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  • Alicia Dingec

Devising a partner marketing strategy in the B2B landscape

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

As a B2B marketing professional, you know that partnering with other companies can greatly enhance your organisation's market share and sales revenues. Partner marketing is a powerful strategy that can expand your reach, stretch a marketing budget, and drive more sales. By collaborating with other companies or organisations, firms can tap into new audiences, enhance their offer and promote each other's products or services.


Creating alliances with solutions partners leads to an expanded network, allowing access to valuable contact lists. According to 60% of organisations, external parties influenced 35% of their annual revenue (Accenture, 2017).





The benefit for the B2B customer is clear. Partnerships and ecosystems create a suite of solutions and services tailored to each sector. The benefits for both you and your partner include helping your company to scale and an easy route of entry into new sectors. As experts in your field, your solution will amplify your partners offer, creating a win win situation. If you want to offer your customer’s new value propositions, extend your brand, diversify revenue streams and grow your customer base, then you need a partner marketing strategy.


Here are few things to consider to ensure success:-


The buying process


Technology companies are leading the way in providing a comprehensive range of IT solutions and services specifically designed for specific B2B scenarios and business problems. Tech buyers often follow a structured purchasing process that involves several stages, including awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption. However what has changed in recent years is that a significant portion of this process now takes place online.


The vast majority of B2B purchases begin these days with an internet search and so digital content has never been so important. Surprisingly, a study conducted in 2020 discovered that B2B buyers allocate only 17% of their procurement time to actually meeting potential suppliers (Gartner, 2020).


B2B technology decision-makers face a highly complex and challenging purchase experience. The main hurdle? The overwhelming amount of high-quality information accessible to buyers. The usual B2B buying group generally consists of six to ten stakeholders, who review four to five sources that require consolidation, prolonging the purchasing process. Another influential factor is the peer group of B2B buyers. Any member of the business can have an impact, so it's important for B2B partner marketers to consider the differing benefits for the various stakeholders, taking time, research, and experience.



Digital marketing challenges for B2B tech companies


With such complex purchasing structures, Tech marketers struggle to engage with the target audience due to the lengthy sales cycle and more complex decision-making processes. B2B tech companies face a particular challenge therefore surrounding social media marketing and targeting the right buyer personas. This becomes even more complex when embarking on joint campaigns with partners.


With multiple digital platforms and multiple buyer personae, joint marketing campaigns struggle to have impactful messaging, a strong channel strategy, and impactful collateral to support efforts. The RACE online buying journey, framework can help partner marketers to make the most of their digital marketing (Dave Chaffey, Smart Insights).


It is essential to have an agreed content marketing framework across the partner marketing teams with an agreed approach to the various personas and digital platforms.





Systems Integrators are crucial for tech companies and often lead the marketing strategies in ecosystem marketing.


Systems Integrators play a crucial role in bringing efficiency to a complex network of suppliers.


However, system integrators are sometimes reticent to add additional brands in their marketing in fear of decreasing their own brand awareness. Having strong relationships with systems integrator marketing teams is key. A good partner marketing agency will understand this and enhance the relationship by understanding the key strategic drivers for the SI, making sure the campaign delivers for all parties.


Creating quality joint content


It takes skill to align complex solutions into one proposition as well as to create a clear brand message from disparate brands all shouting for airplay.


This is why it's best to use ONE agency like Join the Dots who have over 20 year’s partner marketing experience working with tech companies such as BT, Cisco and Microsoft. With a track record in launching complex propositions such as BYOD (bring your own device) VOIP (voice over internet protocol) and RFID technology, (Radio Frequency Identification technology), Join the Dots are founded by global B2B partner marketing experts.


The role of the influencer and online forum


B2B influencers are becoming an integral part of any partner marketing campaign. Whether they are a supply chain procurement expert or tech buyer, a good influencer will understand the various elements of the solution and be able to convey this clearly and simply to their audience. By knowing the partners involved and their positions, buyers gain belief in the reliability of the solution. In today’s digital environment, influencer strategy is a key part of any B2B media and PR strategy.


Online review forums are also an integral part of the B2B buying decision. Your social media team will need a social proof strategy alongside and also need to be linked in with their equivalent professionals in the partner companies.



Conclusion


Collaborative partnerships are becoming increasingly important to a business's success, no matter their size. If you want to increase market share in your industry, it is essential that you stay on top of the latest partner marketing trends and how they can help to propel your organisation forward. Partner marketing provides businesses with the means to tap into new audiences and opportunities for growth, while also creating an interconnected ecosystem for future campaigns. For further information on how effective partner marketing can increase sales, please contact Join the Dots.


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