Technological innovation has helped the channel landscape evolve to become a more automated, data-driven ecosystem. Although channel organizations invest extensively in their programs, many channel marketers still struggle with measuring the ROI of their to and through partner marketing initiatives.
In a recent CCI webinar, titled: The Rise Of Modern Channel Program Measurement, Steven Kellam, SVP of CCI, discussed the challenges channel marketers facing using traditional ROI measurement practices. Industry trends also were discussed, along with along with how these trends can help enhance the partner investment lifecycle.
“Realistically, the data side of the industry is where we have made the most progress,” Kellam said. “The market — the internal and external forces involved — there is not a lot that we can really do since these factors are out of our control. When it comes to data and the process of capturing and sharing that data, we have really seen some huge improvements over the past couple of years.”
With unmanageable factors affecting the bottom line, channel marketers are doubling their efforts in handling programs that are in their control. According to Kellam, many channel organizations are adding to their MDF/BDF spend in order to retain and collect more of the partner mind share.
“A lot of channel marketers are moving from co-op to MDF, and that is due to the growing trend of having to take market share and give partners the incentive to grow,” Kellam said. “In order to do that really well, we need to make sure that we are focusing on the right partners. Joint-business planning is just the key.”
The ability to act proactively, rather than reactively, can help vendors retain the right partners once they initially capture mindshare. For example, new technology trends including mobility, Big Data and the cloud, are shaking up business models and the solutions that many channel players sell. It is imperative that vendors not only understand these trends, but revise programs to ensure partners can capitalize on them.
“Successful channel systems that we see today are agile,” Kellam said. “They need to be able to move quickly, and they need to adjust to the market. A big piece of how they stay agile is having integrated systems so they can plug-and-play and make quick decisions on where they need to go and what they need to do.”
The channel universe has gone through many changes, and will continue to adapt and change to up-and-coming technology. But the technology available today has allowed channel marketers to finally close the gap in their partner investment lifecycle and better measure their ROI, according to Kellam.
Kellam concluded: “As you move through the partner investment lifecycle, channel marketers need to find areas that they can improve on,” said Kellam. “Most channel marketers do not use every part of the lifecycle, so maybe it’s time to see if new partners can boost your overall effectiveness — and your ROI.”
Click here to view an on-demand version of the webinar.