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Question

What is your go-to playbook for activating newly recruited partners?

Answer
This is a fundamental question because you want to be sure that the Integrations work to getting a new partner up and running is bolstered by your commercial conversation. My advice here would be to focus on getting new partners excited about your company, the shared value your services will bring to your mutual clients, and ultimately, the commercial benefits they will receive by being and growing within your partner program. What we do @ Adjust is that the moment the PM qualifies the partner as worthy of an integration, simultaneously when Integrations is doing their work, we have the partner onboard onto PartnerPage (our Partner Marketplace). This provides them control over how they are presented to our client base about the brand exposure they hoped to achieve by partnering with us. Once the integration is live, we push the partner’s listing to public, and the PM managing the relationship will add them to our client-mapping tools to begin account mapping.
Question

What co-partner marketing activities are generating the best results in your opinion?

Answer
Co-partner marketing material, like any partnering activity, only really works when it delivers or has the opportunity to deliver net new leads to both parties. That may seem obvious to state, but I have seen plenty of examples where this isn't the case - particularly around events where partners bring in very different people that do not overlap. To overcome this, I advise being deliberate about setting the goal of the co-partner activity early and communicating it to all parties involved (internal stakeholders and externally with the partner(s)). This will ensure that things aren’t done just for the sake of producing content but with a real purpose behind it. For events, the focus must be on curating the guest list in collaboration with the partner way in advance. Who must you both bring to make this an ROI-positive event? There is nothing worse than swinging out invites a few days before just to ensure that it isn’t empty.
Question

Any tips for reengaging dormant Partners?

Answer
I would first question why this partner is dormant. Are they relevant to your business? Do they overlap with your client base? If you have determined that they are dormant because they are no longer or were never really relevant to your business then I would leave it. There is no benefit to wasting your resources on activating a partner that is not going to move the needle when it comes to your business needs. However, if the partner is relevant and active in your ecosystem, what I would worry about is whether they are in bed with your competitor and feeding them all their leads. The easiest solution is to hop on a call and ask them why? At the end of the day, partnerships are all about relationships, and Partnership Managers have the same end goal. Understanding your partners’ needs and if they are being met better elsewhere will enable you to make an informed decision as to whether it makes sense to pursue a solution. But if you don’t know the ‘why’ then any solution you try to rectify the situation, will be likely to fail.
Question

For co-marketing partnerships focused on digital promotion to each company’s user base (via emails, blog posts, etc.), how have you found success in crafting the user journey online? Is this something you e dealt with?

Answer
What I would advise here is to have a solid link-tracking strategy. Whether they’re ebooks, case studies, blog posts or virtual event sign-ups, you want to make sure that each partner is provided a separate link. This will ensure that the leads they drove can be attributed to their efforts and can be shared with them. Gating content behind a form ensures that you can follow up with the folks who are interested in the material. However, an important call-out is to ensure you include “partners” in your ask about collecting and sharing personal data.
Question

What role do non-native tech integrations (ex: A company building and marketing an integration via Zapier) play in partner program strategy? What kind of guardrails should be created and marketed for those "partner" types?

Answer
This is a bit outside of my expertise as we do not have non-native integrations at Adjust. However, I would advise thinking about them similarly to a traditional tech partner whereby the expectation should be less on them driving net new business (which is something they can very much still do) but on building relationships that can be leveraged when influencing a deal, partnering on an event, or producing a piece of content.
Question

What should partnership managers look out for as blockers in 2023

Answer
Even more than usual, the focus of partnerships for 2023 is on driving pipeline growth for Sales. You will likely be working with less budget for events and so have to focus strategically on which partners are going to produce an ROI-positive partnership activity. Gone are the days when you could host a dinner or launch an extravagant event because you felt it would create a good “brand” experience. This probably a good thing, however, as ensuring that the actions you take are metric-based validates to stakeholders why you did what you did and provides a framework to base success off.
Question

How do you market your integration partners? What has worked best for you to drive integration connections?

Answer
PartnerPage! It provides the ability for partners to market themselves and the platform for clients to drive the integration connections without the barrier of a partnership manager. It also provides the capability for Partnership Managers to feature particular partners at their own choosing without the involvement of Marketing having to create a separate partner feature. Hit them up if you are not using them already! Beyond that - co-partner case studies work wonders. Telling the story from the client's perspective as to how they could leverage both of your services together and derive value from the integration exemplifies to others what they can expect by working with both of you. A good example can be found here: https://www.adjust.com/resources/case-studies/magic-tavern-smadex-ctv-advision/
Question

Affiliate partners - yay or nay for a startup?

Answer
I would say it really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If it is volume then definitely go for it; if it is high quality users then I would pay close attention to who you are partnering with and why. If I were Head of Partnerships at a startup, I would focus on identifying a handful of partners that I believe could be highly fruitful for our company’s growth and place most of my efforts on building out my relationships there.
Question

Can someone share some insiders on what a basic program for tech partners should entail?

Answer
Is there an easy way to categorize your partners (type/ region/ integration/ size)? If so, do so and build a program around that but always remember to tie it back to the original goal of your partnership organization. The vast majority of your partners are not going to be sending you business every day, and that is okay. Building out a program allows you to satisfy the needs of the majority while also focusing the majority of your efforts on strengthening the relationship of a handful of key partners that are driving the results you are being evaluated on.