How do you execute a marketing certification program when there's no dedicated partner marketing associate at the partner company?
Ah…we hear about this challenge all the time from vendors working with small to medium-sized business (SMB) partners. Typically, a vendor will tell us that “there is not a dedicated marketing person at that partner,” and while this may be true, there is definitely an individual who's playing a marketing role. This may be an assistant to the owner, the sales manager, or anyone who is asked to take on this role. We have confirmed this during our engagement with SMB partners.
We pulse survey our 9.5 million active users every time we interact with program participants through our call center to measure partner satisfaction and one of the questions we ask is, “What is your role?”
We know these marketing roles exist, because of our surveying partner individuals, and while they may not be a dedicated resource, these roles are responsible for generating demand through sales and marketing tactics. Whoever has that responsibility - bringing concepts together and inviting people to the table - will appreciate a marketing certification program.
The trick is in identifying them, and that’s where a channel incentive management (CIM) solution comes in to play. If you are running an incentive program with partners’ sales reps, and sale engineers; we can very easily identify who the marketing person is. Even if you're running a market development funds program, or if you're running a rebate program. There is an individual on the partner's side that is engaged in those different types of programs, and that individual is willing to share.
Now, you may ask yourself why you should have to teach marketing skills or sales skills to these individuals. What I believe, and I've seen this work, is that, the brands and the vendors who invest in their channel partners in these types of skills, build significant loyalty back to their organization because they’ve taken the time to make the partner better as a company. This builds loyalty, trust, and tight connections that will get the relationship through all the ups and downs.
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