Campaign-in-a-Box: All-in-One Marketing for Channel Partners

One of the great balancing acts manufacturers must perform is finding the time and money to help their solution provider partners effectively market their solutions. It can be a challenge to find the manpower and funds to find the right resources.

Heather K. Margolis

December 6, 2012

4 Min Read
Campaign-in-a-Box: All-in-One Marketing for Channel Partners


One of the great balancing acts manufacturers must perform is finding the time and money to help their solution provider partners effectively market their solutions. It can be a challenge to find the manpower and funds to find the right resources.

We’ve discovered one of the most cost-effective and time-efficient solutions is to create campaigns-in-a-box. These all-in-one resources can be leveraged by both partners that don’t have a marketing team and those that have their own resources.

How to Create a Successful Campaign-in-a-Box

When I was in channel marketing for vendors we had more marketing resources than we knew what to do with, but they were all direct-facing. Corporate marketing would hand us their emails, datasheets, event materials and presentations and say, “Just put a different image in there and you’re good-to-go!” Not so much — Partners don’t want to just regurgitate a vendor’s materials, they need the materials to have their own look and feel.

Here are five keys to creating a successful campaign in-a-box:

  1. Looks Matter: Partners don’t want to use a vendor’s branding, they don’t want to use the colors associated with the vendor and they certainly don’t want the vendor’s logo screaming at the top of a marketing sheet while theirs whispers in the footer, if at all. Vendor must create a more unbiased look and feel that provides partners with equal billing for their logo in the header, and colors that may be in the vendor’s approved branding guidelines but aren’t the colors it uses for its direct marketing.

  2. You’re Awesome, We Get It: Ever get one of those emails from a company that talks about how great they are? ” Established in 1906, thousands of service people around the world, best-in-class, blah, blah, blah …” What a snoozefest. People don’t care about the company; they want to know how the company is going to help THEM. Materials should first identify the customer’s pain point, discuss ways the reader may have tried to solve them in the past, and explain how the vendor is going to help the customers finally solve that pain point today. Know your strengths: I’m not a writer, I know this, I just surround myself with great writers who love doing campaigns. I suggest you do the same.

  3. Content as an Incentive: While every partner might not use every piece within a campaign in-a-box, vendor must be sure to include the staples. Emails are an obvious, but those emails need to point to a piece of content — this is the carrot at the end of the stick. That content can be from corporate if it doesn’t scream “We’re so Awesome!” Also, event emails are huge. Many of partners and channel account managers use these to promote live and virtual events, so help make their life a little easier. Banner ads help point visitors to the great piece of content or event and, of course, signage and materials for an event such as presentations and telemarketing scripts are incredibly important as well.

  4. Socialize Your Campaign In-a-Box: Here’s an easy equation to recognize: Partner buys list, partner sends campaign-in-a-box email, no one opens email, partner never uses the materials again. What went wrong? If partners aren’t integrating social to build stronger lists and get content out to the people that are looking for it when they are looking they simply won’t be as successful. Partners need their vendors to educate them on how to use social and then as partners are launching your campaign in-a-box email, vendors should provide them with posts/tweets/feeds they should be posting out as their social media amplification.

  5. Launch Pad: Now the vendor has a great campaign-in-a-box, and it looks like something a partner wants to send out: the message is on target, it contains all the right pieces and even has elements for partners to use on social media. Now how are partners supposed to send it out? Vendors that have done it right have included places on the marketing materials for the partners to add their name and contact information, but can they edit the pieces? Providing partners with a marketing automation tool that can edit their content before it’s sent out or printed is key. Vendors should use a platform that allows partners to edit HTML emails, edit PDF datasheets and download other content such as presentations and telemarketing scripts. Some of the platforms we’ve checked out are Zift, Marketing Advocate and StructuredWeb (which also has some slick social media capabilities that we’ve been lucky enough to check out while working on a customer project together).

Overall campaigns-in-a-box aren’t rocket science, vendors just need to put the right resources in the right place at the right time. Where have I heard that before?

Contributing blogger Heather K. Margolis, the Channel Maven, has led channel programs for major IT companies.

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About the Author(s)

Heather K. Margolis

Heather K. Margolis, a self proclaimed “recovering channel professional,” founded Channel Maven in early 2009. Heather is passionate about enabling vendors and their channel partners to drive more business through their channel programs. Having led channel programs for companies like EMC, EqualLogic and Dell, Heather helps channel organizations of all sizes build smarter channel programs, manage channel relationships to find added value, and engage their communities through social and traditional media. Heather regularly speaks to manufacturer and channel partner audiences about getting the most from social and traditional media. She also speaks to a variety of audiences about entrepreneurship, building a service business, and B2B strategy.

A proud alum of Babson’s MBA program, Heather grew up in Massachusetts and now calls beautiful Boulder, Colorado, home where she and her husband (and dog Zoe) can be found hiking, foodie-ing, or attempting to tear up the slopes.

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