There is no doubt about it; the channel has evolved thanks to a strong partner ecosystem. Today’s channel partners are stronger and better informed than ever before. As a result, the channel is moving in a much more collaborative direction of vendors and partners working together toward success. With this evolution continuing into 2017, we outlined four of the biggest channel trends our partners might see in the year ahead:
- LinkedIn for Lead Nurturing – Social media isn’t going away and in fact, it’s the first stop for many of your prospects when researching solutions and services. We continue to see our most successful partners leverage social selling, particularly on LinkedIn, in an effort to build their brands and nurture relationships that evolve into long-term customers.
- Integrated Demand Generation – As technology transforms content consumption, integrated demand generation campaigns are key. High-performing partners use LinkedIn for networking, to get current business news and to build relevant contact lists. Then, they extract those lists to execute drip campaigns from the Partner Demand Center. Doing so puts relevant content, meant to solve specific pain points and start conversations, on the path of their buyer’s journey.
- Hyper-focused Messaging – Email is not dead but the spray and pray methods of yore most certainly are. Marketers used to be able to blast out the same email or offer to everybody on their list, but prospects today expect personalized communications and information. A successful integrated demand generation campaign requires tailored messaging. Canned, impersonal emails are not only considered SPAM, they actually damage a partner’s brand. The key to success? Partners have to do their research and tailor messaging and cadence based upon prospects’ business types, roles, and pain points.
- An Aligned Approach to Partnership –At VMware, we are practicing what we preach and it shows in the enhancements to our partner programs and tools. The updates to our Advantage+ Opportunity Registration program reward partners amplifies incentives and enables more predictability and profitability. Additionally, the updated Partner Demand Center gives partners state of the art tools to customize campaigns and quickly generate demand.
Just as partners need to fine-tune their messaging and offerings to the specific needs of their customers, we continue to align our Partner Program, communications, and resources with our partners’ business types and goals. We are committed to providing our partner community with the tools they need to grow and prosper in the year ahead.