Channel Marketer Report


Channel Experts To Explore Expanding Partner Ecosystems, Marketplaces During B2B Marketing Exchange

Channel professionals will be offered expert advice on how to push the envelope of their partner programs to succeed in expanding ecosystems during the B2B Marketing Exchange (B2BMX) digital experience. The online event, scheduled for February 22-24, is standing in for the in-person conference, hosted annually by Channel Marketer Report’s (CMR) sister publication Demand Gen Report (DGR).

The event’s channel track will focus on best practices critical to optimizing opportunities represented by expanding ecosystems and marketplaces. It will also review new strategies and tactics that keep evolving programs on a solid foundation.

Jay McBain, Forrester’s Principal Analyst, Channels Partnerships and Ecosystems, will kick off the channel track with a presentation on creating strategies to execute effective partner marketing programs in fast-expanding ecosystems. Few things old in B2B will be new again, said McBain, commenting that 76% of global CEOs feel that their current business models will be unrecognizable in the next 5 years. The expansion of business ecosystems is the main reason why.

During his presentation, attendees will discover how to pivot channel messaging, content, and campaigns to align with driving intra-firm value creation, leveraging network effects, and incubating partner co-innovation all wrapped around an ecosystem opportunity.

Optimizing Co-Marketing Initiatives

Co-innovation and development of the comprehensive solutions needed to address today’s critical business issues is requiring B2B marketers at partnering companies to collaborate on crafting and disseminating shared campaigns. Aligning marketing teams at firms that might normally be competitors for other opportunities takes special skills, says Larissa Crandall, Vice President of Worldwide Channel and Alliances at Gigamon. During B2BMX, Crandall will lead a discussion with strategic alliance marketers sharing actionable insights on assembling teams to create shared campaigns; assigning responsibilities and sharing costs; and agreeing on campaign tracking and reporting, and lead sharing and assignment.

Christine Alford, Director, Business Program Management at Microsoft, will address one the biggest changes impacting demand generation professionals, the emergence of B2B marketplaces. According to a recent Forrester report, COVID-19 has accelerated marketplace participation. Recent Venture Scanner data revealed that there are more than 227 B2B marketplaces spanning over 13 diverse industries — far more than there were five years ago. By 2024, noted Forrester, worldwide B2B marketplace sales could reach $3.6 trillion, up from an estimated $680 billion in 2018.

During her session, Alford will review how Microsoft is helping its partners take full advantage of its commercial marketplace – Microsoft AppSource & Azure Marketplace — and share best practices help partners draw more traffic to their listings and engage with online prospects in more meaningful ways.

Enhancing Partner Experience

As always, the channel track at B2BMX will provide attendees with prescriptive information on how to build solid foundations for partner programs. For example, in a Q&A with Kristine Stewart, VP, Client Success and Marketing at Channel Impact, Jeanne Quinn, Senior Manager, Digital, Social, Omnichannel Strategy, Global Partner Marketing at Cisco Systems, will share how her company is optimizing partner experience that is personalized for every visitor. Quinn will review how Cisco delivers individual communications by partner persona, pivots incentive plans to drive effective marketing initiatives; and share customer analytics with partners to drive lifecycle campaigns.

During his presentation, Mike Gallagher, Head of Americas Partner Marketing for FireEye, will offer a candid look at the state of partner marketing and why engaging the services of channel-proficient digital marketing agencies is a good idea. Gallagher will review how both vendors and partners benefit from enlisting agency support and the key capabilities to consider when reviewing agencies. He also discuss what he describes as most important task that channel marketers should embrace –  data monitoring and reporting.

Boosting Demand Gen Excellence

The DGR team and CMR are tapping into their digital roots, building upon nearly a decade of immersive, engaging and educational live and digital events to create an online experience that delivers the best of all worlds. In addition to the channel track, the B2BMX digital experience will feature top-notch content covering five additional categories including:

  • Content marketing
  • Demand generation
  • Digital strategy
  • Account-based marketing
  • Sale enablement

The interactive event will provide attendees with access to world-class solution providers, 1:1 networking and mentoring opportunities, and hands-on, deep-dive educational sessions.