Channel Marketing Strategy - The Basics

Have a look at our first Channel Marketing video below. Join the president of TSL Marketing as he discusses the topic of Channel Marketing Strategy - The Basics. David has 20 years of marketing and channel marketing expertise, having provided marketing training workshops, marketing and consultations, and lead generation programs. David is a regular contributor  to the TSL Marketing Blog MarketNow. You can read David's articles by clicking the link.  Or, subscribe now and get a copy of our eBook: Combine the Powers of Inbound and Outbound Marketing by Clicking Here




Hi, today we're going to talk about channel marketing strategy, the basics. First two things we want to think about in terms of channel marketing are who we are targeting in terms of customers and why we're partnering in terms of our channel partners, channel resellers. When we look at who were targeting, we want to think through first of course the basics of demographic size, industry, type of company, functional titles within company and then build out our personas. Who we are targeting from a personal standpoint. Paying close attention to the size of the company as well.In many cases as part of a channel marketing strategy there maybe accounts we want our direct teams to handle and accounts we want our channel resellers to handle. Any model can work, the importance is clarity, both for your direct side and for the channel side.

Next we want to very much focus with our channel partners on our roles and responsibilities at different stages of a customer's life cycle. So let's take first, the first stage of being demand generation; who's going to generate demand? Is that the responsibility of you, or of your channel partner? Again, both models can work, but clarity in that is very, very important.

Second is who are targeting within demand generation? Are targeting net new customers for both of us, or are we looking to cross-sell into one partner or another's existing customer base? Again, both models can work perfectly fine. The importance of clarity and what we're doing.

Next is closing the deal. This often gets overlooked because somebody who generates the demand may not be the best one for actually closing the deal. Maybe your channel partners good at getting you in the door, or getting an opportunity in the door, but they really need you to come in and help close the deal itself. So, mapping out who does what in that closing the deal process is very important.

And then finally customer management, customer upgrades, and customer fulfillment. In some cases and in some channel organizations, it maybe that you're gonna be very good at closing deals and your partner's are fantastic at filling, or it could be the other way around. It's very important from a channel strategy perspective to map that out ahead of time.  

And then the final area that we want to look at is channel alignment. This is probably the area where we see most channel marketers make mistakes on. Because they assume that their partners are tightly aligned in terms of their financial and business interests with themselves. In some cases that's true, we see some organizations where channel partners make most of their income directly selling their channel partners products and services. In other cases we find it's actually quite the opposite. They make all their money providing services to existing customers. Both those models and anywhere in between can work perfectly fine and you need channel partners that can do different aspects of the end-to-end process. But, you really need to understand that those are very tightly aligned, channel marketing is much easier and it's a more straightforward process. People that are further aligned you gotta think that through in a lot more detail of how do we, knowing that our channel partner makes a lot of their income outside of selling our product, how do we create programs and strategies so that we can jointly market together.

The best way to understand how tightly aligned you are to sit down with channel partners a channel partner or multiple channel partners and map out over the course of three years for a given net new customer all the income that the two companies were derived from that customer, where that income get spread out, so between you and your partner, and then finally what the margins are. Because maybe there's a high degree of income but low margin, you wanna make sure you take that into account.  Anyway, we hope you enjoyed this from channel marketing strategy basics overview and we look forward to talking to you again soon. Thanks. 


Topics: Channel Marketing