How to Maximize Your Marketing Development Dollars

How to Maximize Your Marketing Development Dollars

marketing development

5 Things Your Partners Wish You Knew about Marketing Development

So you’ve invested in a marketing development fund (MDF) program. That’s smart. It makes good sense to help local resellers, distributors and MSPs market your product and build local brand awareness. But are you getting the biggest return on your MDF dollars? We went straight to the source and gathered the top five suggestions sure to optimize your MDF program return.

1. Make Your Program Structure Easy

People are busy, and time is precious. If you want partners to do business with you, make it easy. Step back, and evaluate your program from the standpoint of the end user.

“73% of partners say vendor channel programs are too complex.”

-360Insights 2112 Group: Ease of Doing Business Report, 2019

For example, complicated co-branding rules pose a common barrier for partners. Most vendors require marketing development assets meet a long laundry list of marketing regulations. (Have you ever had to sift through a 50-page branding guideline looking for the right logo, the right logo placement and the right corresponding legal for your particular asset? It’s not easy.) Think about how you can make the process easier for partners while maintaining your brand consistency. Could you allow partners to focus less on your branding and more on theirs? After all, their success is your success.

2. Distribute More Dollars to Fewer Partners

Are you providing your partners with enough money to make a significant impact? Some vendors make the mistake of spreading out marketing dollars too thin. Could it be worth allocating more money to fewer partners?

Which brings us to another key question: Do you know what your ideal partner looks like? If you don’t have a partner profile, create one. Think about the characteristics of your best channel partners and build your profile from there. Work to attract and retain the kinds of partners with which you tend to form the most productive, lasting relationships.

3. Offer a Diverse Range of Options

Does your list of approved assets include a variety of materials from print to digital? For example, some partners simply don’t have the experience or the tools to utilize digital marketing assets. They may require printed one-sheets or PowerPoint presentations. Ultimately, you want to meet your partners where they are: Give them the kinds of materials they need to be successful.

“60% of market development funds (MDF) go unused.”

-Zinfi, Worldwide Channel Survey

4. Track Metrics

If you don’t already know, clearly define what success looks like for each asset and follow up. Only then can you see what’s really working and what’s falling short.

  • Give each marketing asset a measurable goal, like number of leads.
  • Track the goal, or number of leads, within a specific period of time.
  • Find out the close ratio for each asset. Reassess what isn’t giving you the return you want.

5. Show Your Partners You’re Vested in Their Success

Most partners’ experience with marketing is limited. They are comfortable making phone calls and walking through product demos. They don’t feel comfortable in the social media and digital marketing realm. Consider a pre-approved vendor who can provide marketing concierge services. Also think about channel marketing automation platforms. These tools are user-friendly and make it easy to download, co-brand, customize and execute.

Marketopia Can Help

When it comes to marketing, most partners think short-term and lack dedicated resources. And let’s face it: Effective marketing demands time and effort. Marketopia is a marketing and lead generation company specializing in the tech space. We’re experienced working with enterprises, vendors and partners, and we can help provide a wide range of support from custom content to paid and organic search services, and more. Contact us today to learn more.

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Recalculating Your Route to More Leads

Recalculating Your Route to More Leads

Word-of-Mouth Marketing: 3 Ways You Can Control the Conversation

The roads we once took to succeed in the professional world are fundamentally different from when this year began. It’s still possible to find success in your pursuit of new leads – but you need to rethink how you reach out to them. Get the tips and tricks you need from this article. We’ll show you how to change lanes on your journey toward building new professional relationships through better lead generation tactics.

Remember What Worked

If you want to get ahead of your competitors, it’s paramount that you formulate an outreach plan. To begin, consider the tactics you used in the past. Ask yourself, why did they work? How could they have been better? When reconsidering your approach, it’s good to perform an audit on your tactics and use hard statistics to determine what could work again. After all, they were successful for a reason. You were able to gain new partners’ interests and build professional relationships because these efforts resonated with your target.

Form a Community of Success

It’s no secret that when your business partners do well, you will too. When you can assist your clients in their new business successes, they will reach out to work with you again. This mutually beneficial system is known as through-partner enablement. Some ways you can use this tactic to your advantage include:

  • Sharing industry tricks with your partners via a newsletter, so they win in their own channel
  • Creating a sales marketing program with sell sheets and other collateral to showcase the benefits of your products
  • Teaching your partners to fish for their own new leads through comprehensive trainings

Start your through-partner enablement with the businesses you know. They already see the value you provide as a vendor and will listen to what you have to say. When you can build a trusting relationship, you will successfully elevate your marketing results through partner recruitment into 2021.

