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Data-Driven Partner Marketing Automation: Your Path to More Revenue

Data-driven partner marketing automation (or PMA) is becoming increasingly necessary as businesses grow from transactional-based reseller networks to collaborative partner ecosystems with many different types of transactional and non-transactional partners.  

For years, I've specialized in helping companies—from emerging startups to global enterprises—automate their partner marketing efforts. What I've found consistently is that at least 90% of partners need help with marketing. Whether it's due to a lack of resources or know-how, partners simply don't often have the skills or time to build marketing campaigns at scale.  

We all grow faster, together. It's time to discover the power of tailored content, proactive strategies, and seamless automation when it comes to multiplying your reach to potential customers. In this post, I'll guide you through the process of building an automated partner marketing campaign with data and share best practices to ensure success. Let's get started.  

What is partner marketing automation? 

Partner marketing automation (PMA) involves using technology to streamline and automate a range of marketing activities carried out in collaboration with your partners. These activities can include campaigns on email, social media, ads, website, video, podcasts, and other media. The goal of partner marketing automation is to enhance the efficiency, consistency, and effectiveness of your marketing efforts carried out through and with your partners. 

Consider a manufacturing company that partners with resellers to distribute its products. By implementing an automated partner marketing campaign, the company can create co-branded landing pages for each reseller, complete with tailored marketing messages and offers for their local market. These landing pages can be promoted through targeted email campaigns and paid ads, all managed and executed through partner marketing automation software.  

As potential customers interact with these campaigns, the PMA tool tracks their engagement, attributing leads and sales to the appropriate resellers. This not only provides transparency in partner performance but also ensures that the marketing efforts are optimized for maximum impact. The result is a more efficient, scalable, and effective partner marketing strategy that drives higher engagement and conversion rates, ultimately leading to increased sales and higher ROI. 

What are the benefits of partner marketing automation? 

In today’s highly competitive market, businesses need to be agile and efficient in their marketing efforts. Automation not only saves time but also ensures that campaigns are executed consistently and accurately across different partners and channels. 

Moreover, PMA enables businesses to scale their marketing efforts efficiently. As companies grow and onboard more partners, PMA tools provide the infrastructure to support this growth, allowing businesses to extend their marketing reach without a proportional increase in resources.  

Major partner marketing automation benefits include:  

  • Efficiency: Automates repetitive tasks, allowing your team to focus on larger strategic initiatives. PMA tools handle tasks like sending emails, posting on social media, and optimizing ads, ensuring these activities are done consistently and on time. 
  • Scalability: Enables you to manage and scale campaigns across numerous partners effortlessly. With centralized management and templated collateral, PMA makes it easy to roll out campaigns to new partners quickly and efficiently. 
  • Extended reach: Leverages the networks of your partners to reach a broader audience. By creating co-branded campaigns, businesses can tap into the established customer bases of their partners, significantly expanding their market reach. 
  • Improved ROI: Optimizes marketing spend by targeting the right audience with precision. PMA tools provide detailed analytics and AI-powered insights, allowing businesses to make data-driven decisions to improve their marketing strategies. 

By leveraging the capabilities of PMA, you can build stronger partnerships, execute more effective marketing campaigns, and achieve better overall results in your marketing efforts. 

How to build an automated partner marketing campaign with data

Modern partner marketing automation software makes it straightforward to set up and run campaigns. I'll walk you through the steps of building an automated partner marketing campaign and highlight how Impartner's partner marketing automation tools can effortlessly streamline this process.  

I'll also share in-depth resources and stories from customers along the way to illustrate real-world applications.  

1. Define your goals and campaign KPIs 

Begin by identifying what you need to achieve with your campaign. Do you want to generate more leads, increase sales, boost brand awareness, or all three? Do you have other secondary goals, like breaking into a new market or industry?  

Defining these goals first will help you create a focused strategy. Also, align these campaign goals with your overall business objectives to ensure your efforts are supporting your larger business goals and direction.  

From there, the next step is to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you measure the success of your campaigns. KPIs might include:  

  • Conversion rates 
  • The number or growth in qualified leads 
  • Direct revenue generated from the campaign 
  • Customer acquisition cost 
  • Average order value  

These indicators provide tangible metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaign so you can make better data-driven decisions. Our own Lindsay Jensen tackled some of the most important KPIs for partnerships in her post here.  

2. Choose your point of conversion 

Choosing the right point of conversion is essential for moving prospects further down the sales funnel. The point of conversion is where a prospect takes a desired action, such as signing up for a free trial, accessing a gated asset, or making a purchase.  

Each type of conversion has its unique advantages and can be leveraged based on your campaign goals. For instance, offering a free trial can be highly effective for software companies, as it allows bottom-of-funnel prospects to experience your product's value first-hand. On the other hand, gated assets like eBooks or whitepapers can help you capture new leads from the top of the funnel by offering valuable information in exchange for contact information.  

Using Impartner, you can easily build landing pages tailored to these different conversion types and integrate them into other marketing campaigns. Our platform offers customizable templates and a drag-and-drop interface, making it simple to create professional and engaging landing pages for your partners without the need for extensive technical expertise.  

For example, Xerox knew that they needed to drive more leads via their local resellers, but they didn't want to take their partners' focus away from selling. Instead, they rolled out a paid media campaign, tied to unique landing pages, that required zero effort from partners. Now, their team notes that:

"Google Ads has become our first source of leads for our partners across all geographies. With Impartner, we have been able to reduce the cost per lead by 75% and we have seen a huge acceleration in lead generation without increasing media budgets.” 

