In this three-part series about Building your Channel Intelligence program, we will be taking you through the three pillars of Channel Intelligence one by one. We’ll discuss how you can apply these pillars to your channel program in order to boost your end-user demand, drive scalable, predictable revenue growth, and nurture happy partnerships.
Unfamiliar with Channel Intelligence and how it is transforming the way channel teams operate? Take a look at our previous blog series, starting with Defining Channel Intelligence.
First up: Campaign Collaboration. This pillar focuses on the automated distribution of campaigns through your partners’ social media channels and LinkedIn advertising. It eliminates the hassle of campaigning the traditional way, by removing the manual steps you need to take. Your partners can finally have their say before campaigns are launched – without endless emails. Get back to picking up the phone to discuss what really matters with your partners, instead of chasing them down.
Not only does Campaign Collaboration give channel teams the power to launch fully-automated end-user campaigns, it also helps uncover actionable insights. Having access to improved insights allows you to create campaigns that resonate with your target audience and segment, and invest your channel marketing dollars where it counts.
Accelerate your go-to-market with automated social selling
Leverage your partners’ online presence
We would all love to tap into our partners’ social media presence but have little time to coach them. All too often, we see diluted campaign messaging, social posts with no call-to-action, and landing pages with out-of-date information. Even with the best intentions, many partners lack the time, resources, and know-how to execute your carefully crafted campaigns. So don’t force them. Instead, automated social selling leverages your partners’ existing online network (through social media, landing pages, and homepage banners). It ensures your message and branding are consistent across all partners and all channels. Magic? Not quite. Powerful? For sure.
Partner portal shift
Breathe. We know many of you have invested a great deal in creating your partner portal. And no, you don’t need to completely shut it down. But we are advocating for a shift in its use. Instead of having your partners proactively log into your portal – to download assets, register deals, and more – our Channel Intelligence platform brings together all your campaign content and automatically distributes it through your partners’ social channels. It will save your partners so much time and effort that they will quickly become your biggest fans.
Speed-up go to markets
We’re not just saving time for your partners. In traditional channel marketing, a new product or service launch can take months. Campaign Collaboration helps cut it down to mere days. How? One, because it’s proactive instead of reactive. You don’t have to wait for your partner to log into your portal and you don’t need to chase them. And two, because we work with opt-out instead of opt-in. Meaning when you activate your campaigns, they are automatically pushed through your partners’ online channels – unless they choose not to participate, which we discuss below.
Give your partners a voice through feedback
Put partners in the (self-)driving seat
We briefly touched on how an opt-out strategy helps to speed up your go-to-market. But it’s important for your partners to stay in control of their online channels. That’s why we always encourage vendors to share their campaign calendars at least 48 hours in advance – and quarterly if possible. That way, partners have a chance to review campaigns and give feedback. If they don’t fit their schedule or if the messaging isn’t in line with their own, there’s always the option to reject a post, banner, or ad.
Before you can amplify your partners’ voices, you need to hear them. It’s why we have a strong focus on giving and receiving feedback. Our Channel Intelligence platform offers multiple ways to share feedback: a quick thumbs up/down rating can be given, and partners can provide feedback in a “chat” type functionality. We don’t want feedback to disappear into a black hole, so when partners provide feedback, campaign managers are informed and need to take action. This way, we ensure true collaboration between vendors and partners.
There’s more to giving your partners a voice than offering campaigns and receiving feedback. Campaign Collaboration – as the name suggests – encourages partners to amplify their brand by creating their own branded content. Straight from the Channel Intelligence platform. From social media posts to homepage banners, everything can be managed from the same place. That way you are both working towards building strong brands with individual voices.
Reach your desired end-users through LinkedIn advertising
Reach more, higher-converting end-users
The LinkedIn algorithm is highly intelligent and able to process a multitude of data. But no matter how clever an algorithm is, if you don’t put in the right target, you’ll never hit the bull’s eye. Channel Intelligence helps you to understand who your target audience is, what industry they work in, and their role within a company. That way you can set your parameters in a smart way and target your message towards end-users you know will convert.
Get real-time data access to partner advertising data
You’ve put in the right parameters, set your budgets, and received feedback from your partners. Now it’s time to put your ads in motion and watch the leads roll in. Okay, but what if your ads still aren’t converting the way you intended? In traditional channel marketing, you wouldn’t know until your campaign was over and your partners sent back the report. With Channel Intelligence you receive real-time feedback, allowing you to scale up or down, change messaging, or pivot completely, all during the campaign!
The smart way to spend your channel marketing dollars
Targeting and optimizing campaigns as you go means spending channel marketing dollars on highly-effective campaigns. Intelligent connections give you an overview of opportunities generated by your partners. Then it’s up to you as a team how to follow up. We see teams nurture new-found leads together, simultaneously from multiple angles, or in a blow-by-blow knockout strategy.
Automate campaign distribution and grow your end-user pipeline
In this article, we saw how campaign collaboration can help reduce the number of manual handlings to get campaigns out there. How your partners can finally have their say to help optimize campaigns. And how LinkedIn ads will help you reach a higher-converting audience.
Automated social selling helps you to leverage your partners’ online presence, save them time and resources spent on marketing, and speed up go-to-markets.
All content feedback in one place means your partner remains in control of their channels and can create their own branded content.
LinkedIn ads for the channel helps you to reach a specific, high-converting audience and spend your channel marketing dollars where they matter most.
In short, collaborating on campaigns has never been easier. Hello, faster product launches and demand generation campaigns.
In the next blog, we will be discussing Partner Performance and how it will help you identify your strongest partners.