Are you looking to drive revenue in your company? If so, you’ve most likely considered the possibility of partner marketing. These lucrative relationships allow third-party vendors to market and sell your products or services, granting you access to a larger audience and a greater sales margin. Partner channel marketing is a valuable tool for companies in a wide variety of industries, but there are risks attached to those rewards. Here are some of the risks and rewards of partner channel marketing.
RISK: SALES-CENTRIC PARTNER MARKETING
Oftentimes, your partner channel will be guided by a sales team rather than a marketing team, which can lead to dated or inefficient websites, opposing priorities, and a distinct lack of experience in online marketing. If you’ve faced this problem in your partner marketing efforts, you may consider reaching out to your partner’s marketing team. Through direct collaboration with experienced marketers, you can overcome some of the hurdles common to sales-centric partner channel marketing.
REWARD: YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK CLOSELY WITH YOUR VENDORS
By nature, a partner channel is a highly collaborative relationship. Your partners will have a unique perspective that can help drive sales of your products. Use their sales and marketing insights to your advantage, and encourage them to offer feedback when necessary. By forming a personal relationship with your channel, you’ll find that they’re more invested in the success of your brand.
RISK: YOU LOSE SOME LEVEL OF CONTROL OVER YOUR BRAND
If you spread yourself too thin, you may find your branding degrading over time. Vendors don’t always update their offerings as regularly as we would like, so there’s a high possibility that a channel can serve to spread inaccurate information. You can help avoid this by maintaining an open flow of information with your vendors and working to maintain control of your brand across all resellers.
REWARD: ACCELERATE YOUR BRAND THROUGH PARTNER MARKETING
If concern for your sales margin is a motivating force behind your decision to create a partner channel, then you’re on the right track. With an entire sales and marketing team working to promote certain products or services, you’ll see your offerings reaching a larger audience. This will encourage sales, as well as engagement with your brand. You’ll have the option to focus on a select product offering, allowing you to target your best sellers or new technology.
RISK: PARTNER CHANNEL MARKETING STRATEGY MAY NOT SOLVE EXISTING PROBLEMS
If your sales team is struggling to make their quotas, establishing a partner channel won’t magically make those problems go away. A partner channel requires that your company already have a solid infrastructure in place. That means white papers, documentation, and a support structure, among others. In fact, if your company doesn’t already have the stability and the capital to cover the start-up costs, you may actually dig yourself into a deeper hole than you were in before.
No matter your industry, investing in partner channel marketing can be a smart business move. However, you should ensure that this decision is right for your company and where you stand from a financial perspective. Carefully consider the risks and benefits of partner marketing to determine if it’s right for you and the future of your company.
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