A third study by Foundry, an IDG company, has determined that channel leaders are increasingly satisfied with the performance of their partner marketing program. Since its last Partner Marketing Study in 2019, Foundry noted that the number of respondents who said their partner marketing program provides great or some value has climbed from 83% to 88%.
Consequently, companies intend to boost their investment in partner marketing support. Nearly three quarters of the respondents expect to increase spending on partners over the next two years – a jump from 68% in 2019 and 50% when the survey was first taken in 2014.
Vendors with documented channel marketing strategies – more than two-thirds of them — expect their budgets to increase over the next 12 months. A more disciplined approach to program planning appears to be contributing to the better performance of channel initiatives. More than two-thirds of marketers at companies with documented channel strategies described the value of their programs as great, compared to 38% at companies with no written plans.
Companies have already been allocating a bigger share of their overall marketing budget to partner-focused initiatives. Vendors with partner programs invest 40% of their marketing budget on the channel, up from 37% in 2019 and 27% in 2014.
Executive-level decision makers were more likely to plan budget increases than subordinates. As the report noted, executive-level respondents assigned greater value to their channel programs than middle managers by a 64%-to-47% ratio.
The majority of the survey’s vendor-side respondents agreed that investments in their channel program technology stack are worthwhile. More than 90% of respondents said they currently use or plan to implement through-channel marketing automation, channel incentives and program management, partner portals, channel data management, partner training/learning management solutions, and partner relationship management programs.
The vast majority of the respondents – 96% — will be extending the channel marketing services they provide with the help of external agencies. According to the report, programs done in cooperation with agencies yield better results than those run entirely in-house.
More data and analysis of it is available in the report.