CHANNEL PARTNERSHIPS

Types of B2B Marketing Partnerships for Sales Growth

Apurva Pathak | February 18, 2022

B2B Marketing Partnerships
According to Hinge Marketing’s 2021 High Growth Study, partnership marketing is ranked the 7th most impactful type of marketing for professional service companies. The same study suggests that high-growth companies are three times more likely to use partnership marketing as a part of their marketing strategy.

Let us look at what B2B partnership marketing entails, the types of B2B marketing partnerships that can drive your sales, and how you can create a great B2B partnership marketing strategy.


Defining B2B Partnership Marketing

Partnership marketing is a symbiotic marketing endeavor where two or more organizations benefit from each other. This may be a broad definition, but that is because every marketing partnership has its own set of unique attributes and requirements.

The dynamic of a marketing partnership depends on specific strategic goals like increasing revenue, reach, developing new products or expanding into different domains. Partnership marketing can be anything from working on a tough research project together to asking a partner to mention you on their social media.

When it comes to B2B partnership marketing, it involves associating with other companies to help sell your products or services. They are more complex as compared to B2C marketing partnerships.

Many times, B2B marketing partnerships start small and eventually develop into something big. This is because partnering companies get to understand each other and form a cohesive relationship that works for them.

Here are some B2B marketing partnership examples:

  • Co-produced and co-promoted webinars
  • Researching together on a new topic
  • Exchanging emails with your partner to promote content or services


Benefits of B2B Marketing Partnership

Here are some of the benefits of a B2B marketing partnership:

  • Helps You Branch Out into New Markets
You can market to your partner’s audience and branch out into new markets that would have otherwise remained untapped.

  • Provides You a New Perspective
It gives you clarity on the loopholes in your strategy. You can also adapt your partner’s strategy or get new ideas from it to enhance your marketing.

  • Helps You Drive Your Sales
You will notice a boost in your sales and an influx of new clients once you get into a partnership that is also a sales partnership.

  • It is Cost-effective
As compared to other strategies, partnership marketing is cost-effective because the marketing expenses get divided among the partners.

  • You Get a Bigger Team
With partners on board, you can get access to a bigger team and brainstorm campaigns with powerful outcomes with more people.

  • Improves Brand Trust
If you choose the right partner, you can leverage their brand trust to lift the value and perception of your brand safely and swiftly.

Types of B2B Marketing Partnerships

There are several types of B2B marketing partnership techniques that organizations engage in. No matter which type, they all aim to achieve growth in sales for both partners. Let us look at the most effective types of B2B marketing partnerships.

Strategic Partnership

This type of B2B marketing partnership is a relationship between non-competitive companies whose products or services complement each other. An amazing B2B marketing partnership example would be the one between Starbucks and Barnes & Noble. Whenever a customer entered a Starbucks within the Barnes & Noble store, they browsed books, and whenever someone browsing the books saw the Starbucks in the store, they walked in to get a coffee. Both companies mutually benefited from this strategic partnership and saw their sales soar. A strategic partnership can develop into an integration partnership. An integration partnership is all about integrating your product or idea with another partner’s product.


Starbucks Coffee Was Served at Places It Had No Retail Presence as a Result of a Strategic Partnership with Barnes & Noble

As a part of a strategic partnership with Barnes & Noble, Starbucks served coffee in the Midwest, where they did not have a retail presence. This was possible because of a licensing agreement between the two partners. More than 400 Barnes & Noble cafes served Starbucks because of it, leading to a boost in Starbucks’ sales.

