Your Client's Channel Marketing Plans are Your Opportunity

BY Rachel Cagle
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Did you know that 59% of business-​to-​business (b2b) companies participate in channel marketing? According to Demand Gen’s 2022 Channel/​Partner Marketing Benchmark Survey, these businesses have “a network of partners – independent resellers, distributors, managed service providers, agents and/​or dealers – who market and sell their products or services.” Hopefully, some of your clients are among them. If not, it’s time to look for clients that offer channel marketing opportunities.

Channel Marketing Resources

Why? Even though they have their channel partners market for them, they still provide partners with marketing resources. According to Demand Gen, channel marketing assets that B2B operators provide to their partners include:

  • Product information/​sell sheets: 65% of b2b companies provide these to their partners
  • Co-​branded collateral: 63%
  • Content for their websites: 57%
  • Thought-​leadership content: 53%
  • Social marketing content: 51%
  • Video and interactive assets: 43%
  • Co-​branded email campaigns: 43%
  • Campaigns-​in-​a-​box: 35%

Those channel marketing assets don’t just appear out of thin air. Businesses need someone to create those assets for them. And that’s where you come in.

The Opportunity

Now, you might be thinking that this information is great, but if you’re already supporting B2B companies with partners, you’re already making this content. So, where’s the opportunity for you? Glad you asked.

Demand Gen says that “96% of b2b leaders expect to increase the revenue directly attributed to their partner ecosystems.” How do they plan on increasing revenue? By:

  • Adding new partners to their roster: 82% of b2b companies plan to do so
    • More than 25% plan to make significant partner increases
  • Increasing marketing channel program budgets: about 70%

Adding New Partners

In order to add new partners for channel marketing, B2B companies first need to market their partner program to potential partners. This spells even more opportunity for you. On top of creating campaigns for partners, you’ll be creating assets to influence potential partners. To learn more about the types of ads both groups respond to, check out their audience profiles on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. For example, did you know that, within the last year, Executive Managers took action after:

  • Seeing ads on social media
  • Seeing sponsored search results
  • Receiving email ads

Increasing Channel Program Budgets

This approach can be a double-​edged sword for marketers. Why? B2B companies want to increase their budgets to improve their channel marketing programs because fewer than 20% of them feel “their current program’s ability to sell and market through channel partners is very effective,” says Demand Gen. It’s a double-​edged sword because on one hand, your client may feel that a lack of budget was the reason for the marketing efforts not being as effective as they could be. On the other, it could be a negative reflection on previous campaign effectiveness. But all you need to do to fix the negative twist is to have a clear, research-​backed plan of action for your increased budget.

And if you’re looking to gain clients that have established partner programs, this is great news for you because you may be able to convince them that you’d do a better job providing channel marketing materials than the last agency they worked with. (This is what you have to compete against to keep your clients. So, make sure your plan is fool proof!)

The Golden Channel Marketing Opportunity

So, there you have it. B2B companies with partner programs are looking to expand and improve. Your services can help them achieve both goals. Time to put together a plan of action to make the most of your client’s increased channel marketing funds. (Or go prove that you can do a better job than a potential client’s old marketing agency.)

Photo by Cytonn Photography