If IT solutions providers want a continual flow of marketing dollars from vendors, it’s important to show them ROI from previous marketing efforts. That can be a challenge if an IT integrator doesn’t have a strong measurement system in place to track the results of marketing campaigns.
The good news is, tracking ROI doesn’t have to be a time-intensive. It does take some up-front planning and the dedication of one key person on your team to own the ROI task.
Why It’s Important: The stakes are high for channel marketing managers to deliver significant results from partner marketing programs. Gone are the days of vendors distributing MDF to top-tier partners and hoping for the best. Some vendors are living by the concept, “no metrics, no money.” Meaning, partners who don’t produce quantifiable results of their marketing efforts could find themselves funding marketing efforts without the help of vendors.
The Vendor Perspective: A vendor’s channel marketing manager has many priorities to juggle including:
- Organizing all of the partner marketing campaigns in flight
- Ensuring each technology type has the right type of campaign matched to the partners who specialize in that technology, and
- Tracking results of each campaign
The pressure is on channel marketing managers now, too, for delivering results from marketing campaigns. With this in mind, many have turned to automating the tracking process to gather real results and view the true impact of a campaign.
Some campaigns may be truly effective but they’re scrapped in favor of other tactics because no data exists to prove the power of the campaign. In these instances, vendors and partners are pouring money down the drain and it can all be stopped with a simple system for gathering and communicating co-marketing campaign results.
- Assign a person within your organization to own the ROI portion of the marketing campaign. The good news is, this person doesn’t have to be a marketing expert. They just need to be comfortable with project management, timelines, and spreadsheets.
- Conduct periodic checkpoints – internally and with your vendor partner. Having access to MDF sometimes means expending slightly more efforts to continue receiving those funds. A weekly or bi-weekly checkpoint with your internal point person to ensure all is well goes a long way to making your final reporting efforts less difficult. You may also want to consider less frequent (monthly) checkpoints with your channel marketing manager to be sure you’re in the right area with your ROI efforts.
- Use a Marketing automation tool. Marketing automation software makes tracking co-marketing efforts a breeze. With tracking codes, a CRM component, landing pages, emails, and robust reporting features, this type of software makes ROI tracking less of a hassle for MSPs and VARs in co-marketing programs.
Out of all three of these core pillars of co-marketing success, the marketing automation tool stands out as one of the most useful elements. Here’s why:
Marketing automation helps you:
- Create lead generation reports on demand detailing which leads came from which ads. This is a channel marketing manager’s dream because they can use these insights to create successful engagements with future campaigns.
- Develop multiple landing pages to test the effectiveness of the campaign and to drive greater results. Most likely the vendor has landing page content of their own that they provide you in a packet of marketing materials. Use it, of course. The fun thing is, with marketing automation software you can develop landing pages of your own for the vendor’s campaigns. This allows you to test which one is more attractive to your leads.
- Use email marketing to leverage the power of your existing following to ignite dormant leads. Sometimes all a dormant lead needs is the right offer to wake them up and begin engaging. The campaign you’re running through your vendor’s partner marketing program could be just the wake-up call your leads have been looking for. A clear, well-written email with a solid, relatable benefit should yield solid results for you. Note: The testing we just mentioned for landing pages, you can do the same thing with emails by changing up subject lines, headers, and other elements of the email to test which iteration brings the best response.
The Virtue of Testing During Partner Marketing Campaigns
Partners will set you up for success by providing you with pre-written promotional content for their marketing campaigns. Some of them vary in quality, and that’s ok. With a dedicated approach to testing the promotional elements of the marketing campaign, you’ll be able to give rich insights into what resonates with your chosen audience.
- Track promotional social media posts to gauge which leads respond on these platforms. A marketing automation tool worth its salt will provide a tracking feature for social media posts. Be sure you’re plugging in the pre-written social posts from the vendor marketing campaign while mixing in a few you and your team have developed on your own.
- Perform lead scoring to view how many times a contact interacted with campaign-related content before converting. Another beneficial feature of marketing automation is lead scoring. With this feature, you’re able to follow a contact’s path to becoming a solid lead. This information is valuable to your vendor partner, but it’s immensely valuable to for your own marketing efforts. With this information, you’ll be able to create sophisticated marketing strategies employing the Buyer’s Journey to move prospects to leads for future campaigns.
Marketing automation really is the key to hassle-free ROI reporting when working with vendors to bring in leads for your MSP or VAR business. Keep in mind that there is a learning curve and it may be in your best interest to work with a third party to help you manage this portion of your partner marketing efforts.
ROI Success Requires Help
With so many moving parts to a partner marketing campaign, having one point person in your organization handle it all may not be feasible if they have other major projects in flight. Savvy MSPs and VARs turn to outside experts to set up, manage, and optimize their partner marketing efforts with vendors.
We at Presh Marketing Solutions get excited about the possibilities available to MSPs and VARs with marketing automation because we’ve seen how effective it can be for measuring ROI of partner marketing campaigns. Our marketing automation vendor of choice is SharpSpring. Let’s discuss how we can work together to make your next partner marketing campaign – and tracking of ROI – a success for your firm.