For businesses that rely on channel partners to promote and sell their products, marketing is rapidly becoming a critical strategic risk. The more technology migrates to the cloud, the more it disrupts old partner business models. Reliable partners who generated sales yesterday may not be the partners driving sales tomorrow, putting millions of dollars in channel revenue at risk.
Social media is a significant opportunity for the channel, because it provides a way to attract and empower partners with a new marketing capability, the activity of social marketing can significantly amplify the company’s reach, and the inherent engagement involved in socializing the channel supports better relationships between the company and it’s channel partners.
Chris Becwar at Channel Management published a post last week that points to? one of the central challenges channel partner marketers face today, a challenge we discuss frequently at SocialRep: how do you enable channel partners to market most effectively?
It’s a seemingly simple question with a time-honored answer: sales incentives! If you provide the right incentives, channel partners will? move heaven and earth to close deals. What’s missing from that simple equation is the depth of disruption rocking the global IT channel, reducing the effectiveness of? traditional incentive approaches.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve heard a growing drumbeat of complaints about marketing in the IT channel. I’ve heard it from channel managers, field marketers, partner marketing and sales teams. I’ve heard it phrased a dozen different ways. I’ve heard it applied to email, digital, events and telesales. But the message is always the same: “We’re not getting the traction from marketing programs we’ve always counted on.”