How to Drive Higher Partner Engagement and More Effective Channel Marketing

Channel Marketing is a big investment. And you want to get as large and predictable return on your channel marketing efforts as possible. This is getting even more difficult with new partner types emerging. Different types of partners require different types of incentives to keep them engaged and interested in your marketing campaigns.

This week’s guest is Peter Thomas, channel marketing expert, founder of Averetek, and author of Marketing Multiplied. Peter shares 5 practical steps that you can take to maximize the return on your channel marketing investments. Learn how to driver higher partner engagement with your channel program and marketing campaigns. This will lead you to a higher and more predictable channel marketing ROI.


5 Steps to Maximizing Your Channel Marketing ROI

1. Use a data driven approach to your channel marketing planning.

  • Look at the entire life cycle of your products, from production to distribution to the channel partner, and finally the customer.
  • This data allows you to see which channel routes are the most successful, and which ones are growing versus shrinking.

2. Segment your partners and then align incentives accordingly.

  • Lifestyle partners and growth partners have drastically different motivations. Consequently, they need different incentives.
  • Money is an easy incentive, but partners ultimately value experiences over monetary prizes. Enablement is an experience that will drive greater results.

3.  Offer packaged marketing services and either minimize or eliminate proposal-based funding entirely.

  • Most partners lack marketing expertise and do not know how to plan marketing activities.
  • With proposal-based marketing, there is no guaranteed ROI or even a predictable outcome it the proposal has no track record.
  •  It’s important to offer a diversity of services. The way people in different regions with different cultures engage needs to be taken into account.

4.  Be fun and interesting.

  • It can be difficult to keep partners interested in the campaigns. For that reason, keep it fun and interesting for them to be actively engaged.
  • Shuffle the deck every quarter. For example, start with a cross-selling campaign, transition to up selling, and then move into buying new accounts. This way you keep changing the objectives and campaigns quarter by quarter and break up the monotony of constantly doing the same thing.

5. Inspect what you expect.

  • Look back and audit the channel marketing programs that you are running and funding you are providing. That way you can ensure that you are getting the expected ROI and that there is no abuse or fraud taking place.


You have to find partners that demonstrate a willingness to work with you. If they're willing to take the steps that lead toward a successful outcome, double down and help them take those steps. Click To Tweet Once you've segmented your partners, align your incentives to them. Don't align an incentive to the transaction, align the incentive to the activities that lead to the transaction. Click To Tweet Partner experience is just as important as customer experience. Making it fun and interesting can go a long ways towards creating a better partner experience and make them want to work with you. Click To Tweet


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