Launching a partner marketing program for your business is the first step; scaling it though is when the magic really starts to happen.
Having supported hundreds of businesses in the launch and scale of their partner marketing program, it’s clear that it’s no easy feat. Getting some early wins from your partners is a great sign but ensuring the sustainability of your program and setting up the foundation for it to achieve its growth potential will require thoughtful strategy and execution.
In this post we’ll outline the strategies and associated actions required to answer the burning question - you have a successful partner program, now what?
In order to achieve scale, you will need to optimize the resources involved with securing the right partners to your program and ramping them up with effective resources to be successful.
By reviewing the results from your current partners, you’ll begin to find patterns in what works. Can you come up with a clear criteria of attributes your partners should possess (size and type of network, years and depth of experience, geographic location and timezone)? Can you also get more efficient in providing the best training materials in a thoughtful sequence that minimizes back and fourth communication and onboarding time required before partners begin generating revenue?
Reflecting on your existing success and finding ways to repeat and target that type of behaviour will allow your organization to scale its partner marketing program and achieve its revenue potential.
Your partners have direct access to your current and potential customers which means they have a pulse on what works and what doesn’t. Are they providing you this feedback? Have you asked? Is there a streamlined way to do so?
Gaining insights into how marketing materials or product features are perceived by your target demographic can help shape what you should and shouldn’t be focusing on. If a message isn’t resonating with potential customers, it shouldn’t be in the mix. If an upcoming product feature isn’t seen as valuable by your audience, you should reconsider reprioritizing. The best way to access these insights, is to create a seamless process for your partners to relay them.
By instilling a culture of feedback loops and providing a user friendly, scalable solution to do so, your partners can play a critical role in scaling your program. If you're not sure how to implement a solution like this, check out our post on How to Build and Grow a Partner Marketing Program in 2018.
Take the time to review the success of your top performing partners. Which resources did they leverage to educate and convert their networks? Have they asked for revisions or customized materials? Are they avoiding some marketing material all together?
You can help minimize the time required to convert customers by ensuring your partners have easy access to the right materials, when they need them. By removing unnecessary documents from your resource library, you’ll avoid the existing trial and errors within your process.
Ensuring the quality and accessibility of the support resources you provide to your partners is one of the most impactful things you can do to ensure the sustainability and scale of your successful partner channel.
Choosing the right advocates, and making sure they fit with your existing target base and problem set is essential for creating a program that not only works — but scales.
2018 is all about honing your digital marketing strategy and figuring out how best to stand out - here are a few experiments that you should try out.
Build a custom partner portal for your program, set rewards, and invite your partners
Rely on automated campaigns, experiment with challenges, and automate the best parts
Generate deep insights on how to optimize, segment, and scale your program