Over the last 5 years we have seen partner marketing grow in strategic importance but how do you make the leap from ad-hoc engagements to something that is fully aligned to your objectives and delivering the results you really need?

By embedding your partners into your marketing strategy and developing a programmatic way to engage them, you will be able to create a better experience for both your partners and your end-customers and deliver real impact to help you achieve your sales and marketing objectives. The many benefits of this include;

  • Clear messaging of the value of your offer to customers delivered through a single, easy to understand vertical, solution and partner message
  • Cost and time savings by reducing duplicated tactical efforts
  • Better ability to plan and meet marketing commitments
  • Increased partner commitment and satisfaction, helping strengthen relationships and create better engagement
  • Opportunity to do more for less by better utilisation of budget from partners

So how do you go about achieving this? It’s simple, just follow our 10 easy steps

  1. Prioritise your partner base by looking at their strategic fit (how well they support what you are trying to achieve?) versus their current engagement (have they got an appetite for joint marketing?).
  2. Collaborate with your partners to explore what their objectives and go-to-market (GTM) strategies are and create a joint plan-on-a-page.
  3. Find out what your horizontal (solution/portfolio) objectives and GTM priorities are and create a plan-on-a-page.
  4. Find out what your vertical (industry/market) objectives and GTM priorities are and create a plan-on-a-page for each.
  5. Use your findings to create your partner marketing programme detailing a common set of partner objectives and joint marketing requirements, for example, PR support, launch events, account-based marketing. (Top tip – consider creating tiers of support based on strategic priority and level of engagement/investment available to ensure you focus your efforts on those partners who can provide the best return. )
  6. Map your partners to your horizontal plan and do the same with your vertical plan – create segments of each plan that bring together all your relevant partners.
  7. Sanity check the volume of your plans – can they be delivered by the relevant teams internally?
  8. Share the plans with your partners – be open and honest with them to get their buy in and negotiate their financial contribution.
  9. Set and commit your plans for the year.
  10. Kick the plans off with regular governance and interlock across all your partners, horizontal and vertical.

Taking this approach, you will be able to banish costly ad-hoc engagements that don’t deliver, replacing them instead with a systematic approach that helps you engage the right partners with the right marketing programmes to deliver the best results and grow your revenues.