The partner channel is a key revenue source for B2B brands as they broaden market access and sell across their unique audience. Clipatize partner marketing has made the channel sales process more efficient and substantial for global brands.
Digital marketers are noticing a shift across B2B channel sales. As buyer journeys evolve, the practice of selling through channel partners has become an effective strategy to grow revenue and the sales pipeline.costs.
As a B2B digital marketing agency, Clipatize has helped top brands build their channel marketing strategies, and execute them worldwide. Below, we’ll share the value our partner marketing strategies delivered, explain how to do channel marketing effectively, and cover the real-world results from our recent case studies: VELUX, GE Healthcare, and Microsoft.
Why Does Channel Marketing Matter?
Once reserved for large corporations, B2B channel partnerships have become an essential part of the sales funnel for businesses of all sizes. A partner program is often designed to offer resellers, vendors or distributors the support they need to sell your products or services. By providing partners and indirect sales teams with resources (e.g. tools, content and marketing collateral), they’ll be better able to reach their customers, build trust & loyalty, and ultimately, become a core drive in your marketing plan.
With 75 percent of the world’s commerce flowing indirectly through channel partners, it is essential for both sales and marketing realms to know how to take advantage of their partnership ecosystems.
If you have a partner strategy in place, it’s a great time to consider how to add marketing to the mix. In B2B channel marketing, brands are intertwined in customer engagement. While selling cycles are becoming more complex, channel marketing is making it easier to build a stronger pipeline via:
How to Build a Winning Channel Partner Strategy
So what exactly does a winning partner marketing strategy look like? B2B channel professionals often shine a singular spotlight on ‘higher revenue and sales.’ But in reality, the best channel partner strategies can deliver on so much more. We often advise clients to think beyond direct financial gain when looking at partner marketing success—for example, increasing the pipeline velocity with timed content to better move prospects through the funnel, or gaining and retaining lifetime trust among customers. A good channel strategy works on many touch points at once, using an array of tactics to influence the final buying decision.
Channel Projects from Clipatize
With a mix of strategy, compelling content creation and marketing technologies, our partner marketing projects have helped brands grow their pipeline and drive product education across international markets.
Take a look at some of our success stories in channel partner marketing below. Or reach out to us if you’re thinking about exploring your next channel marketing program and aren’t sure where to start.
The manufacturing industry in Europe relies on its partner channels, with 26% of all B2B sales coming from 3rd-party channels. Our client VELUX, headquartered Hørsholm, Denmark, specializes in manufacturing roof windows, skylights, sun tunnels and related accessories. They offer deep channel partner and professional installer opportunities.
Our primary objective was to conceptualize and execute a campaign focused on scale generation for their worldwide partner network. We aimed to maximize the number of registrations for the new installer rewards program with video production, content marketing, and social media tactics.
The concept was wrapped around a single idea: installers who love their brand give and get love back. Thanks to VELUX’s freshly minted rewards program, installers get more satisfaction from every installation. And what better way to express love, than with song?
Along with the lead campaign video, we also developed educational and marketing content for their installers across 14 countries. While manufacturers have the expertise and capabilities to create products, it is the channel partners and distributors who influence trust, word-of-mouth and brand loyalty. We grabbed the attention of VELUX installers from 14 countries, localizing content across the vast region of Central & Eastern Europe with an array of content:
- Partner marketing materials
- Installer program explainer video
- Posters for installer shops
- Instagram and Facebook stories
- Retargeting campaigns
- Rewards program guides
- Ready-to-print physical
The campaign ultimately celebrated the relationship between VELUX and the installer community. By putting the installer partners first, recognising their hard work and accomplishments, and rewarding them in ways that promote bonding with people dear to them, as well as strengthening their relationship with the brand.
Medical device manufacturing is one of the B2B industries where partners comprise a majority of the sales pipeline. The Clipatize portfolio spans across medtech brands like GE Healthcare, Siemens Healthineers, HillRom or Sigvaris, so we know a thing or two about how important partnerships are to medtech brands. Doctors, distributors, vendors, and freelance sales agents are all part of the selling ecosystem. GE Healthcare has worked with Clipatize on several large projects involving their channel partners, but our most recent project was aimed at providing their channels with remote sales tools.
- Medical Device Marketing in the Pandemic
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, GE Healthcare needed new ways to market medical devices that relied more on offline strategies. Previously, much of their sales were communicated offline, with face-to-face meetings and demonstrations. GE Healthcare and their distributors faced the challenge of finding ways to showcase products without physical contact.
- Launching Versana with Distributors
As B2B marketing continues to move from traditional channels towards online channels, there’s a big push in medtech marketing to become more human, more content-driven, and ultimately more educational. We opted for trying to understand the needs and frustrations of healthcare professionals, telling them that Versana will alleviate some of those frustrations with the technology designed to help patients and support HCPs at the same time.
- Bringing Partner Selling Online
We built a virtual showroom, an immersive space for presenting healthcare equipment, using Virtual Reality (VR) – a technology we have already used in some of our previous projects. GE Healthcare’s showroom is built to scale, ready to include more products and match the future needs of our client. Demonstrations typically led by sales representatives in the physical world were now possible online. Our efforts made it possible for GE Healthcare sales representatives to:
- Increase ease of access to anyone with internet
- Market a new and exciting technology experience
- Create a new product presentation that users can explore at their own pace
- Open sales channels more visitors at once
- Deliver a unified brand experience across any seller or channel
Big brands like Microsoft have used their partner ecosystem to generate $18.5 billion in annual contract value since beginning their program in 2017. In just the last few years, Microsoft has expanded their co-selling program to include both the larger enterprise and small-to-medium business segments. We helped Microsoft Poland roll out a partner marketing project to increase awareness of cloud-driven ERP solutions across regional branches and third-party vendors.
- The Challenge
Engaging decision-makers in the target audience for Microsoft’s ERP cloud stack is a complex process. In addition, Microsoft’s cloud solutions are mostly sold and marketed through third party vendors and regional branches who have a deeper relationship with their leads.
- Our Strategy
By focusing on visibility in the early stage of the funnel (and education in the later stages) we created a strategy to deliver tailored content for buyers at the right stage, at the right time. Once interested, the potential buyers were nurtured with education, information, and personal advice tailored to their stage in the pipeline. Both Microsoft, various regional branches, and their partners were included in the strategy to share and distribute content.
- How We Did It
Our tactics targeted e-commerce and accounting sectors, as they made up a majority of Microsoft’s cloud ERP demographic. An array of tailored content was developed including:
- Sponsored articles published in high-quality publications such as the MIT Sloan Management Review Poland and Puls Biznesu.
- Case studies demonstrating the value of cloud-based solutions for e-commerce and accounting services companies on partner websites, as well as partners’ Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
- Webinars with partners who have a considerable amount of knowledge and experience in delivering Microsoft’s cloud-based ERP solutions.
- Promotional videos on social media campaigns on Facebook and LinkedIn ads to expand their reach.
- The Outcome
Our social media campaigns for the partner case studies and webinars generated outstanding results measured in impressions, clicks, and participation in webinars. The project saw over 360,000 impressions from case studies alone, and generated over 320 deep leads. The webinar series registered over 160 participants considered in the final stages of funnel.
A strong partner marketing strategy is all about identifying the marketing touchpoints that coincide with an audience’s needs and habits. As you continue to develop partner programs, be sure to include marketing tools, resources and content campaigns into the mix, and focus on optimizing delivery in each channel’s best practices.