Channel Marketer Report


SMB Partners Say Lack of Time Limits Use of Vendors’ Marketing Platforms

Only 23% of IT channel partners with between five and 10 employees say they accessed or used a brand-provided marketing platform on a monthly basis in the last year. According to a compilation of three surveys of IT channel partners generating less than $10 million annually, lack of time is the primary reason marketing platforms are not used more frequently.

The surveys, which were conducted by OneAffiniti, a through-channel marketing solution provider, did determine that many channel partners are interested in receiving more marketing support from brands, particularly as an incentive. But lack of time, limited resources, and user-difficulty are preventing channel partners from using the tools that vendors provide more often.

Only 14% of the partners complained that they didn’t see the value in the platforms.

“The lack of utilization indicates that the marketing support available to partners does not align with the majority of channel partners’ needs,” said OneAffiniti founder and CEO, Joel Montgomery. “And yet, the desire and demand for marketing support among partners clearly exists. Brands and their marketing partners need to do more to help partners achieve their marketing goals.”

Small and midsize partners are not digging too deep into own pockets to market themselves or the brands they represent. Just over half – 52% — of partner spend less than $5,000 per year on marketing, according to OneAffinti research.

Less than half of those marketing investments are in digital efforts. Among partners who spend less than $5,000 a year on marketing, fewer than a quarter are allocating 40% of their budget on digital activities. Of those partners spending more $5,000 each year on marketing, about four out of 10 are dedicating 40% of their budget to digital campaigns.

According to the surveys, 20% of channel partners said they would be more likely to sell a brand’s products if they were provided partner marketing services or marketing training. While the survey indicates that many channel partners understand the benefits of marketing, “they simply don’t have time or money to invest in marketing at this point,” said Montgomery. “Brands should challenge the norm and explore options to drive dramatically higher platform utilization through a through-channel marketing system that makes it as easy as possible for partners to participate in brand-provided marketing efforts.”