Insights and understanding why your partner investments go underutilized if not wasted
By T.C. Doyle
IKEA customers that don’t read directions. Chefs who don’t follow recipes. Workers that do not take advantage of employer-provided benefits. What do these groups have in common?
They are all examples of people that fail to take advantage of knowledge, tools and advantages created expressly for them. The complete list is long and includes doctors who fail to follow carefully developed medical guidelines. (Their patients aren’t much better, according to the CDC, which finds 20-30% of consumers never fill their prescriptions for chronic conditions.)
Why is adherence or utilization of important benefits so poor is so many instances? Complexity, inapplicability and ineffectiveness are some reasons. Human frailties including lack of imagination and even laziness are others. In some instances, the waste is trivial. Not so for tech vendors, manufacturers, insurers and others who squander a staggering sum of time, energy and money on benefits for business partners.
If only there were a better way, right? There is in marketing. Make that partner marketing, specifically. This April, Impartner, the world leader in partner automation technology, is unveiling updated Through Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA) technology that removes the obstacles that have historically kept partners from utilizing vendor provided tools and benefits.
Here’s what you need to know.
A TCMAosaurus Is Reborn
After extensive research and work with vendor customers, Impartner identified why TCMA systems are chronically underutilized. Among other things, business partners complain that ease of use leaves them wanting and that key steps are not automated. In industry after industry, partners either ignore vendor provided tools altogether or struggle mightily to put them to use.
Vendor brands suffer as a result. Take the tech industry, where partner spending on marketing as a percent of revenue is historically low. (For all but the top echelon of channel partners in technology, spending amounts to less than 3% of revenue per partner, according to various studies.) Little wonder that tech brands suffer from brand compliances issues, poor lead attribution and follow-up, muddled marketing campaigns and dismal reporting on key performance metrics.
To be sure, the positive results vendors do enjoy are typically achieved by a finite set of very marketing savvy partners that often represent multiple brands at once. (If they are good at marketing your brand, they are likely adept at marketing the goods and services of your rivals, too.)
This is why so many vendors put their faith in the “long-tail” of business partners . These are the smaller, mid-sized companies that work with SMBs the world over. Historically, this tier of partners is populated with scores of technically astute companies that do not prioritize marketing. Most, in fact, do not employ a full-time marketing professional let alone a marketing team. Because of this, your long-tail never gets unfurled and put to use. Until now.
Impartner’s new TCMA platform offers partners a simple, four-step adoption process can be completed in minutes — literally. After enrolling, partners quickly realize that vendor campaigns will run automatically afterwards, resulting in a steady stream of leads that can flow indefinitely. What is more, all co-branding is automated. No additional partner input is required in order to participate in campaigns once a partner provides its logo and contact information.
Thanks to advances in Impartner’s TCMA platform, vendors can confidently expect their long tail to unfurl to a length never before seen. (Think Brontosaurus-sized.)
The timing could not be better. Again, consider the tech industry. A new study from CompTIA finds that 38% of channel partners are looking to make significant changes to their marketing this year as a result of the pandemic that limited customer engagements throughout 2020. What’s thwarting them, experts believe, is the limited number of professionals available to them and their past experiences with vendor and distributor-provided tools. A robust TCMA tool or service that overcomes their challenges, thus, would be a godsend.
Another reason to take a closer look at TCMA technology, which some joke has been around since the age of dinosaurs, is partners’ desire for help in the post-pandemic era. When asked, “Which of the following facets of joint selling/marketing are most relevant to your firm and/or most likely to contribute value?,” partners ranked “easier and better access to customers and leads” as their No. 1 request, again according to CompTIA research.
In addition to helping addressing partners’ top request, vendors that invest in Impartner TCMA also enjoy other benefits, including:
As with other Impartner PRM solutions, Impartner TCMA includes a set of features unmatched by any vendor in the industry. This includes Journey Orchestration, Training & Certification, Showcase Syndication, Email Campaigns and more. Be sure to check out the latest on Impartner’s new TCMA technology. Better yet, ask for a demo today.
If you worry you investments into partner marketing technology are under-utilized or worse, you know they are, then stop wrestling with your TCMAosaurus. A new one from Impartner has been reborn and is likely to make other TCMA products extinct.
T.C. Doyle is the Channel Growth Evangelist at Impartner, the leader in channel management and Partner Relationship Management (PRM) technology. A journalist, book author and analyst, Doyle has worked in media for three decades. As channel evangelist, Doyle produces podcasts, case studies, e-books and more for Impartner. Doyle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.