What is partner marketing automation?
Partner marketing automation (PMA) is a suite of technology-driven tools that empower companies to streamline and automate their marketing efforts in collaboration with their channel partners, like resellers or implementation partners. With partner marketing automation, partner program managers can plan, execute, and measure their marketing activities across their full partner ecosystem.
Partner marketing automation and through channel marketing automation (TCMA) are interconnected concepts within the realm of channel marketing, yet they differ subtly in scope and focus. While TCMA serves the specific marketing needs of partners, PMA adopts a more strategic and comprehensive approach to drive collaborative marketing success.
Through channel marketing automation targets activities relevant to channel partners, emphasizing the distribution of marketing resources and co-branding for partner-specific tasks. In contrast, partner marketing automation is a broader and more inclusive term that encompasses a wider array of marketing functions. PMA fosters more marketing collaboration between you and your partners, aligning your marketing strategies cohesively across all marketing efforts.
Let’s illustrate this with a hypothetical example. Suppose you’re a financial technology firm with a vast network of brokers. You want to launch a new product, and you want to ensure that your partners can effectively market this product to their customers.
With a partner marketing automation tool, you can:
- Create a library of marketing collateral related to the new product, including brochures, ads copy, and social media posts. Your partners can access these materials and co-brand them with their logo and contact information.
- Develop an automated email campaign for partners to send to their leads, complete with follow-up emails based on recipient behavior (like opening the email or clicking on a link).
- Provide partners with a dashboard where they can see real-time analytics on their marketing efforts, allowing them to tweak their strategies based on what’s working.
By automating these processes, you’re making it easier for your partners to market your product, which can lead to increased sales for both of you. That’s the power of partner marketing automation.
Some key features of partner marketing automation include:
- Multi-channel integration: PMA now includes multiple marketing channels, including digital, social media, email marketing, content marketing, and more, into its efforts. It enables partners to leverage a mix of channels to reach their target audiences effectively.
- Campaign management: These platforms provide end-to-end campaign management capabilities, allowing vendors and partners to plan, execute, and measure marketing campaigns together.
- Content syndication: PMA tools make content syndication easier, enabling partners to access and distribute approved marketing content seamlessly. This ensures brand consistency and compliance while also allowing your partners to personalize content for their audiences.
- Analytics and reporting: These platforms offer robust analytics and reporting capabilities, giving both vendors and partners insights into the performance of marketing activities.
- Co-marketing funds management: Many PMA solutions include features for managing co-op marketing funds and market development funds (MDF), ensuring transparent and accountable fund allocation for joint marketing efforts.
- Partner collaboration: An emphasis on collaboration within PMA platforms encourages more consistent communication and coordination between vendors and their partners.
Partner marketing automation has evolved to encompass a wide range of marketing activities and technologies within your partner ecosystem. It not only streamlines marketing efforts but also empowers partners to become more effective marketers of your products or services. As the marketing landscape continues to evolve, PMA will continue to adapt to meet the ever-changing needs of channel partnerships and the digital marketing landscape.