President of TSL Marketing David English discusses his next topic of the Channel Marketing Series in the embedded video below. This weeks topics begins the two part discussion on what is involved and should be kept in mind when creating a join marketing plan. Have a quick look at our third video of the series titled Channel Marketing Strategy - Creating A Joint Marketing Plan below. Or, visit our resources page for all our Channel Marketing videos.
David has 20 years of marketing and channel marketing expertise, having provided marketing training workshops, marketing consultations, and lead generation programs. Also, David is a regular contributer to the TSL Marketing Blog MarketNow. You can read David's articles by clicking the link.
We hope you enjoy Channel Marketing Strategy - Creating a Joint Marketing Plan.
A revised transcript has been provided below.
Creating A Joint Marketing Plan
Hi I am David English president of TSL marketing. Thanks for joining on the latest installment in our series channel marketing strategy. Today we're going to talk about how do you create a joint marketing plan. This will be part one of a two-part series and today we're going to focus really a lot of foundational items that are required to have a successful plan implementation.
A lot of times people want to jump right into what are the what are the tactics that we should do, what are the activities that we should do to create leads and create demand and awareness. But they don't spend enough time on getting the right foundations correct. This is not unlike where we might have the perfectly executed tactical plan. But we're targeting the wrong segment.
Marketing Plan & Segmentation
So we want to focus first on several key things. The first things like to talk about in creating a joint marketing plan is this segment and this is either who we're targeting and or what we're selling. Now this is important because many of us will come from one perspective or another and both can be appropriate. If I'm a product company I tend to want to focus more on what I'm selling. So this is my product that I want to sell to the market, whereas a services company in many resellers may focus first on who I'm supporting. So I want to provide a broad set of services to this type of content. So it's important that we spend some time on this and look at, you know where our commonalities are. For example, maybe they're closely aligned, maybe you're providing unified communications services and you find that you want to target mid-sized businesses to help them with their communications needs and your partner also wants to target mid-size businesses to help them with their communications needs, you're very tightly aligned. On the other hand maybe you're selling business analytics software and you want to sell that across all industries and contact types. But you may partner with somebody who's looking to support financial decision makers within large insurance companies and so these are important things to really flush out in the initial planning structure.
Channel Partner Value Proposition
Next is value proposition and we look at value prop really as value prop of partner A, value prop of partner B, and value prop of partners A & B together. Now I know some of you are thinking okay we're going to go to market under that joint value proposition of A plus B together. Not necessarily, this may surprise many of you. We don't necessarily have to go market with a joint value proposition. A lot of it's going to depend on who we're selling to. In some cases we can make a sequential value proposition to a customer that will eventually go from A to B, to A plus B. For example I may have a partner that's really more of a fulfillment partner, in which case I'm going to do, as partner A, most of the selling. I'm gonna go to market with my value prop. Once I've convince them to buy my products as an example, I'm gonna bring my partner in who can help them implement the product. That's value prob A leading into value prob B and to make the final sale we're highlighting value prop A plus B. There are of course many times where we do want to go to market on that joint value prop, but keep in mind that doesn't have to be that way and it can go A and then B, or it can go B and then A. Both scenarios can work, as well of course as A plus B.
Comapny SWOT Analysis
Alright next we want to get into, obviously we want to do a thorough SWOT analysis of both companies together and independently on where they overlap. I like to pay for marketing, particular attention to the skills of both partners. What do I mean by skills? Yes we can get into things like technical skills, that's important for over all planning, from a marketing plan respective we're just going to assume for second that's taken care of. We don't want to make that assumption when we really plan, but for today's conversation we're just going to assume that's ok. So I'll focus on marketing skills and sales skills.
Let's focus first on sales skills. This is actually most important to me as a marketer. Why do I care about that? Well a lot of times we may create a plan that assumes that there are certain sales skills at the backend of this. We don't want to make that assumption, we want to find out what skills do we each have, each of us as partners have and that will bring to the joint relationship.
How do we find out what the skills are? Well we can ask but sometimes people are self aware of their skills. A good example is that I will often ask companies are you able to sell net new business? Guess what percent of people say yes we can do that to that question. It's really close to a 100 percent. Nobody ever says, "sorry we really can't sell to save our life". Or, "we can't sell our way out of a paper bag". We never hear that. So how do we access the sales skills? Well one thing we will then ask is "tell me about your sales team, how much of their quota is on net new business?" Or, "how much net new businesses did they generate last year?" This would be brand new customers that didn't come from a referral. And often we will find out that sure we think we can sell net new business but our reps can achieve 100 percent of their quota on existing customers. So if you get them something early in the sales process to that rep, their not going to spend the time on it. They don't have to, it's not going to be of interest to them and you're entire plan, which might be a great marketing plan is going to fail when it hits the sales level.
Second is we want to access the marketing skills. Why do we want to do that? Well because if we've got really robust and fantastic marketing skills, our plan that will eventually get to can be very complex and sophisticated and exciting. But we've got very basic skills at one of the two partners that are required we're going to be better off designing a simple plan. Simple can sometimes be much better where we have low skills in the marketing side.
Business Generation & Customer Targeting
Next we want to look at what type of business do we want to generate? Well, this is again, where we might have a very wide variety of options. We can target net new customers, these would be customers that are brand new to both of us. That would be one type of business. We can target cross selling Partner A, or Partner B customers, or in theory both. So this is where Partner B is going to be selling into the customer, or the Partner A install base. And, then finally we can look at an upgrade. Often this can be a joint customer that may have older product, how are we gonna get them to upgrade to a newest offering versus what they may have in place today.
Joint Marketing Goals
And then finally we are going to get into the goals which lead into the plan. Some of you may be asking why are we hitting goals after we've gone through all of this. Well you can certainly start with goals if you want. I frankly think it can be done both in the beginning and then come back to the end, but this is where you want to set out and say "ok net new customers, how many new customers do we want, what's the revenue there, how much are we going to get from upgrades, how much are we going to get from cross-selling" and really map out some of those goals. That would be a "closed business goal". We might then get into a pipeline goal, what pipeline is needed to achieve those goals and then there may be some sub-goals. Maybe if we have got value prop A and B, maybe awareness might be something we are really interesting in.
So really trying map out these goals, we don't want too many top-line goals but a few very clear top-line goals that we can then build to as we go through the next step. This is what we're going to catch up in part 2, is when we talk about the plan parts. Or, the actual plan itself. Now we've got all the foundational items together, next we're going to get into tactics and messaging, and all the things that will lead us to achieve our goals. So we hope you'll be here to join us on the next part two of the series and thank you for listening to us today.
David is a regular contributer to the TSL Marketing Blog MarketNow. You can read David's articles by clicking the link.