3 Digital Marketing Program Ideas to Engage and Activate Your Partners

By Yeager Marketing

Getting partners to participate in supplier-built marketing programs is an ongoing challenge for many channel marketing teams. Partners tell us they want interesting and innovative programs that are easy to implement and result in real sales opportunities. They also want programs that highlight their brand and value proposition. Not all suppliers provide programs that address these desires.

Covid-19 pushed partner programs that were previously centered on in-person events to digital programs. While live events will undoubtedly return, according to McKinsey¹, more than three quarters of buyers and sellers say they now prefer digital self-serve and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions. Digital engagement has made it easier for buyers to do their research, understand their buying options, and interact with providers quickly and efficiently to help their decision-making process. Helping your partners embrace digital marketing not only gives them more measurable, cost-effective solutions, but also enables them to promote based on buyer preferences.

Here are three program ideas that embrace digital marketing and provide innovative options for your partners. All of these programs can be funded with MDF, standardized to simplify implementation, and rolled out to your partners with customization options to co-brand them.

Idea 1: Target Account Campaigns

There’s a lot of talk about ABM today for good reason. An account-based approach helps focus marketing and sales efforts on targeted, identified accounts that will have a marked impact on the partner’s business. While ABM can seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. Giving your partners a program built around a 1:1 or 1:Few account approach can get them started on strategic paths that bring marketing and sales goals together in a truly powerful way. It also helps your partners clarify their value proposition uniquely for target accounts, develop personalized communications that engage contacts in buying committees, and helps them build relationships with decision-makers as well as influencers across target organizations. Learn more about ABM here.

Idea 2: Gamification Programs

Some great digital marketing innovation has been spurred by the pandemic, including new ways to connect and interact with audiences. Online games are a smart way to give your partners a fun, innovative tool to engage prospects and customers. Games can be built to assess prospect knowledge on a specific topic, identify areas of interest, and uncover new selling opportunities. You can also create games that offer incentives, giving your partners another way to connect with potential customers. The big bonus with games is that they are highly shareable and fantastic to promote on social media, expanding your partners’ marketing reach without a lot of additional spend.

Another great way to use games is to train and up-skill your partners. Informational and interactive gaming programs, where partners are incentivized to participate, is a highly effective approach to help your partners learn and retain new information about your products, solutions, and services. The incorporation of leaderboards and prizes creates a spirit of competition across your partner ecosystem. See some examples here and here.

Idea 3: Videocasts

While partners want more than ever to showcase their brand and value proposition, that doesn’t mean they aren’t open to supplier programs. Videocasts give partners the opportunity to position themselves as thought leaders to their audiences. Your partners can interview your SMEs or executives, allowing them to promote their partnership and bring your expertise closer to the customers. Partners can also interview their own customers to showcase their value and capabilities in solving problems and delivering innovation.

The beauty of a program like this is that one effort provides video and audio content that can also be repurposed into a podcast, giving partners more content to promote across more channels. See an example here.

Want to Explore More?

Yeager works with companies like yours to develop these types of channel programs. We’d be delighted to see what we can build for your partners. Contact us today to schedule a meeting with our team.