In a powerful new global study by leading independent technology analyst firm Research In Action (RIA), seven key trends have emerged that will set the pace for how top channel managers and marketers optimize the performance of their channel in 2020 and beyond.
Summarized from a recent webinar hosted in January, Peter O’Neill, Research Director at RIA and Impartner CMO, Kerry Desberg, break down these seven trends and explore how the world’s leading corporations are integrating these trends into their channel. They also cover what top channel marketers are looking at as they build out their technology and market infrastructure. O’Neill is most known for his 12 years of service at Forrester Research as an industry analyst where, most recently, he directed Forrester’s research on B2B Marketing organization, process, and automation topics. Before Forrester, O’Neill held a number of channel leadership positions at HP.
RIA has just released its findings on channel marketing and enablement. It is the result of surveying over 1,500 business professionals and broad market research, summarizing 100,000 data points. Through extensive research, Impartner emerged at the top as the most complete channel management solution, leading amongst the top 20 global players in the market. Impartner continuously ranks as a top channel player because it is the fastest-growing, most award-winning, complete pure-play channel management platform in the market. Impartner delivers a 32.3% increase in channel revenue and a 29% decrease in administrative costs by automating operational basics. 78% of customers say that Impartner gives them a competitive advantage over their competition, and 77% report ROI payback in 18 months or less.
According to O’Neill, the two categories that are most important to marketing professionals are channel marketing and channel enablement. Channel marketing is the brand and asset management, where programs, promotions, and leads are managed. Often referred to as local or distributed marketing, and sometimes labeled through-channel marketing automation (TCMA). Channel enablement is the process around the partner relationship management (PRM), recruitment, registration, contractual details and information exchange. Channel partners have also become more influential and advocational for businesses. Our affiliates, referrers, associations, communities, groups, and ambassadors have become our key channel players. Companies have realized that their success will depend on the recommendations and influence of many new intermediaries.
From the global study put together by RIA, these seven trends of channel management emerged and will help transform your channel strategy:
1. Product Business Model to As-a-Service Business Model
In the past, customers would buy, license or subscribe for service and support. In the future, almost every industry will be transforming into an as-a-service business model, and buyers will purchase the service based on their own research. Buyers will subscribe to the full service and renew or upgrade depending on their satisfaction.
2. Push Action to Pull Action
In the past, customers needed to be registered, enabled and incentivized partners to push their products into the markets they could not reach. In the future, partners will pull business when needed from a vendor with little interest in product margin compensation.
3. Recruitment to Enrollment
In the past, channel managers would seek and manage their list of desired partners. In the future, channel managers will notice which partners are productive and will create a general platform for partnership automation.
4. Resell to Concierge
In the past, channel partners bought and sold customers’ products at the margin. In the future, partners will recommend services as part of their solution.
5. Strategic Approach to Casual Partner Relationship
In the past, customers stratified a channel to incentivize and manage resources. In the future, partners will enter in and out of business relationships over time, as well as provide functionality around social and community management.
6. Vertical Planning to Horizontal Planning
In the past, customers mapped their channels to their own targeted segments. In the future, partners will not map easily into the segmentation plan.
7. Hundreds/Thousands to Unlimited
In the past, the channel software market was too fragmented and there were too many vendors. In the future, the emphasis will be on automation while thinking about user experience.
Your journey of digital transformation is always ongoing, and at times, it can feel daunting. Desberg says, “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and it’s gorgeous in the end.” The hard work is always worth it in the end.
Channel management and marketing can feel like quite a challenge. Impartner is here for you and with you as you embark on this journey. We will help you harness the power of those emerging referral partners and optimize the performance of your channel. To learn more about how Impartner can help increase your channel revenue by 32.3%, request a demo of the most complete channel management platform by visiting impartner.com.