Search Marketing: Transform your Channel StrategyBy: Steve Riegel - August 26, 2008
As technology advances and the demands of customers fragment, the task of empowering resellers and distributors with effective and relevant marketing tools becomes more daunting than ever before. To solve these challenges, a handful of forward-looking companies are experimenting with emerging technologies and particularly Search‹to empower their channel partners in an attempt to make them more flexible and responsive to the changing market.
The Channel Challenge
We hear with increasing frequency that traditional tactics just aren¹t working anymore, and it¹s no surprise that despite billions of dollars spent on lead generation programs and branding campaigns, a significant portion of co-marketing spend is not driving channel performance or sales. Ultimately, the manufacturer to channel relationship is crucial to maximizing value to customers. Yet, in a recent CMO Council Report, only eight percent of channel marketing managers indicated they do an extremely good job of teaming with their channel to build stronger customer affinity. Topping the list of channel complaints were slim lead rates, unqualified opportunities, and uninspired marketing campaigns that failed to connect with the customer.
Empower Your Partners
A fresh approach is desperately needed, and Search is the solution. Today, those responsible for channel marketing programs within their organizations hear from their partners with increasing frequency the need to use online resources such as those offered by Google, Yahoo!, MSN and others in creative ways to help grow their business. But, many marketers have serious concerns about rolling Search programs out to partners, among those concerns are:
- Channel bid conflict & artificial price inflation
- Diminished brand control
- Lack of expertise within partner organizations
Our clients needed a way to bring new and emerging marketing tools to their business partners," said Steve Riegel, Director of Search Strategy and co-founder of Faction Media. "Many of these partners are small businesses that have limited resources and no experience in marketing. Our goal is to help them overcome these challenges and provide them with the tools they need to be effective in reaching and communicating to their customers‹Search does exactly that. With the new tools and services available, like Google Template Center, there are new ways to leveraging your organizations brand strength and Search marketing expertise to help channel partners more effectively manage their online advertising programs and generate better results from their marketing budgets. An example of these new tools is the partner marketing platform built by Faction Media that allows channel partners to create Search campaigns, customize templates and preapproved creative, and mange online campaigns all from an easy to use and corporate controlled marketing portal. Using a controlled environment tool like Template Center, the partner marketing platform allows you to:
- Isolate campaigns and control the bid landscape to prevent conflict
- Enhance brand and message control with templates and managed creative
- Drive effectiveness by leveraging the marketing expertise of the organization
With a little effort, organizations can now bring the scale, relevancy and measurability of Search to their channel partners around the world. The Search Solution Using Search and other emerging marketing platforms gives organizations new opportunities to support their channels and provide measurable leads to their business partners. Additionally, it extends the digital reach of the brand while providing the Holy Grail of channel marketing‹closed sales. The new tail of Search resides in the direct support of the channel, says Riegel. Those that get this will tap into a new wealth of leads and sales opportunity, those that don¹t will be left behind.