Technology partner

When you're focusing on growing partner marketing sourced pipeline, what are some issues you've seen that have resulted in failed campaigns/strategies?

6 Answers
Brett Haralson avatar
Brett Haralson
Glide Apps Head of Experts
This is a good question! There is a difference between marketing with your partners to win together and marketing your partners to increase revenue. It’s very important to never treat your partners as a revenue source. They are your partners - that word is there for a reason. I have seen some programs fall apart when partners begin to feel used. Always remember: They don’t work for you. They have chosen to use you, and they can choose not to use you, too.
Catherine Brodigan avatar
Catherine Brodigan
Intercom Head of Partnerships
There are a couple of common scenarios I’ve encountered. Firstly - lack of clarity on roles & responsibilities on campaign execution between your team and the partner team. Who’s driving the event, and who’s supporting? What’s expected in terms of promotion on both sides? Who’s running the content and sourcing internal and customer speakers? When you don’t have this mapped out clearly at the start of the campaign, you’re going to end up with work being duplicated, or just not being done at all. And the impact can be severe - poor registration rates, show rates, or worst case scenario, the campaign being scrapped completely. Typically at Intercom, we’ll centralize all our planning for co-marketing campaigns in a central shared doc, and use the DACI method to define roles across both teams. That way, everyone’s clear up front. The second scenario also comes back to alignment, and it’s a scenario where the joint value hook just isn’t there. It could be that the integration is super lightweight, or the buyer personas don’t overlap, or that there just isn’t a ton of shared social proof to tell a “better together” story well. I have to give a shout out to our partner marketer, Mark Iafrate, here, who’s created a helpful framework for us to get aligned up front with partners on joint value messaging before we plan any shared GTM campaigns. We’ve created joint messaging guides with our prioritized partners which cover the who, where, what, why, when, and how of the integration works and how the shared value proposition might resonate with our target audience. This makes planning any joint GTM campaigns much more straightforward, as we know what we’re anchoring to.
Daniel Dawson avatar
Daniel Dawson
Aircall Sr. Partner Marketing Manager
I don't think there are failures when it comes to partner marketing. There's a lot of experimenting and learning due to the nature of partnerships--there are different types of partnerships, different partners per your industry and then every individual company has its own mix of complexities, resources, cultures etc. Honestly, I think one of the most ineffective "strategies" is trying to apply the same strategy or process to every single partner, and treat every relationship the same. This often comes out of positive intent like, "We want to be the best partner to everyone and treat all of our partners the same," but the reality is, that won't be effective--especially not in the long-term. When starting out with partner marketing campaigns and sourced revenue, and you don't have any historical data or ranking of your partnerships (Make sure you chat about this with your PAMs!), it's OK to be opportunistic and try many things with different partners...but keep track of these results and begin building a ranking and prioritization system for you partners. It will be key to your longer-term success. Also, as with any marketing, make sure you keep the end goal and results in mind from the beginning. A lot of times, we just default to a partner webinar, an ebook or some other type of marketing deliverable without actually thinking about what kind of results we want. Whether it's just brand alignment, exposure and top-of-funnel leads or higher intent more sales-ready leads for co-selling, the mutually agreed-upon result will dictate what kind of partner marketing activities need to happen.
Beth Wells avatar
Beth Wells
LoyaltyLion Senior Partner Marketing Executive
Finding the balance between promoting your owned content, as well as promoting external co-marketing content (e.g. promoting a partner webinar) is key when it comes to growing your partner marketing pipeline. In co-marketing, it’s common for the partner leading the activity to ask you to drive a certain number of RSVPs to unlock the full lead list. Before committing to take part in that co-marketing initiative, take a look at what else you’re promoting during that window and evaluate if you have a good chance of hitting the target. You don’t want to go back to the partner empty-handed (i.e. not drive many leads), but you also don’t want to be sending endless emails to your mailing list and making them want to unsubscribe. Another top tip is to ensure that the partner leading the co-marketing has asked sign-ups to agree (via opt-in) that all partners taking part in the webinar/ebook are able to contact them afterwards. Without this opt-in, you can’t follow up with your hard-earned leads after the co-marketing initiative has taken place. (NB This is true to be GDPR compliant - it may be different elsewhere/with other privacy rules).
Megan Blissick avatar
Megan Blissick
Signifyd Head of Global Agency Partnerships
I’d like to combine my answer for this question with another question, “Which co-marketing motions do you think are best suited for co-selling and why?” When deciding on a co-marketing motion, my team answers the following questions: Who is the addressable market we’re reaching in this motion? Do we have the content necessary to engage and educate that audience? Are we positioned with the authority to speak to that audience? Do we have the means to reach this audience? The first question may seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but not clearly defining the target market for a marketing campaign will create a lot of challenges when it comes to the following two questions. I often find that if the second and third questions are not fully answered, the fourth question becomes very hard to address. I have attempted campaigns or strategies that though educational, don’t have enough of a hook, or aren’t coming from a source that stands strong enough on its own. When those pillars fall, it becomes very difficult to engage with the desired audience.
Charlene Strain avatar
Charlene Strain Partner Marketing Manager
When you're focusing on growing partner marketing sourced pipeline, some common issues that can result in failed campaigns or strategies include: 1. Not having a clear value proposition for partners. If your partners don't understand what's in it for them, they're not going to be motivated to promote your products or services. 2. Having unrealistic expectations. Partners are more likely to be successful if they feel like they're being given achievable goals. Trying to accomplish too much with too little resources is a recipe for disaster. 3. Not providing adequate support. Your partners need to feel like they have the tools and resources they need to be successful. If you're not providing enough support, they'll quickly become frustrated and give up. 4. Failing to communicate. Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings and mistrust. Make sure you're regularly communicating with your partners to keep them updated on your plans and progress.