Partner marketing, schmartner marketing.
What is it that makes partner marketing such a sore subject in many organizations? Maybe it’s the perception that there’s limited visibility into marketing goals and results? Or perhaps it is the general misconception that it’s all about paying for golf tournaments?
Maybe back in 1999 the profession earned this rep. Back then, it was all about making your partners happy. Revenue? That wasn’t a priority. But I assure you, today’s partner marketers are revenue drivers and are held accountable for their ability to demonstrate their top-line impact.
What makes for successful partner marketing? First let’s define success as the ability to drive revenue for both your organization and your partner’s organization. This means creating, executing and reporting on your programs … all of your programs - the good, the bad and the ugly. Without this transparency, partner marketing has neither the credibility, nor the visibility required to be effective. Here’s how to make sure your partner marketing program earns the respect of the C-suite.
- Map partner marketing activities to the jointly agreed upon business plans. Without this, programs will lack the focus and resources needed to be successful. Cross-organizational buy-in essential. You can plan the most amazing campaign, but if you are the only one driving the initiative, you are doomed to fail.
- Clear and concise goal setting is a must. During your business planning session, establish goals that are easy to understand and measure (e.g., do not say increase visibility or branding anywhere in your plan) Instead, set goals that include number of MQLs expected, anticipated opportunities or other tangible items like penetration into a new vertical via acquisition of key logos or development of a new piece of collateral to help penetrate your market.
- Measure, measure, measure. I know it is a cliché, but if you know what they say, “If you can’t measure it’s not real.”
Seriously though, you must be able to track progress or results, regardless of how excellent or dismal they may be. If you don’t have a way to evaluate your program, how will you know if it was successful or not? And if you can’t do that, then you can’t decide if you should replicate it or revise it to perform differently.
Agree or disagree? I would love to hear your thoughts.