What do you mean when you reference marketing certification as a key partner activity or behavior for increasing partner demand generation?
Typically, channel marketers have a marketing automation tool that they make available to their partners. They also have content for the different stages of the sales cycle to offer. However, many partners really don't know how to utilize the tool or know what content to serve up. According to a study done by SiriusDecisions, only 17% of partners actually use marketing automation tools. This lack of engagement really effects a partner’s ability to create demand.
A marketing certification program, also referred to as a marketing accreditation program, will get your partner community engaged with the marketing tools available to them and help increase partner-led demand generation. There are three steps to a successful marketing certification program: identify, train, and reward.
The first step is identifying the marketing person at the department level. Large partners will have a dedicated marketing person, marketing team, or even a VP of marketing. However, the bulk of your partner community, small-to-medium business (SMB) partners, doesn't have a marketing person. At an SMB it might be the sales manager or an assistant that fills the marketing role. You’ll have to do some investigating to pinpoint that person.
Once you've identified the marketing role, it’s time to teach them:
- How to use your marketing automation tool
- How to deliver the right content at the right stages of the buyer's journey
- How to recognize the buyer’s demand type
This is where the rewards first come into play. Engage your partners in learning tracks and incentivize them to complete the training.
Now that the partner knows the ropes, you can give them additional incentives for actually using the marketing resources. Believe me, the recognition the marketing individual receives from their company is an even greater motivator than the incentive.
A marketing certification program is critical to making your partners successful and, in doing so, helps you achieve your goals.
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