Business owners and marketers are always on the lookout for the best marketing strategies to integrate into their business operations, all in a bid to scale up their businesses. One of these strategies, which has recently garnered more popularity, is partnership marketing.
Also referred to as Partner marketing, this model has been around for a while, manifesting itself in different forms, but its potential had just begun to be fully recognized.
Partner marketing solutions have great potential to raise business growth and productivity if utilized appropriately. If you are new to partner marketing and need to gain knowledge and insights about it, we bring to you in this article an ultimate guide to partner marketing solutions as the 2022 business year sets in.
As the name suggests, Partner marketing is a form of marketing where businesses or firms make a collective effort to provide mutual benefits for one another. It is often a collaboration between brands that offer similar, closely related, or supplementary products and brands whose target customers are within the same group.
Here the two brands pull resources together as one promotes the sales of the other brands to its customers, the other brand does similar. That way, both parties benefit and can obtain new customers for one another and achieve their business goals. Frequently this setup is agreed upon by the firms concerned and is bound by certain conditions which cover a defined period.
What is a Partner Program?
A partner program is a specific setup that works on the principles of partner marketing. Also termed channel partner program, this is a business setup employed by vendors to encourage others (partners) to be involved in the marketing and sales of the vendor's products. There are various types of partner programs according to the nature of the business and objectives set for partnership.
It is most commonly practiced as an affiliate program where partners sell and market the product for an agreed-upon commission. However, the partner program is essential to help brands carry out campaigns, recruit partners, communication, and all other modalities.
What Are The Key Elements oF a Successful Partner Marketing Program?
The dynamism of partner marketing allows for variations in the elements of every program based on the peculiarities of vendor and channel partners. Essentially, the flexibility allows for the integration of elements based on the position of every partner in the channel marketing cycle. Elements of a successful partner marketing program include the following:
- Assessment and Analysis: This is essential before setting on any partner program. Proper assessment factors to a great extent in the success of a partner marketing program. It entails the evaluation of the capability and brand engagement of every partner in the network, followed by an analysis directed at identifying partners and grouping them in a manner that allows targeted market support and provision of the right content and tools to maximize campaign success.
- Goal Specification And Proper Tracking: Another key element in the success of your partner meeting is goal setting. Again, the goal should be SMART and effectively communicated to the partners involved. Measurable goals give insights to the partners on how to conduct their marketing activities and are key to monitoring the performance of your partnership. Based on individual partnership programs setup, the metrics used to measure success differs. Still, common examples include the amount of revenue generated within a specified period, amount of customers asked within a particular time frame, a specific percentage increase in website visits, and lead generation. To succeed, ensure that you employ credible PRM software to help effectively collect and manage partner data and track your partner marketing performance.
- A Great Incentive Structure: In a partnership marketing program, motivation is no myth; a great incentive structure is a long way to secure the long-term success of your program. The nature of the incentive is based again on the rule of the partner program you run. This could be profitable commissions for affiliate partners in each sale, discounts, sales performance incentive funds (SPIFs) for channel partners, or even incentives for lead generation. The bottom line is that everyone desires rewards for their efforts, which stimulates partners to continue putting in the work for the success of the partner program.
How Through-Partner Marketing Software Can Grow Sales
Through partner marketing software enables vendors to develop an indirect sales pipeline and effectively make their partnership program. To acquire the benefits fully from partnership marketing software and aid your partner's drive demand. A detailed plan should be followed in this order:
- Identify the partners already successful in sales generation. This is because their reputation of successful sales will become of great advantage when they begin to drive more demand.
- Employ horizontal campaigns, so partners already involved in sales can benefit from utilizing assets that tackle the largest possible segment.
- Set up your through-partner marketing software for lead distribution provision. This way, it is easier to track lead distribution and generation.
Unlike regular marketing campaigns, the measurements of success for partner marketing are not solely about customer engagement and conversion rates; key factors are used to measure the success rate. These include:
Partner Engagement and Satisfaction
Partner satisfaction and engagement are great indicators of partner marketing success. Great partner engagement proves that you have been able to secure their attention and dedication and is also a sign of long-term and future success of the marketing.
How do you track and measure partner engagement? Partner engagement can be gauged through the following:
- Frequent use and interaction with the partner portals.
- Regular participation in training and marketing campaigns.
- Use of resources, tools, and content.
- Connection with sale teams and use of MDF.
If the above factors are positive, it shows that your partners are very much engaged, and more engagement points to profitability. A satisfied partner would be willing to put in the work and meet up to what is required even on a long-term basis. Partner satisfaction can be measured or tracked through conducting surveys and obtaining feedback or even through informal discussions through channel account managers.
This metric is an assessment of how well the partner program meets its objectives and impacts the returns of the partner marketing. This can be assessed through performance indicators such as
- Amount of leads generated by each partner.
- Level of end-user and partner engagement.
- How much end-user and partner engagement did the program receive?
- Several deals were closed by partners.
