Demand Generation Challenges: Making the Most of Your Channel Programs
Generating demand for your products or services requires a multi-pronged approach. You must first raise awareness and recognition of your brand, which can be supported with an increase in marketing tactics. Ultimately, with repeat business and further exposure, your sales should improve quite noticeably. This all helps to shape a self-perpetuating cycle of expansion.
But, what if you could incorporate the other professional interests you’re affiliated with to help you with the heavy lifting? This is where channel (partner) programs come into play. Developing specific demand generation strategies for your channel partners provides the opportunity for exponentially larger growth. Think of it as having 10 different people market your product and services vs. just one.
Unfortunately, this strategy is not without potential hurdles. First, you have to get partners and business associates interested in helping you. You may not be their only partner pushing this agenda. As a seller, It is in your best interest to make sure your goods sell since they profit alongside you. Incentivizing partners with consultation fees and bonuses based on demand generation results and sales will result in a bigger impact on sales. Of course, you can sweeten the pot even more by funneling a percentage of earnings back into your channel programs, and specifically into demand generation strategies. This step will make it easy for partners to move ahead with promotional efforts that fuel demand generation efforts.
A good place to start is by preparing the necessary materials and content. To some degree, you can empower preferred vendors and associates to tweak your content or even generate their own on your behalf. In some cases, this can be a major boon, especially if you’re selling in markets where your affiliates have a better understanding of how to connect with, engage, and impress local consumers. You should at least start by providing fully formed marketing materials and a plan for implementation. If you trust vendors to expand your vision from there, be ensure to communicate this to them.
The next step is to tailor demand generation concepts for specific markets or affiliates. Your legwork will not only make implementation of strategies easier, but it also stands to increase results, benefiting both you and the channel partners. Different tactics may work in different markets, or particular channel partners might prefer tactics that have shown results in the past. Don’t be afraid to try new tactics and strategies when it comes to demand generation, from traditional efforts like call blitzes and appointment setting to modern tactics like marketing automation and content syndication.
Finally, tracking and analyzing the results of your efforts in various markets and via specific vendors is a key to success. Online reporting tools have made this process much easier than in decades past, but exercise due diligence if you want the most bang for every buck spent and the best outcome from every minute dedicated to demand generation. When you have your channel programs down to a science and partners can see the gains and rewards of their efforts, you’ll have a much easier time expanding your brand and increasing success for everyone involved.
At Leadit Marketing we’re experts at helping you get there. We work with both channel teams to select CMM platforms and set up their channel marketing campaigns. We also work with partners to create and execute the best possible plan, messaging strategy, and even content to help them succeed — so you both sell more, faster. For more information about our planning services contact firstname.lastname@example.org.