Outreach Growth Initiatives

Pursuing net new partners may now seem daunting. It feels like everyone is in damage control, looking to maintain stability rather than grow. But the truth is, these leads aren’t gone – the route you used to take to find them has changed. Here are four turn-by-turn directions to keep in mind when reaching out to new leads:

  1. Nothing beats a good phone call when in-person conversations aren’t an option
  2. Make attractive offerings that help your clients meet their goals via through-partner enablement
  3. Host, or participate in virtual events that replicate the shows that aren’t happening
  4. Differentiate yourself by selling your value as a partner along with your products

Sales and effective marketing are the keys to successful outreach initiatives. There are so many similar offerings in the market right now – it’s almost a case of mass parody. Enhance your prospect’s interest level when you make your brand, and its products appear unique and valuable.

Empower Your Sales Rep

Business leaders must accept that social distancing has made many sales reps lax in their pursuits. When they aren’t on the road, at conferences or in the hotel bar making connections, it’s easy for these masters of the deal to fall off their sales A-game. The key to building a free-flowing sales pipeline is encouraging your sales team to be at their best, so they’ll convert appointments into sales. Reinforce the fact that there is, in fact, a real person on the other end of a video call. Prospects should be treated with even more charm and persona than on the show floor to make up for the virtual disconnect. Now, more than ever, perception is reality. If you look and sound impressive to a prospect, that’s how they’ll see you.

How Marketopia Can Help

Once you accept that the world has changed, you can start planning for your wins in 2021. Marketopia’s expert team has the knowledge and resources to help you every step of the way. Contact us today, and discover how we can help you achieve more leads, more sales and more profits.

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How to Become a Savvy Business Advisor: A Channel Account Manager’s Road Map for Success

How to Become a Savvy Business Advisor: A Channel Account Manager’s Road Map for Success

As a CAM, you’ve devoted a lot of energy to developing business relationships and learning about how to make the most out of those connections. But to become a true business advisor, you’ll need to fully understand the ins and outs of every partner business. If you’re serious about building partnerships within the channel, demonstrate your commitment to the industry by respecting everyone’s respective role in the supply chain.

With a polished skill set, a strong sense of professionalism and a bit of training, you’ll be able to speak directly to partner businesses’ pain points — and connect the right people with the right resources and solutions.

To do so, you need to first earn credibility the old-fashioned way, by becoming someone your partners can trust and turn to for advice. Getting there is hard work, but it’s all worth it. Start studying your partner businesses to figure out what makes them tick, and then determine how you can improve their bottom line.

Learn More

Understanding How a Partner Business Makes Money

Step One: Appreciate and Respect the Supply Chain

Consider how each organization, person, task, data point, tool and asset impact the integrity of the process before making any hasty changes or decisions. Resist the temptation to eliminate parts of the supply chain in order to save money or automate processes without fully considering what’s at stake.

Step Two: Pay Attention to Organizational Structure

Take time to understand how your partner business makes money and what they must accomplish in order to turn a profit. From billing and collections to sales and advertising, there’s a lot that has to get done. Remember that a smaller partner might have different needs than an enterprise, and develop strategies and offerings with both in mind.

Step Three: Facilitate Success for the Front End

When consumers visit professional websites on their smartphones, they are enjoying a clean user experience thanks to a lot of work on the front end. What they see is the result of a long process that the customer benefits from, but likely knows very little about. While the front end of a business tends to get all the credit, they share systems with and often need just as much support as the back end, so give them the services and IT infrastructure they need to thrive.

Step Four: Give Credit to the Back End

The back end is everything an ordinary consumer doesn’t see. It’s all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes, and it doesn’t resemble the neatly-packaged front-end presentation that the customer admires. Managing databases, processing orders, handling finance — everything is easier with the right resources, and there are a lot of departments that demand your attention and support.

Step Five: Recognize and Rectify Inefficiencies

As a successful CAM — and emerging business advisor — your job involves helping partners reach long-term goals through a combination of insourcing and outsourcing. Provide clients with the best cloud offerings, the right managed services, industry-specific technology solutions and professional IT support, and you’ll empower them to simplify everything from inventory and customer support to research and development and more.

