Channel Champion Blog

The adoption of Joint Marketing Planning Talk to the Hand(JMP) is on the rise with vendors today. And as stated in previous installments, the reasons are clear: JMP is the best way for vendors to assure GTM alignment with their partners, gain advance insight into your partners’ sales and marketing efforts, and to drive efficient/effective use of MDF allowances. OK, why then aren’t your partners embracing the process as much as you are? Well, maybe your partners are, but according to a recent proprietary survey conducted by CCI, many partners aren’t seeing the value. To the extent that might be true, I would boil it down to lack of WIIFM—or “What’s In It For Me”.

Interestingly, this same group of partners also overwhelmingly indicated that they can really use some marketing (and sales) assistance from their vendors, but don’t like the Marketing Resources Centers their vendors provide. Now, admittedly, the definition of “Marketing Resource Center” covers a lot of ground, but what is going to fill this desire for better marketing support? Executed effectively, the JMP process can fill the needs expressed by both you and your partners—and should be presented as such.

All channel marketing programs must be packaged to reinforce the benefits to your channel partners. To date, we’ve devoted a lot of ink (bits?) to the benefits in JMP for vendors. So, let’s now look at how the process should be benefiting your partners as well.

  1. Hopefully, JMP is your foundation for MDF allocation because this is the big “carrot” after all.
  2. The JMP process provides insight to your partners about any special initiatives you have that would be advantageous to their business.
  3. The JMP process itself should also pinpoint any areas where partners need special assistance and planning from your marketing staff, SEs, or sales support early in the planning process so resources can be allocated accordingly.
  4. An approved plan provides a great “to do” list for your partners, and provides a contextual foundation for every engagement between your Channel Account Managers and partners.
  5. The final results of the various marketing efforts, as measured and reviewed at the conclusion of each planning period, should be the foundation for creating a log of best-practices for you and your partners alike. Success stories may be shared, and benchmarks created for all marketing activities (such as response rates on email campaigns).

So, considering the pleas from your partners for more marketing assistance—and the benefits JMP provides vendors to include improved MDF accountability and partner alignment—your Joint Marketing Planning process can indeed provide true win/win benefits…and isn’t that what successful channel marketing is all about?