With limited resources and budgets, partners are looking to their vendors to go the extra mile with relevant, targeted marketing content.

Whether you are creating content for partners, or wanting content support from your vendors, there is one message coming out loud and clear from our research. For marketing content to drive positive actions and create leads, it must show a real understanding of the intended audience, be crafted specifically for their needs and weave together the expertise and USPs of both vendor and partner to create differentiation. This can only be achieved through the development of close partner marketing relationships and a structured, collaborative approach to joint go-to-market campaigns.

Vendor-produced content has always played a significant role in partner marketing. With massive pressure on resources and budgets, many partner marketers view good vendor content as an efficient and effective way to differentiate themselves – but the reality is slightly different.

Our recent survey of partner marketers looked at the true opinions around vendor content. Whilst the appetite for content is clearly high, partners are only really going to use it if it is targeted, relevant, and personalised.

So, how do you get more partners to use the content you produce? Here are our recommendations:

  • Generic content won’t cut the mustard. Our research showed that vendors would be better focusing time, energy, and money on developing content more closely tailored to vertical markets that showed a real understanding of the end-customer. And opt for bite-sized content that can be re-purposed across multiple marketing channels. Think about: working with proposition development specialists and market experts can help ensure your content starts with customer needs first.
  • Personalisation is more than just a buzzword. Over 80% of respondents said they wanted vendor content to be personalised down to an individual account level. Our research went on to highlight that lack of bandwidth and/or resources within teams was often prohibitive to this happening. Think about: engaging a 3rd-party agency to help create tailored content and doing a ‘final-mile’ spin to personalise it.
  • Partner content needs aligning 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 customer conversations they were having. Think about: aligning your messaging with your partners is critical; developing content that matches joint go-to-market themes to get the best results.
  • It’s time to show your nurturing side. The partners we surveyed said they were more interested in dynamic content, rather than brochures and PPTs, that would help them nurture conversations over time. 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. Think about: developing the right type content AND the right ways to share it. 70% of respondents said they would prefer to have content emailed directly to them (70%) and also wanted support to discuss and understand the content.

There is no doubt marketing content plays a hugely important role throughout the end-to end customers buyers’ journey. Investing the time and effort in creating powerful, differentiated content that can be tailored with partners and personalised to your joint customer’s specific needs, is worth its weight in gold. Not only will it help bring in leads quicker, it will also go a long way to you help you in developing profitable long-term relationships with your partners.

Hilary Salzman
Director & Head of Value Proposition Development