Step Six: Consult Like the Pro You Are

In your quest to become a top business advisor, you will continue honing your expertise and eventually cultivate a reputation for solving problems on the fly. This may mean establishing yourself as a consultant and conducting business as such. People look to you for advice about how to handle emerging technologies and solve problems in the supply chain, and you’ll want to be able to tell them what to do next. By investing in high-level training, you’re putting yourself in a better position to understand each partner’s business and how you fit into the equation.

What’s Next? Scout Out New Opportunities for Growth!

As you master the art of pleasing every partner business, you’ll become a pro at helping everyone get the quality service they deserve. Consider how the needs of large and small partners differ from one another and develop new offerings that target a partner business’ operations, services, finance, product development, marketing and sales accordingly. To continue building value in a dynamic business world, find innovative ways to connect with partners new and old, and stay relevant by networking, upskilling, outsourcing and knowing when it’s time to bring in professionals who can take things to the next level.

Ready to Elevate?

As a vendor or reseller, working with a partner like Marketopia means that you don’t have to spend your time training and creating lead generation for your partners – let our team of IT industry leaders handle it instead. At Marketopia, we speak the language of the channel and have the expertise it takes to support your business goals. We know the channel inside and out and have designed cutting-edge marketing strategies for CAMs who are ready to grow and build a better future. Let’s Get Started

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Understand the Models of All Your Channel Partners

Understand the Models of All Your Channel Partners

As a vendor, your goal is to remain the logical choice for each of your channel partners. To stay at the forefront of their favor, pay special attention to how you manage the opportunities they present, and strive to understand each of them.

In this blog, we’ll discuss how you can easily differentiate your channel partners’ models so you can remain successful as a vendor.

 

Manage the Opportunities

An important thing to remember is that your business as a vendor and your partner’s business are codependent. The more harmoniously you interact, the more competitively you will perform.

You can bolster this relationship by managing the opportunities that each partner offers. This allows you to leverage partners for their value-added capabilities. Managing doesn’t mean taking control of partners, but rather enabling them to run with what they’re doing correctly and helping them amend what is impeding their progress.

 

Understand How to Make Partners Perform

As a vendor, you will be able to manage channel partners more successfully once you’ve learned to understand each partner. Consider each facet of their operations and how they functionally mesh together. You can do this by examining the following:

The structure, style and priorities that motivate partners. Every partner is unique in their needs, wants and the way they go about satisfying them. Learn how they approach each opportunity and see how you, as a vendor, can improve their tactics.

Partner sales, technical and financial capabilities. Just as their needs and wants are unique, the size and scope of each partner will differ. You must not set standards too high or low, but rather adapt your standards to each partner.

Their business, goals and success. Not every partner makes money the same way, has the same goals or is even in the same type of business. Your job as a vendor must always be to foster growth and success and help them achieve their goals.

The universe of channel partners is a complex and changing place. Partner types, labels and motivations are continually shifting. Your job is to get beyond the words they use and understand what they do, so you, as a vendor, can help them achieve what they want.

 

Relationships Are Ongoing

Once you’ve audited your relationship with all of your channel partners and put them into effect, you can examine the results to improve the process further. Take a look at how your product or solution benefits each partner. Some good questions to reflect upon include how well you:

  • Reinforce each partner’s value proposition
  • Sustain each partner’s business model
  • Enhance each partner’s commercial operations
  • Reward each partner’s unique value and expertise
  • Align with each partner’s business development intentions

Partner engagement is built on business alignment and relevance. When you take on the role of an active vendor, it means you know the structural components of your partner types and their business models.

 

How Marketopia Can Help

If you’re a vendor looking to improve your relationship with channel partners, look no further than Marketopia. Our expert team is well-versed in the IT channel. We understand channel partners and how to optimize the opportunities they present. Get in contact with us today and see how we can help your business achieve more leads, more sales and more profits.

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Finding Leads when Conferences Get Canceled

Finding Leads when Conferences Get Canceled

It’s conference season, which means most vendors are counting on a huge influx of leads from industry conferences. Unfortunately, it’s also flu—and now coronavirus—season, which means conferences all over the world are closing their doors to check the spread of germs. So, what does that mean for the leads you were counting on from your events? To keep your pipeline intact, you’re going to have to reshuffle your lead-generation plans quickly.

