendors co-marketing offers are better, or better funded"
Regardless of what the objection may be, there are many ways you can overcome them. For example, in objective #1 ("We have already committed our marketing budget for the quarter or year") an easy way to avoid this is to plan your annual channel marketing initiatives to kick off in October or November prior to the new year. This enables the channel vendor to promote the co-marketing programs and work with the channel partners on joint co-marketing calendars.
It is also important to note how many channel vendors your partners are working with and take this into consideration when working with your partners on planning and engagement.
"Channel marketing teams should remember that they are competing with other Vendor’s for their partners time, resources and budget." says Kelly "The partner only has so many resources to share between IBM, HP and Oracle for example, and the early bird will catch the most worms."
By planning in advance of the year, you are likely to have more buy in and engagement from your channel partners thus beating out your competitors.