Let us look at what the numbers say:

More than 2,000 strategic alliances are formed every year. Their number is growing by 15 percent each year. (Source: Strategic Alliances: Three Ways to Make Them Work)

57 percent of companies say that they use partnerships to acquire new customers. 44 percent form alliances to get new ideas, insights, and innovation. (Source: BPI Network)

Channel Partnership

A channel partnership involves promotions that come from outside sources like affiliate partners, private sellers, distributors, and private sellers. They act as an intermediary between a business and its customers. This partnership not only expands your outreach, but also minimizes the effort behind promoting products or services. There is a sales effort distribution, which means external partners get a commission per unit or service sold. It facilitates promotion to a new audience by channel partners. Affiliates harness social media for promotions, while third-party distributors increase brand trust by using their already established platforms and industry authority as trusted marketers. There are many kinds of channel partnerships, like channel value-added resellers (VARs), service delivery partners, technology alliance partners, high-velocity partners, cloud service providers, managed service providers, and global systems integrators (GSIs).

High performers allocate 17 percent of their total marketing budget to channel marketing (Source: SiriusDecisions)

Tech Partnership

A tech partnership enables two tech companies to benefit from each other. It is similar to a strategic partnership but is heavily dependent on technology. A great example of this type of B2B marketing partnership is the one between Apple and ARM Holdings. Apple phones and iPads are powered by processors designed by ARM Holdings. A tech partnership usually lasts a long time and involves the integration of a hardware or software product. It enhances both partners’ brand loyalty, awareness and trust. It is mostly implemented by software-as-a-service companies to drive their sales. These also include joint product partnerships where product mergers or white label marketing are done. Tech companies sell or lease their products or services to a partner, and the partner uses them under their brand name.


Content Partnership

According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, 91 percent of B2B marketers implement content marketing. Partnering to create content with another popular brand that complements your services or products can lead to new engagement and leads. Content partnership also involves sharing or building links with another brand within the content so that both brands get exposure by using advanced search engine optimization. Content like whitepapers, articles, blogs, infographics, podcasts, and videos can also be created collaboratively and marketed to attract the target audience of both partners.

Now that we have explored the types of B2B marketing partnerships, let us look at how to create a healthy B2B marketing partnership.

Tips to Creating a Healthy B2B Partnership

Here are some tips you can use while creating a B2B partnership.

Start with a Simple Partnership

If you are new to B2B partnerships, start with a simple partnership. If it works out well, you can scale it up.

Define your Goals and KPIs

Set clear goals and define your KPIs to understand the impact of the partnership on your sales and revenue. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Research Your Probable Partners

Research your probable partners thoroughly to make sure they can assist you with your goals and that the partnership can be mutually beneficial.

Your Target Audience Should Match

Select a partner who has a similar target audience to yours. Whatever products or services you offer should match this partner’s brand audience, so you get good results.

Stress on Feedback

Get feedback on your prospective partner from a third-party (neutral source) so you have a good perspective on what you can expect from the partnership.

Summing It Up

B2B partnership marketing can scale your sales if you choose a great partner based on the goals and business objectives you have in mind. According to a Forrester report and Wolfgang Digital, high-maturity partnership programs generate 28 percent. So, it is safe to say that B2B partnership marketing strategies work tremendously well when implemented well.

FAQ


What is channel partner marketing?

Channel partner marketing includes methods used for promoting products or services that channel partners sell. Channel partners act as an intermediary between the vendor and the end customer.

How can you design an effective partner marketing strategy?

You can create an effective partner marketing strategy by aligning business plans, building out marketing campaigns, and engaging dedicated partner marketing account managers and specialists.

What are some examples of partnership marketing activities?

Some examples of partnership marketing activities are holding live events that target similar prospects, creating content pieces together, and co-producing and co-promoting webinars.

Spotlight

Atypic

Atypic is a communication agency specialized in Corporate and Brand Activation, based in Louvain-la-Neuve. It is our mission to discover the possibilities where you cannot (any longer) see them, to link them and organise them in order to extract what is essential from them: your differentiation.