Amp Up Your Incoming Leads with The Lead Generators™

Let’s start by looking at what you’ve already done to prepare for the event. If you’re doing things right, you’ve already put a lot of effort into your events pipeline. You’ve also invested serious money, but we’ll talk about that later. Here are three things you should already have taken care of, and if you haven’t, here are three things you should do right now.

1.Make Your List – make sure you know who would have been at the conference and that you have a prioritized list of who to make contact with.

2. Do Your Homework – do some research, especially when it comes to the top contacts on your list. You should know enough to be able to hold a relevant, engaging conversation with them that includes personal details you can find on their social accounts. Think of things like what teams they’re rooting for, what school they went to or any interests you might share.

3. Start Your Outreach – if you were going to the event, hopefully you’ve already started the conversation with your top contacts, so this will just be about adjusting the message to say you’re sorry you’ll be missing out on the in-person meeting, but excited to keep chatting about the possibilities. Set up a video call to keep the in-person feel as much as possible.

 

Adjust Your Approach

Now that you’ve got a plan in place for keeping the conversation going with your ideal contacts, it’s time to consider all of those leads you didn’t have on a list but knew you’d bring home from your event. You can’t just start reaching out to random event attendees, so now what?

Let’s take a look at the funds you set aside for travel, food and other expenses at the event. Repurposing those funds to a targeted marketing effort that focuses on those same attendees and others with similar profiles could be the key to unlocking a whole new set of leads for your business. Paid social media advertising, targeted email campaigns and even direct mail can be great ways to attract this same set of contacts (and even more who might not have planned to attend but have the same pain points) and replace those lost leads.

 

Frame Your Focus

When it comes to reaching out to these new potential leads, this is your opportunity to focus on them. Move from vendor to partner by leading with their pain points and make it clear that you not only understand them clearly but have a simple solution. Need a helping hand when it comes to establishing your message, getting the campaigns out and routing the leads when they start flowing? That’s where the Marketopia team comes in.

Get in touch with Marketopia’s expert lead generation team today and see how we can help you start bringing in more leads, more sales and more profit now.

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Understanding & Managing Multiple Channel Partner Models

Understanding & Managing Multiple Channel Partner Models

Being a great account manager used to be about managing your resellers and systems integrators alone. Today, your partners don’t fall cleanly into those neat boxes. Instead, every one of them is operating as a complicated puzzle – a few pieces of MSP, a section of VAR, a corner of CSP, an edge of consultant and so much more. To become an evolved channel account manager (CAM) who truly fulfills all of their needs, you need to master the nuanced options for channel partner models so that you can deliver the guidance and expertise to allow your partners to grow faster.

You took the time to master your vendor lanes of distribution and better understand your partner. But that only breaks the surface level of becoming an evolved channel account manager (CAM). In this blog, we’ll help you take the next steps toward CAM enlightenment with smart ways to manage multiple channel partner models and get to the root of each partner’s concerns.

Become A Better Channel Account Manager

Model Structure

The first step to take a deep dive into the kind of business each of your partners is running. This is your opportunity to figure out the components of their business, the specific combination of services and target audiences that will be the key to unlocking their pain points. Once you have a clear understanding of your partners’ business foundation, you’ll be able to start outlining their immediate and long-term goals and co-producing game plans to achieve those goals.

 

Mastering Management & Understanding

The next step is keeping in mind how you first formed your partnership – through understanding and proper management. As a CAM, your job is to mature your partners’ businesses and introduce them to knowledge, people and companies that can help them grow at or ahead of their goal rate. That means really digging deep into what they want to achieve and helping them understand the best ways to make that happen.

 

Agility vs. Ease

Now you’re facing a challenge. To keep things easy, you’ll want to be prepared to service clean categories of partners with specific solutions that speak to each type of partner. But then you’ll be losing out on the agility that your partners are counting on to support their increasingly complex businesses. Success here lies in finding the balance that works best for you and your partners, offering enough complexity to meet their needs without overextending your support capabilities.

 

Building Relationships

Being an evolved CAM will help you become the guiding light each of your partners need. As a vendor, when you work with a partner like Marketopia, you don’t have to spend your time training and creating lead generation for your own partners – you let us handle it. Give your partners more motivation and confidence to do more themselves by weaning them off reliance on you. If you want a partner to help you become the best CAM you can be, get in touch with Marketopia today and see how we can help you meet your goals.

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