Channel Marketing vs. Corporate Marketing: Who Gets the Budget?
Has anyone formed a Channel Support Group yet? We all know that The Channel has always been seen as secondary to corporate activities and marketing. The Channel gets less budget for marketing activities or has to re-purpose the corporate marketing content that was not exactly partner friendly or has to defend their partners against channel conflict with the direct sales team. It is a huge struggle and one that we, as channel professionals, take in stride. But is a shift starting?
I’m now consulting so I get to see inside many different channel organizations and I wonder if The Channel’s time has come. Don’t get me wrong, I still see channel conflict and hear of struggles with channel budgets but I get the sense that IT organizations are finally seeing the immense value of the channel and their partners.
Without calling out specific organizations some examples include:
- Channel Summits continuing to happen while Sales Kick-offs are postponed due to budget
- Expenditures around New Media “To and Through” partners
- Partner responses to a survey that Channel Conflict is actually down (you heard it here first!)
Maybe it’s not every organization but I’m encouraged that some of the larger IT vendors are putting partners first in their marketing, providing more support, and protecting their partners from direct sales conflict.
Are others seeing a trend? Is The Channel finally getting more attention?
Contributing blogger Heather K. Margolis, the Channel Maven, has led channel programs for major IT companies. She also has extensive lead generation and marketing experience. Follow The VAR Guy via RSS; Facebook; Identi.ca; Twitter; and via his Newsletter; Webcasts and Resource Center. Plus, visit www.VARtweet.com.