With the increasing complexity and competitiveness in today’s marketplace, ‘go-to-market’ intermediaries have bigger roles than ever before. No matter how your products reach consumers or who gets involved in your sales process — be it distributors, resellers, channel partners, or any other party — you will need a comprehensive marketing strategy to support your efforts in improving your channel ROI. That’s where a thorough channel marketing strategy comes into the play.
What is Channel Marketing?
Channel marketing focuses on the sale of products or services through a network of distributors or resellers, particularly in the B2B space. Unlike direct marketing, which is oriented around customers and end-users, channel marketing is directed towards both channel partners and end-customers.
Channel marketing strategies are mainly aimed at boosting the reach and revenue of these two groups, vendor organizations and their channel partners through planning, channel demand creation, lead nurturing, partner enablement and engagement programs.
For vendor companies, it takes a lot of time, negotiation, and evaluation to create and maintain relationships with channel partners. If your marketing communications aren’t strong, your channel relationship won’t deliver desirable results. As such, the more resources your marketing team can offer to your channel communities, the better; when your channel partners are armed with high-quality content and selling tools, have access to more insights about the industry they are selling into, and are more prepared to communicate the benefits of your offerings with prospective customers, the more successful you will be.
Unfortunately, most vendors don’t have enough marketing resources to support their channel partners. Even traditional marketing firms don’t cut it when it comes to providing marketing resources suitable for channel selling. This is why you need the services of a specialized channel marketing, full-service marketing agency like NAM.
As an agency with specific channel marketing experience, we can not only improve partnership communications, but also help vendor organizations adapt and change the way they market themselves through and with their partners in order to succeed.
Developing a Successful Channel Marketing Strategy
A successful channel marketing strategy considers these three words: To, through and with. These key words differentiate how an organization distributes its products in the market. Most importantly, different types of resources and marketing activities are utilized for these different channel functions., so there is a lot to consider. Let’s break it down.
- To - This is when a company markets to the customers and end-users directly. Marketing actions include creation of newsletters, e-books, whitepapers, social media content, events, and online advertisements directed towards the end user of a product or service.
- Through - This is when a company markets through the manufacturers/suppliers. Marketing actions include creation of e-books, whitepapers, events, and placement of online ads on suppliers’ sites to raise awareness of the product or service for sales.
- With - This is when a company markets with the supplier directly. Marketing actions include creation of collaborative blog content and social media activities to benefit both parties.
For a channel marketing strategy to generate demand and leads, it’s essential to align your strategy, budget, and business goals with that of your channel partners. At NAM, we do it through proven and impactful sales-driven solutions that educate, inspire and drive results. These sales-driven solutions include:
Channel communications – Programs, communications, and collaterals that increases awareness of products and services.
Channel enablement – Sales enablement tools that are designed to facilitate channel partners to sell vendor products and services, thus maximizing channel performance and driving sales and revenue.
Channel marketing campaigns – A broad range of activities and assets, from promotional to education and channel engagement campaigns.
Channel partner demand generation campaigns – Programs and campaigns created and executed for selected channel partners. These can be either fully or partly funded by the vendor or fully funded by the partner.
The Right Strategy Comes from the Right Agency
When it comes to successful channel marketing, it’s ultimately about building and nurturing mutually-profitable channel partnerships while being able to differentiate your brand. Working with the right channel marketing agency like NAM gives you a unique advantage. We can help you stand out and extend your reach into new markets.
Get in touch with us to learn more about our channel marketing services.