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CRM

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7 Crucial Channel Marketing Strategy Best Practices

Article | February 28, 2022

Tracey Noonan and Danielle Vilagie started Wicked Good Cupcakes after taking a cake-decorating class together and enjoying it immensely. Wicked Good Cupcakes wanted to serve customers out of town. They came up with the ‘portable cupcake in a jar’ concept to safely ship their cupcakes. They hired C Squared Social, a digital agency, to run their online campaigns so they could generate new leads and increase their reach. C Squared, in turn, partnered with Facebook Business Partner Zapier. Zapier used Facebook’s innovative lead ad functions to stitch together CRM, email marketing, and team messaging tools. This was done to capture every opportunity for Wicked Good Cupcakes. Through its channel partner Zapier, Facebook facilitated an end customer with a 94% lower average cost per lead, a 24% contact response rate from leads, and a 48x increase in leads in just 3.5 months from the launch of the campaign. This is the power of channel partnership. 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Marketing technology has also evolved dramatically. It is a dynamic mix of thought leadership, search authority, and expert lead generation to create measurable results. Channel partners need to focus on marketing and invest effort, resources, and time to keep up with the changing trends, or fall short in the market. Benefits of an Effective Channel Marketing Strategy Let us look at what an effective channel marketing strategy can do for your business: Gain access to your partners’ audiences. Channel partner marketing is affordable as compared to other forms of marketing. Present value-added offerings (your partner’s) to your existing audience. Access a bigger team that works for your success. Use the unique resources that your partners have. Increase trust in your brand by collaborating with the right partners. Enhance your distribution channels with the help of your partners. Look into These Factors Before Creating a Channel Marketing Strategy A good channel partnership can help you scale your business. To enhance the results of your partnership, creating an effective channel marketing strategy is crucial. Here are things you should take into consideration before you create a strategy: Solid C-Suite Commitment Help your channel partners grow their businesses! There is no better way to form long-lasting partnerships. To make this happen, you need to invest your time in getting C-Suite buy-in in advance so that you can secure their commitment and resources to develop and implement your partner marketing strategy. Smooth On-boarding Welcome your partners to your channel program with proactive communication and engagement. Creating a welcome kit as your first touchpoint could be a great idea. The contents of this kit can be based on the solutions you provide and your business model. Be a no-hassle channel partner. Identify Pain Points For existing partners, identify their pain points like low partner engagement, abandoned campaigns, unutilized market development fund (MDF), ineffective campaigns, and metric measurement challenges. Other difficulties may arise, such as communication, effective lead scoring, and qualifying them. Your partner marketing strategy should offer solutions to these problems. Focus on Your Content Amplify your brand with high-quality content. Generate interest and maintain mindshare using content marketing pieces like blogs, flyers, data sheets, case studies, e-books, whitepapers, videos, webinars and more. Automate your social and digital campaigns using content platforms, and create a content factory that can be managed using channel marketing management software. Help partners by providing them with marketing agency assistance so they can use good content to market your products. Partner Marketing Strategy: 7 Crucial Channel Marketing Strategy Best Practices Now that we have established what goes into a partner marketing plan, let us look at seven best practices that can make your channel marketing strategy successful: Align Marketing and Channel Objectives You can define the success of your partnership using factors like active, new, engaged partners, and channel revenue. They should be the foundation of your partner marketing plan. This way, you can align your marketing and channel goals and invest in your partnership resources better. Tracking the dollars invested in marketing and enhancing partner production gives an insight into where to invest. When there are partnerships that go across countries, working together well with the local channel manager and big business sellers is the key to success and output. Decide Baselines & Metrics For your channel marketing campaign, establish appropriate baselines and chase improvements in relative performance because campaign-level ROI measurements can be challenging. Metrics like partner adoption of created assets and content, and partner metrics in lead generation can be tracked using PRM tools. Email metrics and leads generated are other metrics that can help you measure the success of your partner marketing plan. The ultimate metric should be the end-user satisfaction rate because it directly translates to a low churn rate. Become a Revenue Marketer Invest your time in customizing and spinning your high-quality, professional-level content assets for your sales organization and channel partners. This can help you tap into the potential ROI of each of your content pieces. Over time, it can add up significantly to your marketing performance. Impactful content is greatly enhanced by channel marketing. If you use it to target partners, you can gain partner mind share and create revenue opportunities that you might have otherwise missed. You can pair this type of soft marketing with the hard marketing that the C-Suite prefers. Map Partner Performance Ensure that you map individual partner performance in your assessments to get insights into what is working in your partner program and which partner strengths you can bank on and focus. Check how many deals are closing through the channel, and how many new opportunities are coming through your partners. If a partner isn’t doing much for the program, that partner is probably draining your resources. Take notice of your new partners’ performance in your channel marketing campaign over a set period to see what they are doing for you and the partner revenue. Keep Your ‘To’ and ‘Through’ Sorted When you look at your to-partners’ side, you aim to drive leads, and market qualified leads from a marketing and sales angle. 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MARKETING ANALYTICS

