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Channel Marketing Strategy | Setting Channel Marketing Vision

By David English

Apr 26, 2018

About 7 minutes

Join TSL's President David English in our next Channel Marketing series video. This weeks topic is about setting the Channel Marketing Vision. Visit our resources page for all our videos and helpful resources.

David has 20 years of marketing and channel marketing expertise, having provided marketing training workshops, marketing consultations, and lead generation programs.  Also, David is a regular contributor to the TSL Marketing Blog MarketNow. You can read David's articles by clicking the link or visiting our blog.

We hope you enjoy  Channel Marketing Strategy -   Setting Channel Marketing Vision 

A revised transcript has been provided below.

Set the vision for channel marketing programs

Hi, I'm David English president of TSL marketing. Thanks for watching our video today on channel marketing vision. We're going to talk a little bit today about how do we set the vision for our channel marketing programs.

You know it's interesting, I start off a lot of my conversations with customers around "what is it that you want to accomplish?" In the last year or two I've been getting a lot of response back from our customers as "what do you think I should be accomplishing?" and so we wanted to talk today about just that. For our entire channel marketing program, when we're investing in channel marketing, "what is it that we want to accomplish?" And, they're really three things that I like to focus on.

Total Partner Revenue

First is total partner revenue and we want to look at this in aggregate. So, how much revenue are we doing in the channel in aggregate, against the entire investment that we're making in the channel from a marketing perspective, and then looking at it at a partner over a partner level. Again we may have fluctuations year over year depending on the type of partner and renewal cycles. So, we may want to look at it both for one year, as well as rolling three-year averages. But, really looking at that total partner revenue and year-over-year growth.

So, is that partner growing? And this may seem super obvious, but in many cases for channel marketing programs we see that our customers aren't really even looking at that. They tend to look at metrics further down, "lower level KPIs" is what I would call them.

Margin - Higher margin products or not

And, secondly margin. Is that partner creating more margin for us year over year, or less margin? Or, are they selling higher margin products, or are they selling things that continue to sink in terms of our total margin? So, this is extremely important.

Partner Loyalty - Appreciation, advocay, and awarding

Next, would love to look at partner loyalty and this is this can be a little more difficult to measure; but it is something that I think is hugely important. So, are all the marketing efforts we're doing creating more or less partner loyalty? In other words, do partners appreciate what we're doing and do they reward us for that?

We can look at things like wallet share. So, of them investments that they make or of the investments their customers make, are we getting more of them or less of them year over year? How much of their spend goes to us versus our competitors? And, then brand advocacy. This can be even more difficult to measure, but it is important to look at. So, are their reps promoting us? Are they promoting us on social media platforms? When there's a competitive bid, are they going to bring us up and advocate for us over our competitors? Or, are they just going to sell whatever is the easiest thing to sell?

Channel Marketing Spend ROI

And, then finally we do absolutely always want to look at channel marketing spend ROI. So, of the dollars we spend can we tie a return to that?

Now, I always think this is important & I will always advocate that this is a very important metric for us. But, it should be looked at and viewed as a subset of total partner revenue. So, look if we're investing in marketing dollars and maybe there's a low direct ROI that we can tie to it, but that partner is selling a lot more year-over-year, then let's talk to the partner about "okay what is it that we're doing that's helping you?" "Should we continue to make investments in the areas that we're investing in?" And, "is that part of what's helping you?" Or, if these investments aren't doing anything at all for you, great we'll take them away. But if they are, let's keep doing what we're doing because you're selling more year every year and that's a great result.

Non-direct ROI investments - Partner enablement & training

The others we may see that there are certain investments that help increase partner revenue, but don't have a direct ROI. There are a lot of things like partner enablement, helping partners with marketing plans, marketing training. Can we tie in ROI to those? Maybe. We might have to stretch a little bit to try to figure out how do we how do we really get ROI on those.

But, we may ask our partner, look here are some things that we're going to invest in, we're not exactly sure if we can measure return on these. But, if we give you these three things, which would you like the most for even money? And, the partners can tell us. "Hey look I really love that training you're doing". Or, "hey I really like the planning you're doing" or, "these enablement resources." Or, maybe over here "yeah if it's free we'll take it, but we don't get much value out of it". Those are the sort of things that we can look at, in terms of asking partners how much value they have. Because tying a direct ROI to that spend it can be very difficult and so that's why I always think that that overall partner marketing revenue is so much more important of a metric than than just the channel marketing ROI.

Because this will limit the sort of things that we do. We're just going to focus on high yield activities for the partners that can close the best business, net new business typically versus overall.

To learn more about how TSL can help make your partners your advocates, click here to request a review of your current channel marketing strategy and discuss best practices for how to measure ROI from MRR vs. a one-time purchase

David is a regular contributor to the TSL Marketing Blog MarketNow. You can read David's articles by clicking the link.


Tags: Channel Marketing