When I have meetings with vendors about joining one of our marketplaces, I am often asked if our program is a TCMA (through channel marketing application). As I walk the vendor through the similarities and differences between our marketplace and a TCMA, I have also often heard: “This is a significant change in approach. While change can be hard, selling the upside of that change is where success lies.
For years partner portals have focused on services and systems designed to “support partners” but from a perspective of the vendor requirements and not necessarily from a partner perspective. Typically engagement with portals is based on an action in exchange for earning co-op or MDF. The number of partners or sellers that engage with portals to improve sales or marketing tends to be in the single percentages. Why? Because the upside they offer isn’t totally apparent, and therefore partners spend their time on other things, like selling.
A content marketplace should glean usage in the 40% or greater range because it is designed with partner usability first. Additionally, there is no requirement to receive co-op or MDF, so partners are using it to strictly improve their own sales.
Take a look at what we’ve heard from some of our users…
“I love the auto-posting feature! We closed a deal worth $2.5 million thanks to the content from your site that I post every week. The customer found our content on one of my social media accounts. Thank you for making it easy to stay consistent and in front of my network.” -Kenneth Dawsoni, CEO & Founder
“After posting through Curated Content, I received a reply from a customer. We were able to respond and assist with the project. Curated Content enabled us to connect with our audience and our customer said they will be a MapSy customer for many years to come!” -Jim Howell, National Sales Account Manager
“Using Curated Content helps our small company appear much larger. We can now compete with larger companies because Curated Content has enabled us to optimize our marketing strategy. This validates us as a company that can provide services to larger enterprise clients.” -Richard Minnigh, Vice President
“Our social media presence has more than doubled since we started using DemandSolv. Additionally, our LinkedIn followers have increased by 34%. We are reaching more potential customers and having more conversations with them on social media than ever before. Thank you for helping us increase our reach and grow our business!” -Mike Turicchi, Vice President, Strategic Relations and Marketing
Ours is a revolutionary approach to creating a partner program. In order to be successful, we have to match the goals and objectives of the partners and the vendors.
Here are some of the goals we take into consideration:
Educate the partner: A stream of content that triggers new content based on content consumption.
Marketing: Successful marketing is about being consistent and available when a need arrives. Content that tells a story every week of the year helps ensure that a consistent message is delivered to the consumer
Triggering Opportunities: Consistent content generates opportunities, but the challenge is to know when they are ripe for a sales engagement. Developing content in line with the weekly stream to trigger a reaction, such as a like, or request for a meeting strengthens the lead and indicates a readiness for the next step in the sales process.
Reporting new opportunities or deals: With over 40% of the users engaged with the platform, the program offers opportunities to offer rewards for specific actions, such as deal sharing or registration.
The above are just examples of a few of channel marketers’ goals and examples of how a content marketplace achieves the desired outcomes while helping partners. It may be time to rethink how to go to market with portals. Perhaps the partner-first approach is just the revolution needed to engage a busy partner base with effective marketing and sales support.
Consistent, and expected messaging through the channel drives the greatest return.
The question is: are we ready for a revolution?