Channel Marketer Report

Special Features

A Guide to Creating Partner/Channel Case Studies

By David Pereira, President, Get Lift

Because the average managed services provider or value-added reseller has agreements with 15-20 brands, it’s not easy for any single vendor to get their attention. One way to stand out among the competition is to make it easier for partners to create case studies or success stories.

There are a couple of flavors to consider:

  • A vendor/partner/customer case study puts more of the focus on the partner solving the customer problem with the vendor offering varying levels of support.
  • A vendor/partner case study is focused on how a partner has been able to grow their business and achieve success with your partner program.

The benefits to both you and your partners are pretty clear. Vendor-partner-customer case studies validate how you assist partners to solve real business and/or technical problems for their customer. Vendor-partner case studies provide the participating partner with desirable exposure reinforcing the value of being fully engaged in your channel program.

Both of these stories can help you with:

  • Moving Pipeline: Most importantly, case studies help close deals. DemandGen found that Case Studies convert and accelerate the most leads at 73% in the middle and late stages of the funnel compared to other engagement tactics. Your partner’s success is your success, so enable them with case studies that matter.
  • Creating FOMO among existing partners: If you have a large swath of partners that have room to grow with you, have your Partner/Channel Account Managers share some of your case studies with them and see how many are interested in a similar path to success.
  • Recruiting Credibility: Having great stories on how you’ve been a supportive engine of revenue and profitability growth for partners is a very compelling story that gets attention.

The Process of Creating Partner Case Studies

Admittedly, compelling partners to engage in the process of creating case studies — the logistical nightmares of scheduling and approvals – can be daunting. But we’ve developed a thoughtful process that eases many of the burdens.

1. Define Your Objectives: Start by determining what stories are important to you. You can align them with your growth goals, corporate directives, solutions, regions, use cases or partner types.

2. Build Your Funnel: Like a lead gen funnel, our close rate isn’t 100%. In our experience, about 25% of potential case studies make it to the finish line, which means you need to approach 48 potential partners each year to produce 12 completed case studies.

3. Find Partners to Participate: Here are 3 tips for finding partners:

  • Poll your CAMs and other internal stakeholders for suitable candidates.
  • Review your surveys and the partners who respond to them.
  • Find out which partners engage with your content or MDF

4. Gather The Info: Co-ordinate and conduct your interviews. We recommend conducting the interviews separately rather than together so that everyone is more open to speaking and the interviewer can drill down on interesting nuggets.

5. Write the Story: Make the story something that YOU would want to read by clearly identifying the emotion felt by the stakeholders and the quantitative and qualitative benefits.

6. Promote the case study: Once you’ve done the hard work of creating them, it’s critical to get the right eyeballs on them. Consider the following ideas:

  • Repurpose the case study into different assets
  • Teach your partners how to use case studies in their marketing
  • Get your account managers sharing them
  • Use your organic and paid marketing channels to promote them
  • Include them in your recruiting presentations
  • Feature it at your next conference

Many vendors don’t spend enough time on steps 1, 2 or 6 which undermines their efforts in steps 3,4,5. Taking a strategic approach to creating and promoting cases studies can help you stand out as a vendor worth doing business with.

Interested in starting your journey of creating better partner case studies? Download the “The Ultimate Guide to Creating Channel Partner Case Studies” eBook where you’ll find many of the concepts listed above explored in more depth. It’s the playbook you need to create 12+ new partner case studies this year.

It also contains lots of helpful downloadable templates that will save you plenty of time!

David Pereira is the president at GET LIFT Agency. GET LIFT provides B2B channel marketers with expertise and execution horsepower to produce programs and content (including partner case studies) that get partner engagement.