Channel Insight: Four Tips For Creating Partner-Focused Outreach Materials

By Kellie Auman Posted on 9/27/18 11:05 AM

There’s no doubt that a vendor attempting to establish a stable growing channel sale network should be producing plenty of marketing and other promotional materials. They need those materials first to woo partners into joining their ecosystem, and then to help partners in their own marketing efforts.

However, sometimes the vendor’s marketing group makes a critical mistake: They create materials targeting end users.

It’s completely understandable, particularly if the marketing group has been accustomed to making “traditional” marketing materials. However, as a vendor, the primary audience for your outreach is not the end users. It’s your partners! The partners are who will be first reading those materials, and being influenced by them – or not.

You will have far more success with both “sides” of your outreach if you keep this in mind, and work towards on creating promotional documentation that focuses on your partners!

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1. Make two versions of promo materials.

Once you have a strong concept for a marketing flyer, video, or similar production, make two versions of it. One is a standard advertisement targeting the end user, but the other specifically targets your partners. They can even have very similar verbiage. One might say “You can do your taxes in 10 minutes with (product)!” and the other might say “Help your clients do their taxes in 10 minutes with (product)!”

Just a few slight shifts in your targeting voice can allow you to easily repurpose materials with minimal rewrites/re-recordings. Then distribute whichever version is appropriate to a particular circumstance.

2. Make your partner the hero of the story.

When writing partner-focused marketing materials, show some humility and deference. Don’t treat the partners like sidekicks – treat them like the hero. After all, they are the ones who will be solving customers’ problems in real life, so let them start enjoying that narrative in your materials. You’re helpfully providing tools and services that allow them to make customers’ lives easier.

Sure, most savvy partners will realize there’s more to it than that, but most people still enjoy hearing a story where they’re the hero. It helps get on their good side. (Particularly if they’re looking at other fliers from other vendors who aren’t so magnanimous.)

Case Study Example: "We need to improve our partner marketing support through better materials and incentives."

3. Be the one solving their problems.

Sure, your product solves problems that the customers have – but your partners have problems too, and being partners with you can be the solution! Make this sort of insight part of your pitch for bringing partners onboard, and keeping them happy. Focus on talking up how you make their own lives easier, and improve their business, and let your product speak for yourself.

For a slightly offbeat look at how this can be done well, take a look at promotional fliers for arcade games. They can provide some great examples of how partner-focused marketing materials can emphasize solving partner problems, while still simultaneously promoting the product itself.

4. Get ideas from your existing partners.

When is the last time you’ve sat down to talk to your partners’ managers about real-world usage cases they’ve observed? Or maybe even listened in to some sales calls, to hear what actual pain points and objections their customers are bringing up?

This sort of intelligence is vital for creating effective partner-focused marketing materials. Create surveys. Learn about what they’re dealing with from their customers, day to day, and make promotions to match. The closer your outreach matches the real-world experiences and problems your partners are facing, the more effective it will be.

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The LogicBay PRM system includes robust options for creating marketing materials, collaborating with partners on their creation, and creating easy-to-browse repositories of information. There’s no easier way to keep everyone on the same marketing page.

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CSO's Guide To Increasing Channel Partner Sales

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