Unknowns and uncertainty are pretty much everything we have right now. With pandemic responses still a long way from being safely lifted, businesses and their local partners in every industry are nonetheless beginning to plan their recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. But it’s undeniable that a lot has changed for most teams: companies are replanning spend, making bold investments in digital marketing, and shifting their deeply considered 2020 marketing strategies to prioritize virtual engagement as events are completely gone or entirely virtual and far less effective now at generating leads.
But why replan? Why shift the marketing strategies in which you poured sweat and tears to a digital format?
The answer is a simple one: Digital transformation delivers. Especially if you’re on the forefront of change in your industry.
But with many of those events canceled and 2020-21 events still up in the air, brands everywhere are making large investments in through-channel marketing automation (TCMA) solutions to recover from the lost opportunities to build pipeline.
Local partners are essential to many brands, and the fact is that many of them have seen their business decimated by the pandemic and the economic crisis that has resulted from it. Before anything, remember these tips in working your partners:
|⇒||Be empathetic – Many of your local partners are struggling from a financial standpoint. Understand that they’re living in uncertainty, just like the rest of us, and that emotions can and will run high. Remember that merely saying “we’re here for you” isn’t helpful.|
|⇒||Consider how to support your partners – Providing financial support is often the most helpful way to support your partners. But if giving financial support isn’t an option, consider other ways to help. Can you offer them free enablement or something similar?|
|⇒||Help stabilize their business – Your partners want to keep their lights on. What they don’t want is just more marketing content. Stay away from pushing out content and offer support that actually helps your partners’ businesses stay afloat.|
|⇒||Pay attention to what’s working – Track how much support content your partners are consuming. Which pieces have the highest traffic? What content are partners returning to again and again? If you’re struggling to view that kind of data, a TCMA solution can help.|
Digital Delivers for Brands and Their Local Partners
But what do partners really want to see? Leadership and guidance from their parent brands on how to navigate the current environment.
One way to do this is through digital marketing transformation, and specifically for a distributed model, through-channel marketing automation. Investing in TCMA solutions empowers your local partners to do their strongest work with the best, most up-to-date resources they have available to them. The core problem for just about every value chain is that the content created at the brand level, while great, isn’t actually easy to find and use at the local level. It’s the difference between content completion and content availability. Sound familiar?
Going back to what partners really want to see, TCMA also provides a real, tangible vision of positive change and of their ability to thrive in a modern world. TCMA solutions—unlike traditional digital marketing tools like email platforms—give local partners access to a world-class digital marketing capability (via the brand they represent) that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford on their own. Sharing access to solutions like this helps partners recover and excel.
And the relationship goes both ways. Once the pandemic recedes and brands can start approaching a business baseline, brands will need their local partners to rebuild pipeline and start reinvigorating business. But, in the midst of all this, it’s important to remember that your brand needs to walk its own talk. In these unprecedented times, company values are showing through, resulting in accolades for some brands and recrimination for others, so it’s important to invest in partner relationships to better secure pipeline.
TCMA solutions are designed to help keep pipeline strong.
A Connected Partner Experience = Resilient Pipeline
Though nearly every business in every industry is hit hard by both the public health and economic impacts of the pandemic, enterprise brands with distributed marketing teams have the additional challenge of needing to work with local partners to expand their customer bases. And those customer bases are a little less certain with such a substantial public health threat facing the globe.
To empower your partners and shore up customer pipeline, 1 in 3 vendors are investing in TCMA solutions. Solutions, like Aprimo’s Distributed Marketing, ensure every piece of content remains on brand, helps brands optimize local marketing spend, and execute more consistent, more powerful marketing campaigns.
With a TCMA solution offering omni-channel campaign capabilities and partner engagement tools, brands and their local marketers can be more connected and more aligned than ever, streamlining the entire marketing experience.
But building a resilient customer pipeline takes more than the right tools. Your team and your local partners need demonstrated leadership during hard times, empathy as difficult changes are made, and significant, effective support.
How is your channel marketing team handling current challenges? Let us know on social media, or contact us at aprimo.com.