I’m not sure if you remember, but in 2014 (or so), Google made a significant statement regarding the evolution of mobile devices. They basically forced everyone to create mobile-friendly websites or risk losing page rank. Of course, as avid smartphone users, we appreciated this move. Our Channel Partners however – not so much. Back then many were just figuring out the do’s and don’ts of web pages and basic SEO. So, the idea of mobile-readiness, was added to the bottom of an already long list. Of course, about a year later, in late 2015, mobile devices officially replaced desktops/laptops as the preferred route to the Internet and mobile-first indexing was born.
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Vendors know that sales and marketing alignment drives about 20% more growth and see the win-win in enabling their Partners in this direction. However, if our conversations are any indication, many Channel Partner organizations have adopted a few best practices towards integrated sales and marketing strategy (aka SMarketing), but there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
In a perfect, inbound world where demand is auto generated and leads are lining up at your virtual door, marketing and sales are 100% aligned. However, with a historic “love-hate” relationship between the two, achieving this utopia is no small feat for any sized partner organization especially those working with 5 – 25 Vendors at any given time.
At ChannelCon 2017, I had the pleasure of speaking alongside Larry Walsh, CEO of The 2112 Group on why integrating sales and marketing for inbound demand generation is critical for driving more revenue through The Channel:
Channel Partners are pulled in many directions. They’re working with multiple Vendors across many solutions, tending to the needs of their customers, leading a team, and driving their business towards success; which usually means revenue growth. On the flip side, Vendors are vying for Partner mindshare and doing everything they can to make programs simple and profitable in hopes their Partners go to market with them. That’s today’s Channel.
Twitter is one of those love-it-or-hate-it social platforms. It can be time consuming and confusing but historically it’s been a significant driver of traffic to websites, which impacts SEO and Search Engine rankings. We love that part - but lately, Twitter’s been noticeably sluggish, engagement is more difficult to come by, and followers don’t stream in like they used to.
Last fall we attended the Hubspot Inbound conference and were privy to some LinkedIn changes coming down the pike. We sent an email with the information we had (you can see it here) and promised an update as changes rolled out.
The visual changes to LinkedIn are striking, starting with a new navigation and circular image but are you aware of what happened to some of our favorite features? A few were axed altogether, some were removed and then quickly added back, and others are still available but moved.
From a Vendor perspective, every tool or tactic that engages and assists Channel Partners to sell or develop solutions around yours, is one day closer to them joining your top 20%. This includes content syndication offerings meant to make it easier for Partners to execute marketing tactics. Think blogs and social.
As we embark on another year in the evolving Channel, it’s time to look at how the latest Channel marketing trends can help Vendors and Partners drive demand. While everything from products and services to routes-to-market is rapidly shifting, we recommend Vendors pay special attention to three emerging strategies to stay top-of-mind with Partners in 2017:
Welcome to #CMCtv. In this episode we’re talking about Partner demand generation – a huge topic in the Channel right now and one we can help with.
Staying top-of-mind with Partners is… well… top-of-mind for every IT and Telecom Channel Vendor we’ve ever met. An event is obviously a great tool to accomplish that - as well as a fantastic opportunity to drive Channel Partner demand gen.