How Does TCMA Encourage Greater Channel Partner Participation?
According to Forrester, Through-Channel Marketing Automation or TCMA is a category of channel technology that
“helps organize and disseminate content and supports the execution of marketing programs, campaigns, and co-branded collateral that drive partner-led demand and accelerate channel lead and pipeline volume and velocity.”
Essentially, TCMA is a platform that businesses with distributed marketing programs can implement to encourage their channel partners to utilize supplier-created marketing and sales assets and participate in supplier-led marketing and sales initiatives. The question is, how?
Challenges to Channel Partner Participation
To understand how a TCMA platform is helpful, you have to first understand the challenges that hinder partner participation.
Lack of Relevant Content
The supplier is providing content that’s either too general or doesn’t appeal to the partners specific audience.
The supplier fails to establish clear, efficient, and effective channels of communication, leaving partners completely disconnected from the supplier.
Lack of Instruction
The supplier offers all of the necessary materials and creates the campaigns but doesn’t provide the context their partners need to know when, where, or how to utilize them.
Over Complicated Process
The partners method of distributing content, assets, or campaigns is too complicated or unintuitive for partners to waste time using or learning.
Lack of Incentive
In a partnership, both parties must understand the benefits they’re receiving. If one party isn’t seeing or realizing the benefits of the partnership, they’re not likely to continue participating.
How TCMA Encourages Greater Channel Partner Participation –
Through-Channel Marketing Automation technology offers marketing teams tools that can help them manage partnerships more efficiently and effectively – providing a solution to many of the above challenges and creating a more collaborative relationship that encourages partner engagement.
General TCMA -
The following are basic tools and features that (most) all TCMA platforms have that contribute to better partner engagement.
A Resource Repository: a TCMA platform can provide marketing and sales teams with a single, centralized resource repository. Resource repositories make it quick and easy for partners to access and deploy supplier-led marketing campaigns and order or download supplier-created marketing and sales content.
Co-Branding: with a TCMA platform in place, suppliers can offer their partners more co-branding opportunities. Co-branding is a prime example of the benefits that channel marketing can offer to both supplier and partner which will motivate partners to utilize the content and assets created by the supplier.
Reporting: with the reporting and analytics functionality in a TCMA platform, supplier teams can assess the usage and effectiveness of the assets they provide and the campaigns that they build. This insight allows them to identify when content is not resonating with partners or their audiences and adjust their content and strategies accordingly to improve content relevancy.
Customization: TCMA platforms often have the power to give partners the ability to customize the content provided by the supplier. Customization allows partners to utilize their knowledge of local markets and increase the relevancy of the content that they’re selecting to engage their prospects and customers.
Software as a Service (SaaS): today’s TCMA platforms mostly utilize a SaaS or on-demand delivery method. This method makes it possible for partners and the people they employ to access the platform through the internet from wherever they’re operating. There’s no complicated installation process or need to restrict access to a single device, all necessary parties within the partner and supplier organizations can easily access the platform from anywhere on their own devices.
Triptych TCMA -
In addition to the tools and features typically found in TCMA platforms, Triptych also offers the features below that further improve partner engagement.
MDF/Co-Op Funds: typically, partner incentives such as MDF and Co-Op funds are managed and streamlined with a separate, dedicated platform solution. Triptych is unique in that it embeds MDF and Co-Op funds into the TCMA platform. Incorporating the funds into the TCMA platform offers an alternative payment method with a streamlined reconciliation and reimbursement process which increases ease and incentivizes them to utilize more supplier-led assets and materials.
Virtual Agent: Triptych’s Virtual Agent Toolkit offers partners the ability to create co-branded, customized mini-portals for their clients including content sharing and interactive chat. This functionality provides additional co-branding opportunities to incentivize partners and allows them to customize digital materials for increased digital adoption and increasingly relevant content.
Guided Search: Guide Me and our product wizard are Triptych tools designed to make finding and using supplier-created content as simple and straightforward as possible for partners. These functions serve up content based on which stage of the sales cycle the prospect is in as indicated by the partner. They also provide clear instruction and direction for partners and a simple process putting them into action.
Intuitive UI/UX: the Triptych platform was built with an e-commerce like framework to limit the amount of training necessary to use the platform efficiently. E-commerce features such as keyword searching, faceted search, related products, product ratings and reviews, and real-time shipping rates are all functionality that most people are familiar with, making it easy for partners to navigate and narrow down large libraries to find exactly what they’re looking for.
Compliance: Triptych has built-in brand and legal compliance for businesses in industries that have strict regulations. Partners, whether they’re individual agents or branches, can take full advantage of the customization opportunities offered to them without fear of causing compliance infractions.
Turn-key Capable: Triptych is powered by The Marek Group, a Turn-key marketing execution company that can fulfill everything—print, promotional products, event management, etc.—that’s available to partners on the supplier’s Triptych TCMA portal. Having a single partner to provide the TCMA platform and fulfill the orders made on the platform further simplifies the use of supplier-offered assets and materials.
Choose Through-Channel Marketing Automation for Better Partner Participation
To have a successful distributed marketing program, partners need to be engaging with and utilizing the content, materials, and campaigns that the supplier is creating for them. Understanding what is preventing partners from being more active and engaged with supplier-led assets is the best way to initiate change. Implementing the right through-channel marketing automation platform to provide a solution to those challenges is the step that will sustain the change as the program grows and the network of partners expands and becomes more widely distributed.
Learn more about critical TCMA platform functionality here or click to button below to contact one of our experts to discuss why Triptych is the right TCMA platform to help you improve your partner participation.