There’s no mystery about the spike in partner visits to the Kensington partner portal. Since Kensington, a provider of solutions for security, docking, and ergonomics and wellness, launched a Whodunnit incentive game, the number of partners engaging with the company’s portal is rising.
The new game follows Kensington’s PartnerPoker program, another gamified incentive initiative that resulted in a 2.2X boost in partner log-ins, the completion of more than 280 partner activities, and $250 thousand in new partner revenue for a 31X return on investment.
Offering a bigger prize ($500 versus $100) and running two weeks longer than the PartnerPoker program, the Whodunnit campaign reflects Kensington’s confidence that gamified incentives can boost partner engagement with its portal, and consequently increase pipeline.
Kensington’s partner portal, build on the Allbound platform, was launched just as the company was rolling out a new partner program in 2020. When the Covid pandemic halted in-person engagement with key partner organizations, the portal was helping the company keep in contact with its channel. “But while we had good engagement rates, we wanted to give the portal that extra zing for our key resellers,” said Tayler Blanc, Kensington’s Senior Channel Marketing Manager. “As a channel marketer, you have to talk about engagement.”
With new baseline metrics for partners that prioritized engagement, Blanc worked with IncentivePilot, an enterprise gamification tools provider, to implement its PartnerPoker program to boost visits to the portal. Partners advanced in the game receiving a card for each activity they completed. The player with the best poker hand won $100. Kensington ran three games with four different partners over a period of six weeks, engaging 160 reps.
“We were asking people to share posts on LinkedIn and send samples of our products to their customers hoping that that would result in new opportunities,” said Blanc. Kensington was also aiming to ensure partners accessed its robust on-line training program which offers new materials every two weeks. With the PartnerPoker program bringing more partners to the portal more frenquently, the company was able to reduce the number of email reminders about its online training, said Blanc.
“But I think the most amazing thing for us was the number of posts on LinkedIn about Kensington. That was something that we’ve always struggled with, finding ambassadors for our brand through our LinkedIn channel,” said Blanc. “I think it’s very rare that you see reseller reps consistently post about one brand. Sometimes they have that favorite brand that they work with, but generally, reps are going to post news about their own company.”
In addition to driving engagement with already active reps, the PartnerPoker program helped to attract reps to the partner portal who had never worked with Kensington before. “That created a lot of new opportunities and new accounts that were brought to our team,” said Blanc. She estimated that more than 90% of the customers for whom samples were being requested were net new accounts to Kensington.
Blanc credited her management with green-lighting a program that prioritized leading indicator activity. “I’m very fortunate to work with a lot of channel leaders who have been doing this for a long time, and they understand what we’re doing. If we keep bringing partners back into Kensington, keep reminding them of Kensington, they’re going to think of Kensington when they get that request from their customer.”
Offering a $500 prize, and by expanding the program to include reps in an additional partner organization, Blanc expects participation to rise with the Whodunnit contest. And while she remains focused on activities such as posting to LinkedIn and taking training, a revenue component has been added.
In 2023, Kensington will return to the PartnerPoker program, opening it up to all partners. The company is also working with IncentivePilot on hosting a whodunnit campaign that will incorporate Kensington branding and content. With the expanded gamification program and other activities, Blanc is striving to engage more reps in the portal. From more than 1,500 partners, about 5,000 users currently engage with the portal. In 2023, Blanc is striving to increase the number of users to 7,000.