While working with different customers and their channel partners I've tried to better listen and understand their needs regarding partners programs .
What I got from vendors :
- Partners want events . The promise of events as significant revenue generators has not yet been realized. We continue to rely on anecdotal and non-revenue-based evidence of event success. Number of attendees, number of cards in the fish bowl, attendee satisfaction surveys… these measures just aren’t enough anymore.
- We have invested a lot through different demand generation tools and we are working with different agencies but partners are not using those tools, they are not executing campaigns they have been offered with even free of charge.
- We don’t get enough visibility on how marketing funds are spent and we are unable to properly track ROI.
What I got from partners :
- We got different marketing assets but they don’t have a local touch so we can’t use it.
- We are working with different vendors, different agencies and it became too complicated.
- There are some partners which are saying “we are not big enough so vendors are not listening to our feedback “
- We need sales support
I was wondering - is there miscommunication? Vendors and channel marketing partners expectations are so different? Is there anything we can do to assist both parties? The answer is YES!
What vendors should take in consideration when analysing a program?
Channel partners are also customers after all, and their expectations must be taken into account, to develop and maintain successful relationships with them.
Run a research , get all types of partners already engaged and ask them :
- Why did you decide to run a specific campaign?
- What specific value or benefit do you feel you that you get from our program?
- How could we improve it in the future for you?
Never be afraid to ask –If you ask your partners enough questions, and listen carefully enough to the answers, they will tell you everything you need to know to increase program adoption faster and easily though in a measurable way.
Vendors that provide a clear vector for their channel on how they'll be treated with a new program will be the winners of the hearts and minds of those partners!
As for Partners – they need to be clear on what they want with precise feedback to their vendors and willing to commit on mid and long term engagements once their needs were met.
While multiple agencies are playing different roles it is important for partners to have one single point of contact. Marketing Concierge – Can see the bigger picture of maintaining client satisfaction overall, which managing all the small daily tasks that go into running the high volume of campaigns smoothly. This means having an ability to communicate on a client-specific basis, and being flexible to all the daily chaos that ensues from campaign volume.
Using local support will boost your partners satisfaction and programs traction as everybody will feel confident and know will be able to rely on his dedicated consultant. It is no need to change your existing vendor, their solutions are probably great as you have chosen but on top add the local touch, listen your partners needs and let Concierge experts working with and for you.
"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place"