Partner Relationship Management Tools
A very accurate way to measure success and profitability is with the aid of a PRM tool. These tools can provide you with detailed insights and a breakdown of your partners' profitability through effective management and sales and marketing data analysis.
To-partner And Through-partner Marketing – What is The Difference?
Although these two types of partnerships work hand in hand to help vendors achieve their set goals, they are not the same and have their specific functions and demands.
To-partner marketing aims to enlighten partners about what is in for them or how they stand to benefit from the program.
The aim is to stimulate the customer's interest and make them see reason as to why they should work with the vendor; this way, mutual interest is achieved. The essence of to-partner marketing is to spur partners' interest through value proposition, offering products, and customer insight.
The other aspect of to-partner marketing is the sustenance of the channel partner's mindshare. This involves the provision of training, incentives, and all strategies targeted at easing business operations. In the channel partner timeline, to- partners marketing occurs across types and levels and is personalized for partners to foster longevity.
Through-partner marketing is quite distinct in its approach and is concerned with the provision of resources and support required for channel partners to ensure they can market the vendor brand and product themselves. With this, the partners can stand on their own and navigate business operations easily. In line with the objectives of- partner marketing, vendors are required to provide support throughout the customer acquisition process; This is instrumental to the success of the partnership and is attained through activities such as the provision of delivery tools, easily accessible content which can be modified to custom fit for lead generation, support groups and aiding partners to recognize end customers target. Etc.
What Do We Mean by Partner Relationship Management (PRM)?
Partner relationship management (PRM) integrates methods, systems, software, and web-based capacities to help vendors effectively manage their offers by incorporating effective communication and interaction systems and processes to yield profitable partnerships. This can be distinguished from customer relationship management in that it is targeted towards promoting sales through partners, as opposed to simply getting end customers to purchase from you.
PRM is a cost-effective strategy that spans basic ways to manage vendor partner relationships and extends to structured programs involving sophisticated software and data management. Several providers who offer PRM software to firms and businesses are readily available. These partner marketing software solutions entail partner management systems and custom contact database, track their campaign performance, and other relevant elements.
Essential Functions of Partner Relationship Management
Partner relationship management serves several essential functions, the basis of which is the management of data for firms to attain their set goals. The following are functions of PRM tools.
- It oversees and helps vendors manage the lifecycle of their partners. This includes aspects of partner recruitment and entry, profiling, leads monitoring, and onboarding.
- Facilitates orientation and training of partners, gives access to webinar registration, oversees partner certification, and all other elements of partner enablement.
- Important for partner engagements such as emails and newsletter functionalities and facilitating the establishment of support groups.
- It is also involved in administering loyalty and reward programs, growth incentives, and all other aspects related to commission management.
Tips for building a successful partner marketing channel
- Optimize Your Products and Services For Easy Sales: There is an ongoing competition between your services and other companies at the end of your partners, so the ease of access and sales of your product and solutions gives your firm a competitive advantage.
- Frequently Establish Communication: Communicating effectively with partners is vital to fostering productive relationships. Partners should be aware and readily notified of tool and resources availability and collaboration opportunities.
- Leverage Social Media and Digital Networks: Integrating your social media strategy with your partner program is a great way to promote your brand awareness to your partner's target audience. Thus your content and resources should be designed to allow incorporation with social media.
- Ensure You Use The Right Content at the Appropriate Time: At the center of partner marketing is the availability of adequate content. Both partners and end-user consumers must be provided with the right content at the right time. For the partners, it goes a long way to help them effectively communicate the offer and value of the product and services to the consumers.
Differences between Affiliate marketing and partner marketing Solutions
Affiliate marketing and partner marketing are types of internet marketing. They both deliver partner sites traffic while the partner sites deliver advertisements to the affiliate's website.
The difference between the two is in the payment. In partner marketing, an advertiser pays a partner site for each click or sale they receive. In affiliate marketing solutions, an affiliate receives money from partner sites when a referred partner site clicks on an affiliate's website link or makes a purchase from the partner's store.
In partner marketing, sites use partner marketing software to manage their partner programs. In affiliate marketing, affiliate networks provide solutions for the management and tracking of affiliates and merchants, including campaign creation, analytics, payments, and reporting. There are also affiliate marketing software solutions available to help with affiliate marketing management.
In general, partner programs are hosted by the advertisers paying their affiliates for each sale made through their site. Since affiliate networks have been created, it has become easier for affiliates to support multiple partner programs using one interface.
In addition, affiliate software can help with tracking clicks that lead into partner programs and multi-channel reporting across numerous partners. Affiliate networks also allow merchants bigger margins than partnering directly with partner sites. For example, Amazon has a partner program that allows partner sites to sell Amazon products and earn a commission on each sale. As a result, the partner site sells the product for more than they paid, while Amazon receives more profits because they sold the item at more than their cost of buying it.
Partner Marketing has its challenges but when done right it will lead to happy customers that stay loyal for years, not just during their contract period. The world of marketing is changing and it's important that you keep up with the trends. Partner Marketing Solutions can help you grow your customer base by providing better exposure for both businesses.