Universe Proofing Your Channel

A message from Impartner CMO, Kerry Desberg

If 2020 were a movie genre—what would it be? Impossible to categorize, I think. Maybe part thriller, part horror, part drama—even some comedy here and there.

As a marketer, on many levels it’s felt like the marketing Hunger Games—constantly twisting, ducking and turning to find ways to move forward in this unscriptable period of history that has challenged and changed every aspect of business in some way—sometimes bad, occasionally good, and always different.

The irony of it, while no one would ever wish for what has happened in the universe in 2020, in some strange way, and like many others, our team and our company have emerged more powerfully because of it. There’s a saying, “calm seas don’t make good sailors,” and for countless reasons, large and small, I can see that’s true.

Our marketing and biz dev teams are is tighter, smarter, and more refined in every move they make—having had to pivot to markets with pandemic-driven demand, go into overdrive to compensate for normally hot leads that slowed due to COVID-induced spending caution, find ways to drive opportunities without a steady stream of events which had regularly generated bursts of demand—all of it. Our product and engineering teams have kept their roadmaps on track, collaborating and moving things ahead despite no longer working together and being able to easily hang over each other’s desks to work through a problem.

But we’re doing it! Who knows what the universe is going to continue to throw at us, but in action after action, powerful things have happened this year:

  • Marketing initiatives that meet customers’ challenges in this environment head-on: Our Channel Economic Stimulus Packages pulled together our solutions into the Channel Ignite bundles. Channel Ignite and Channel Ignite Pro give companies who are panicked at not yet having gone through their channel digital transformation a way to get through the eye of the transformation needle and not only survive but thrive, scale and prosper as the market ultimately begins to recover. Channel Ignite became an instant hit by giving companies everything they need to kickstart their channel and we can grow with them as they grow.
  • Continued innovation to amplify how our customers can optimize the performance of their channel: Our global Channel Innovation Labs made up of product managers, UI and UX experts and engineers kept things moving with the introduction of a new business intelligence solution, Channel Intel PlusJourney Builder, which helps companies choreograph the perfect partner journey, and Program Compliance Manager, helping solve the No. 2 problem facing channel chiefs—managing program compliance. Each solution breaking ground for our customers and their ability to optimize the performance of their channel.
  • Thought leadership that harnesses the powerful voices of the channel glitterati to help channel pros move ahead: The Impartner Channel Chief Advisory Board came out of the gate during the pandemic and has quickly become a synthesized think tank. This group is organically working together to generate a steady stream of content the market is hungry for to help steer their channel programs through this difficult period in history. I’ve rarely been as proud of what a group has been able to accomplish so quickly through incredible collaboration and collegial spirit.
  • Continued growth and expansion of our channel management technology portfolio. Just before the pandemic sent everyone to work from home indefinitely and for some, already permanently, we were moving forward with the acquisition of the Through Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA) brand protection and demand generation center from TIE Kinetics. After a long, “pandemic-induced” pause of uncertainty on every front, we were able to move ahead and are excited to be bringing to market the best of both of our TCMA technologies to give the industry a smarter, more scalable, more automated demand generation engine.
  • Continued recognition for our company’s leadership in the PRM space. Today is a great culmination of all that to add value to our customers with the announcement that we’re a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Partner Relationship Management, Q4 2020. We continually win a lot of awards, and we’re extremely proud of the recognition of the value we deliver to our customers—but in our space, the Forrester Wave is the key report channel pros turn to when deciding on channel management technology like ours. The every-other-year report is led by respected Forrester Principal Analyst Jay McBain—the de facto voice of the channel—and we are thrilled to see the endless work by our employees to engineer our products, implement them for our customers, and then ensure their success—resulting in our recognition as a leader. Just as important, we could not be more excited to stand so far ahead in our strategy and vision, for the assurance it provides that we help future proof companies’ business as we move into 2021 and what we anticipate to be continued, unprecedented shifts in the market. Well done team!

Without question, I squint a bit as I look at 2021, wondering what other unscriptable thing is headed our collective way. What I do know for sure, is the Impartner team is committed, stronger and ready to help make 2021 the best year ever for our customers’ channel—no matter what the universe throws at us. So, stay safe everyone. We look forward to working with you channel pros and tackling the challenges of the business universe together.

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