Hyper-personalization ROI and Digital Marketing

Article | February 24, 2022

Organizations talk a lot about their offerings and how their products are better than their competitors. The companies and service providers keep talking about their business models to promote themselves everywhere possible. "All noise," nothing tangible! We start approaching our prospects from every channel we possess in this process. Ever thought how boring it could be for your prospects to see the same jargon everywhere? Trust me, if your competitors see your branding campaigns for three months, they surely know you as a company. So now it's time to take it to the next level. And here's where marketing needs to think of ROI. What is ROI? Return Rate on Investment (ROI) measures the total monetary value of its investment versus its cost. Client acquisition strategies enable brands to quantify the worth of each customer by calculating the return on investment (ROI) each customer generates for the business. 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No matter which business, the playbook needs to be set upright. In today's game, we have tools that tell us what the prime need of our customers is and being a marketer of that specific domain, and one must identify the best options to make their playbook efficient and ROI driven. Hyper-personalization is the latest and advanced method in the world of marketing will soon be a new normal, and the one who adapts it first will turn out to enjoy the larger share of the pie. The term "hyper-personalization" refers to the process of customizing product offerings and digital information on an individual basis. Hyper-personalization, which is tailored to a customer's tastes, requirements, and expectations, combines big data and artificial intelligence technologies to create customized experiences. This is accomplished by using data, analytics, artificial intelligence, and automation to provide customized and targeted experiences. How Hyper-personalization ROI Helps Business Businesses can use hyper-personalization to send highly contextualized communications to specific customers at the proper time and place and via the appropriate channel. As digital marketing becomes more competitive, hyper-personalized marketing enables firms to engage customers meaningfully, strengthen existing relationships, develop new ones, and enhance customer experience. With highly tailored marketing messages and service offerings, hyper-personalization helps the organization maintain a smooth outflow of business. When brands are able to implement an analytics-driven hyper-personalization strategy, their outsourcing of business becomes highly efficient, and the customer relationship develops to be sealed over time. Hyper customization utilizes automation and intelligent insights to provide customized content to each unique user. Times change, and the modus operandi for each aspect of life needs some shapeshift. A personalized approach is not an invention. It has been happening since ancient times and the reign of kings. But since every customer has now become a king, marketers need to rethink modes and methods to maximize ROI. "As we live in a world where only the strongest survive." Businesses must embrace a hyper-personalized marketing approach that includes data, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence technologies across the customer journey and generates unprecedented levels of industry-specific customer insights and action to compete effectively in today's economy. In the case of a B2B setup, the process begins with a basic progress chart that allows you to see your accounts and the stages they are in in real time, which really aids your sales staff in driving higher conversions. In an online setting, on the other hand, you can construct loyalty buckets and treat your consumers the way they want to be treated. 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Spotlight

Atypic

Atypic is a communication agency specialized in Corporate and Brand Activation, based in Louvain-la-Neuve. It is our mission to discover the possibilities where you cannot (any longer) see them, to link them and organise them in order to extract what is essential from them: your differentiation.

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