3. Build your partner attribution model 

As deals become more complex, often involving multiple partners, it can be challenging to attribute sales correctly. A robust partner attribution model ensures that each partner's efforts are recognized and rewarded fairly. This model typically involves tracking leads and sales back to specific partners, using unique identifiers or referral tracking codes

To set up an effective attribution model, start by defining the touchpoints and interactions you want to track throughout the customer journey. This might include website visits, content downloads, email interactions, and final sales.  

Impartner can help automate this process by tracking these interactions and attributing them to the appropriate partners. Whether dealing with single or multi-partner leads, Impartner's attribution capabilities ensure that all contributions are accurately recorded. This not only rewards partners for their efforts but also provides valuable insights into which partners are driving the most value in your ecosystem. 

4. Develop your campaign collateral 

Campaign collateral includes all the marketing materials used in your campaign, such as landing pages, email templates, social media posts, and paid ads copy. The key is to ensure that all collateral is consistent with your brand messaging while being flexible enough for partners to customize and use across various channels.  

Start by developing a set of core messages that resonate with your target audience and reflect your brand's value proposition. These messages should be adaptable for different partners, regions, and marketing channels. 

Using Impartner's asset library, you can create a suite of marketing materials that partners can easily co-brand to suit their needs. This might include physical collateral like brochures as well as digital collateral, such as landing pages tailored to each partner, email campaigns, ad copy, and social media posts. By providing partners with high-quality, ready-to-use collateral, you empower them to roll out new marketing campaigns without the burden of creating content from scratch. 

Cybersecurity leader, Palo Alto Networks, needed a marketing solution that was built to scale. With over 20,000 partners across the globe, a manual approach was out of the question.  

Stephanie Zembal, Senior Manager of Channel Marketing at Palo Alto Networks, used Impartner to build a co-marketing platform for their partner ecosystem. She notes: "We've been using Impartner for a little over a year now and we've been able to onboard actively about 800 partners and thousands of contacts at those partner companies. We're seeing them use our emails and social platforms. We have had them launch about 800 social campaigns in a year (which is fantastic!) and about 400 email campaigns."  

5. Drive new customers to your campaign 

Once you've built your program, start by optimizing your messaging to ensure it resonates with your target audience. This involves crafting compelling and consistent messages that highlight the benefits of your offering and encourage action. Use A/B testing to experiment with different messages and identify the ones that perform best. 

Driving traffic to your campaign is obviously crucial for achieving your marketing goals. Paid media campaigns, such as Google Ads and social media advertising, can quickly drive traffic to your website, social media accounts, or other landing pages.  

Impartner simplifies the process of setting up and managing paid media campaigns for partners, allowing you to create targeted ads and monitor their performance in real-time.  

For example, Stanley Black & Decker used Impartner to build paid media campaigns for their network of resellers, resulting in a 163% increase in leads.  

Their team notes: "Impartner enabled us to generate additional revenue for all of our 150 local resellers by giving them online exposure on Google Search that they would never have been able to set up themselves.”  

6. Track and measure campaign performance to prove ROI 

Tracking and measuring campaign performance is one of the largest benefits of using a partner marketing automation platform. In fact, data-driven decision-making is one of the top business development trends this year. Gartner predicts that by 2026, 65% of B2B sales organizations will transition from intuition-based to data-driven decision-making, using technology like PMA to unite their workflows and data. 

Real-time tracking allows you to monitor key metrics such as traffic, conversions, and engagement, providing insights into what’s working and what’s not. By regularly reviewing the KPIs you set out at the start, you can assess the effectiveness of your campaign and make data-driven decisions to improve performance. 

In another example of how we're leading the industry, Impartner has integrated our paid media tools with an AI-optimization platform. This enables us to automatically redistribute bid allocation within a paid media platform based on predicted next best conversion.  

Not only does the tool automatically analyze and optimize keywords, negative keywords, click and conversion rate data, but it will also look across paid media platforms and allocate funding to another platform that's performing better within your campaign. For example, if you’re running a paid media ad campaign through Meta Ads, Bing Ads, and Google Ads, the system will look at which platform is yielding the best conversions and redistribute funds to drive ads on the best-performing platform. 

This is revolutionary in the paid media space but also within partner marketing automation in general. While competitors are playing around with predetermined LLM AI like ChatGPT tools, Impartner is leveraging AI to automatically optimize campaigns to drive better results for your business.  

Impartner Analytics is also now giving us incredible visibility into overall ecosystem performance, allowing partner leaders to draw on deep insights into campaign performance as well as partner enablement, engagement, revenue, and so much more.  

With the right data, it's possible to calculate the actual ROI on your partner marketing efforts so you can secure continued investments in your campaigns. With Impartner, you can build an ROI-validated partner program by providing detailed reports and analytics, making it easier to communicate the value of your partnerships to company stakeholders.  

Check out our full guide: How to Build an ROI-Validated Partner Program.  

Supercharge your indirect sales with Impartner 

Partner marketing automation can transform your ecosystem by enhancing efficiency, scalability, and ROI across the board. By following the steps outlined in this post, and focusing on data-driven decisions, you can build an end-to-end automated partner marketing campaign that truly accelerates revenue for your business.  

Smart, scalable, and automated partner marketing is here. Are you ready to get started?  

Reach out today to talk about your partner marketing goals. You can also learn more about Impartner's partner marketing automation tools here, or take an interactive product tour to see it live. 

About the Author

As a Solutions Engineer at Impartner Software, Bill Tryder plays a pivotal role in shaping and advising companies on effective partner marketing strategies. His wealth of experience allows him to provide insightful guidance, ensuring that clients harness the full potential of partner marketing automation tools to achieve their business goals.

Profile Photo of Bill Tryder