Tech companies have found a way to build success through a partner marketing strategy.
Digital transformation is sweeping the enterprise, enabling tech companies to shape how they work. Teaming up with likeminded partners allows businesses to excel in their weak spots—reaching more customers and scaling growth.
Although tech companies have found a way to build success through partner marketing strategy, it’s far from easy. Without a strategic, flexible framework as the basis for collaboration, partnerships can crumble. According to Demand Gen’s 2022 Channel/Partner Marketing Benchmark Survey, two-thirds of B2B business leaders say their partner marketing efforts are only somewhat effective, while 20% say their strategy is not very effective—or worse.
Business leaders need to be strategic about choosing their partners and determining how to best co-present their technologies and services to customers in a way that’s beneficial to all parties. It’s a competitive market, and organizations can’t afford to compromise their reputation.
There are four steps to developing a successful partner marketing campaign, but it’s important to recognize that the hard work doesn’t start–or end–there. B2B techs need to ensure their joint efforts can withstand the inevitable changes that continue to emerge in the technology landscape.
Here are five steps to building sustainable marketing partnerships:
1. Understand your company’s why
Before seeking outside partners, you need to understand the unique differentiators of your own offerings before developing that “better together” story. In turn, you should regularly keep a pulse on what competitors are doing to know how to pivot your company’s communication and new product developments accordingly. Following your peers on LinkedIn and subscribing to their email lists is an initial step to being in the know about new products and/or services brought to market.
Understanding your company’s strengths and gaps will help you identify the direction to take your business plan—including which partners to team up with. Additionally, understanding the value that a partner adds to your company’s product or service will help both teams in discovering how to position themselves in the market successfully.
2. Align business goals
Ensure the most success from your partnerships by prioritizing business alignment. Customers are quick to turn their backs on companies that aren’t meeting their expectations, and your partnership is no different. Finding like-minded partners who share the same customer values should feel like second nature with your company’s “why” at the forefront.
Start with connecting internal marketing, product and sales teams. Having different perspectives present at the table is essential to developing long-lasting partnerships, as it allows your organization to identify areas to pivot early on, enabling further campaign success.
Schedule regular meetings with stakeholders from both organizations to stay focused on creating value. This includes marketers, sales representatives, product and web developers and client relationship managers.
3. Showcase your partner marketing strategy
Now that you’ve reached business alignment, you and your partners can strategize how to take your marketing efforts to the next level.
Develop a joint messaging kit to help streamline communication about your co-services across various marketing assets—ebooks, infographics, whitepapers, blogs—for prospects, existing clients and the broader market.
Providing teams with a consistent, reliable resource for reference also prepares sales departments to help their customers navigate their options with ease. Talk tracks, battle cards and external facing one-pagers are all tools that prepare sales development representatives (SDRs), account executives and sales managers to help customers make an easy, informed decision.
4. Measure the return on investment (ROI)
The future state of IT funding remains uncertain as layoffs continue to impact organizations and the possibility of another economic recession looms. B2B tech leaders have tough decisions ahead concerning their budgets—including making the most out of their current technology infrastructure. Companies with room to invest in new opportunities need to ensure that they provide maximum value.
One wrong business decision can put high ROI and low churn rates at risk. Strategize with your partners on how you will continue measuring the return against each of your goals. Oversight of product outcomes across a connected ecosystem allows leaders and decision makers to gain a comprehensive view and identify new opportunities for growth.
5. Be strategic in managing the partner ecosystem
As your company builds its partner ecosystem and strategizes how to scale, the last thing you want to do is put your reputation on the line. Keep the momentum after a successful partner marketing campaign by returning to each of these steps and adapting your plan based on new findings, opportunities and competitive intel.
Looking at the data and prioritizing opportunities for new markets and product enhancements will help your partnerships maintain differentiation in the market and to your customers. Continue strategizing and collaborating with your priority partners to drive expansion and make the most from your current investments.
It’s rewarding to see the vision of a partnership come to life, and we want to help you continue building that momentum. To learn more about improving your marketing efforts, check out our technology information page.
If you are just starting on your partner marketing journey or looking to take your partner marketing strategy to the next level, we’d love to talk. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.