With limited resources and budgets, partners are looking to their vendors to go the extra mile with content to support their marketing campaigns and sales efforts.
When it comes to partner marketing, vendor-produced content has always played a significant role in joint go-to-market campaigns and sales enablement. With massive pressure on resources and budgets, many partner marketers view good vendor content as an efficient and effective way to differentiate themselves – but their experience is slightly different.
Our recent survey of partner marketers looked at the true opinions around vendor content. It identified a demand for content, but for it to be used by partners, it really needed to much more targeted, relevant, and personalised. The appetite to access partner portals for this content is high – but portals are only as good as the information within them. So, if you want more partners to access your portals, and use the content you produce, here are our recommendations, based on the research we carried out:
- Generic content won’t cut the mustard. One of the reasons cited for not using vendor-produced content was that it lacked an understanding of the end-customer and didn’t relate to the market. Our research showed that vendors would be better focusing time, energy, and money on developing content more closely tailored to vertical markets. And opt for bite-sized content that can be re-purposed across multiple marketing channels. What to think about? Working with market experts and specialised proposition agencies can help ensure your content starts with your target audience’s needs first.
- Personalisation is more than just a buzzword. Over 80% of people we surveyed said they wanted vendor content to be fully personalised right down to an individual account level. Our research went on to highlight that bandwidth and/or resources within teams were often prohibitive to enabling this to happen. What to think about? Engaging a 3rd-party agency to help create tailored content and do a ‘final-mile’ spin to personalise it and make it relevant. That’s just what one of our customers did…. “We work with partners/agencies to provide specialisms where we don’t have this within the team. One of the biggest areas is in ensuring that we create content that works for our business, that is client specific and that can be re-used.” Catherine Dutton, ATOS.
- Partner content needs to align to your marketing strategy. This sounds very obvious, yet over 70% of those partners we surveyed didn’t feel their content was specific to the key conversations that were being had with customers, including Digital Transformation, Cloud Migration and Customer Experience. What to think about? Aligning your messaging with your partners is critical. This means developing content that matches your own go-to-market themes and strategy to get the best results from all your campaigns.
- It’s time to show your nurturing side. Although it’s true that brochures and sales presentations still play a vital role in the buyer’s journey, the partners we surveyed said they were more interested in dynamic content that would help them nurture conversations over time (as opposed to one-off events). 85% said they would like to receive more videos, 78% wanted more insight-based content including White Papers and thought leadership, and 71% were looking for more social media content. What to think about? As well as developing the right type content,– it’s also important to find the right ways to share it. Our research showed that partners would prefer to have content emailed directly to them (70%) and also wanted support to discuss and understand the content, for example by conference call or a webinar.
Whether you are responsible for creating content for partners, or looking to get content support from your vendors, there is one key message coming out loud and clear from our research. For marketing content to drive positive actions and create leads, it needs to show a real understanding of the intended audience, be crafted specifically for their needs and weave together the expertise, knowledge, and USPs of both vendor and partner to create true differentiation. This can only be achieved through the ongoing development of close partner marketing relationships and a structured, collaborative approach to joint go-to-market campaigns.
To find out more about what makes a successful partnership, check out our previous research here: The Seven Success Factors of Partner Marketing.