How SMBs Combat the Big Guys in Channel Marketing: DIY

Friday, June 28, 2013
Posted by Andy Wendt

Channel Marketing Combat DIYBy Brian Tervo, President & CEO, TIE Kinetix North America

Email newsletters, social media, whitepapers – just a few of the ways that marketing departments can interact with their channel communities these days. But what if you own a small business and lack the resources and budget needed to fund these types of marketing efforts?

The marketing industry, particularly among SMBs, is seeing a DIY revolution. What does this mean? DIY – or do it yourself – allows businesses to automate the execution of their marketing programs using a variety of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions readily available today. While this method may require a bit of extra work at the outset, it can actually lead to cost savings and greater control over your messaging, especially as it relates to your partners, who often have even less money to spend on marketing efforts. Growing availability of these SaaS platforms bring technologies within reach of SMB marketers.

Of course, there are challenges to managing your entire channel marketing efforts on your own. I’ve outlined a few of the most common questions below and offered my two cents on how to solve them.

How Can I Reach my Channel Partners Quickly?

The channel community can be tricky to manage if you don’t have a large marketing department, which many smaller brands do not. One way to leverage existing marketing materials and distribute them easily to your partners is by using a content syndication solution. Offered by a variety of vendors, these types of solutions allow marketing content to automatically publish across partner sites, social channels and mobile devices with customizations that can even include personalized co-branding for the reseller. This alleviates the struggle of manually putting content into a portal and motivating your channel community to repurpose via emails and phone calls. When competing for mindshare with much larger brands, the easier you can make it on your partners to generate new business and leads using your brand, the greater chance you will have in bringing your own business to the next level.

What’s it Going to Cost Me?

In the beginning, content syndication solutions were considered an enterprise-level commodity because they required an enterprise-level commitment in terms of time and money. Smaller organizations could eat up their entire marketing budget just trying to get simple messaging and branded assets out to their partners. These days, there are self-service solutions that provide marketers with many of the same functionalities enjoyed by the big guys, at a significantly reduced price point. Because it’s DIY, you don’t have to hire extra hands to help maintain the solution, and you get it at a reduced price because you’re not paying for the vendors’ services. You just press a button and go.

Will DIY Channel Marketing Activities Take up all of my Time?

Think about all of the efforts you’re putting into your marketing initiatives at the moment: setting up social media updates, sending out email blasts, drafting whitepapers, data sheets, campaigns and case studies. You don’t want all of that great collateral to go to waste. Your materials will actually get more use with a content syndication solution, and you don’t have to worry about reposting through your channel manually. When you update your digital content internally, it is automatically distributed to all subscribing partner sites dynamically. Your channel community will gladly welcome the latest materials that will help them drive business without the traditional lift to bring it live. And that’s another thing, when your content is live you’ll actually see the ROI that you’re getting from all marketing activities since most syndication solutions can give you visibility into what content is being consumed by your partners. The expanded analytics will help determine what’s working and what isn’t (in real time).

Maintaining a cost-effective channel marketing department as an SMB doesn’t have to be a challenge. Getting your message out to your partners through DIY content syndication solutions will get you on track for success in no time and make your team of a few feel like an army. Have more questions? Leave them in the comments!

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